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.
Publishers Weekly is celebrating its one hundred and fiftieth birthday today, as the first issue of the trade magazine, then called the Weekly Trade Circular, was published on January 18, 1872. The editors will also mark the anniversary throughout the year with regular features of archival content, a special issue due out in April, and a party in May during the U.S. Book Show.
“It would have been impossible to do anything else. Everything I write is really the only thing I know how to write at a particular moment.” Louise Glück talks with former student Sam Huber about both her poetry and prose—and life after the Nobel. (Nation)
“Eric’s was an outsized personality. He lived famously, which is to say that he believed in his talents and vision and saw them as eminently worthy of recognition.” Erin Aubry Kaplan pays tribute to her late friend Eric Priestley, a poet and writer who contributed to the Black Arts Movement in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)
Liz Hartman analyzes data from the adult best-seller lists released by Publishers Weekly throughout 2021. Books from the Big 5 continued to lead the rankings, accounting for 91 percent of the year’s hardcover best-sellers and 77.4 percent of paperback best-sellers. Still, Hartman notes, “the data shows its grip isn’t quite as tight as it once was.”
“I wrote it over the course of years. Like Penelope at her loom, I would add a line one day, and delete it the next. It was a real process of accretion.” Kaveh Akbar discusses the writing of his long poem “The Palace” and other pieces from his latest collection, Pilgrim Bell. (Rumpus)
“When you’re talking about a tragic event or having lost somebody, you’re going to cry but you’re also going to laugh. I wanted to acknowledge that the full spectrum of emotions is going to be there.” Sequoia Nagamatsu reflects on the grief that informed his debut novel, How High We Go in the Dark. (Star Tribune)
“Formal complaints can sound just like the master’s tools—bureaucratic, dry, tedious—but they’re also where you actually come to hear and learn about institutional mechanics, how institutions reproduce themselves.” Sara Ahmed discusses the research behind her latest book, Complaint! (Paris Review Daily)
The Millions spotlights five books landing in stores this week, including A Dream Life by Claire Messud and Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang.