The Power of the Occasional Poem, Midlife Memoirs, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories:

Poet Juan Felipe Herrera discusses his work as poet laureate and the public impact of the occasional poem. “The occasional poem is a poem of direct emotional power: It is accessible, and it fosters a public relationship. It is the place where we all can meet—to offer our words, the news, and the heart of our lives—in a time of crisis. I have dedicated my life to these endeavors.” (Library of Congress)

Writer and former Man Booker Prize judge Erica Wagner examines three new memoirs that focus on the anxieties of middle age and the “trap of culture.” (New Statesman)

The new $25 million Federico García Lorca center in Granada, Spain, honoring the late poet and playwright, is intended to house approximately 20,000 items, including manuscripts, music compositions, and works of art. The center remains empty, however, as the city’s government clashes with members of the García Lorca Foundation over control of the archives. (New York Times)

At the Los Angeles Times, John Freeman writes about a new generation of poets, including Ocean Vuong and Solmaz Sharif, who are taking on the poetic project of examining the lexicon of war by “retelling the myth of their being, and reclaiming language which has attempted to claim them.” 

Svetlana Alexievich, last year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, discusses her ongoing work of gathering stories directly from individuals to create her unique form of journalism, “which [blends] the force of fact with the capaciousness of fiction to create a new, vital literary compound.” (Nation)

Audiobook subscription service Audible recently launched Channels, a digital news and media streaming service. Jonathan Sturgeon considers how audio-based content, like live video and streaming, challenges text-based media. (Flavorwire)  

Speaking of audio content, writer Wyatt Mason makes a case for audiobooks read by their authors. (New York Times)