Publishers Face Printer Backlog, Tracie Morris Joins Iowa Writers’ Workshop Faculty, and More

by Staff

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.

Poet Tracie Morris has joined the permanent faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Morris, whose most recent book is Hard Kore: Poemes/Per-Form: Poems of Mythos and Place, is the workshop’s first Black writer to be hired as a full professor of poetry with tenure. Earlier this summer the program announced fiction writer Jamel Brinkley would start as a permanent faculty member in fall 2020.

Facing financial issues worsened by the pandemic, the country’s two largest printing companies have been unable to keep up with growing demand for print books—especially titles about race and racism, children’s books, and recent releases by Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, John Bolton, and Mary Trump—in the United States. The backlog at the printers is causing delays in reprints and forcing many publishers to push back publication dates for new titles. (New York Times)

Simon & Schuster vice president and 37 INK publisher Dawn Davis will become the next editor in chief of Bon Appétit. Davis succeeds Adam Rapoport, who resigned in June after a 2004 photo of him in brownface surfaced on social media and Bon Appétit employees spoke out about racial discrimination at the media outlet. As an editor, Davis has published many major books, including Edward P. Jones’s The Known World; she is also the author of If You Can Stand the Heat: Tales From Chefs and Restaurateurs. (New York Times)

“Stores have reported sales boosts as high as 400 percent. Owners are working around the clock to fill a crush of orders. Stores that were once community-gathering spaces for Black people are now centers of intellectual triage for white people.” Victor Luckerson reports on the opening of Fulton Street Books & Coffee in Tulsa, and how its owner, Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, is handling the challenges many fellow Black bookstore owners are encountering this summer. (New Yorker)

Yaa Gyasi speaks with Entertainment Weekly about writing her second novel, Transcendent Kingdom, and learning that “you can’t control the elements into which your book will emerge.”

Jimin Kang describes the prominence of poetry in public places in South Korea—both individuals and the government post poems in places such as the subway, rest stops on nature walks, amusement parks, hostels, and restaurants. (Atlas Obscura)

“If there’s one thing I know about humans, it’s that they don’t follow logic.” Emma Cline talks with the Guardian about the “forces behind how we live our lives,” exploring the self-narratives of men, and writing her new story collection, Daddy.

Refinery 29 shares its list of the best books of 2020 so far.