Proust’s Lost Short Stories, Remembering David Berman, and More


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

Nine rediscovered short stories by Marcel Proust will be published for the first time in October. The stories will be released as the collection The Mysterious Correspondent and Other Unpublished Novellas, which will include facsimiles of Proust’s original pages. (Smithsonian)

Poet and musician David Berman has died at age fifty-two. At the Los Angeles Times, Randall Roberts describes how the Silver Jews songwriter “mixed playful metaphors with words of advice, random observations and heady philosophizing,” while at the Paris Review, Erin Somers remembers how Berman’s poetry helped a strange world make sense. “Berman’s great topic was the impossibility of being alive. I was glad to have him on the job.”

“In Delany’s novels, desire and language are luminous silks, intensifying and refracting reality.” Jordy Rosenberg on the “emotional dynamism” of Samuel R. Delany’s sentences. (New York Times)

Kimberly King Parsons talks to the Millions about bodies, narrators, small towns in Texas, and her debut story collection, Black Light.“Third third-person narrators, or stories narrated in third person, can sometimes be like, ‘Let me set this scene for you. Let me give you this information.’ And I bristle at received information from fiction.”

The Poetry Foundation has announced a new tri-weekly poetry and video series created in collaboration with production company Complexly. Curated by poet Paige Lewis, the Ours Poetica series will feature guests such as Ashley C. Ford, Ilya Kaminsky, and Jacqueline Woodson reading and discussing a poem meaningful to them. The inaugural episode will launch with a live screening and discussion at the foundation on September 12.

“It takes a hugely ambitious artist to say that I will speak to these people—my people—in a voice we can all understand, together, just us, and if anyone else wants to follow, they can.” At the New Yorker, Hilton Als recalls Toni Morrison’s literature, laughter, and look that made you never want to say “anything dumb again, ever.” Over at the Guardian, Michiko Kakutani considers Morrison’s language—“fierce, poetic, and Proustian in its ability to fuse time present and time past.”

And at the Atlantic, Blake Montgomery navigates the labyrinth of Amazon Publishing. “Experts who spoke with me said that the publishing house serves not authors but another master—Amazon Prime.”