Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund Accepting Applications, Community Poem on Anti-Asian Violence, 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.

Shade Literary Arts has opened a new round of applications for its Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund. Devised to support writers “in critical need due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the fund disbursed nearly $45,000 to 175 writers early last year. For this second round, Shade will use funds from the Philadelphia Assembly and the Money in the Streets initiative to send forty writers $250 each. Applications from trans women of color will be prioritized.

At NPR, Kwame Alexander has created a community poem on anti-Asian violence using lines from poems submitted by listeners. Titled “Today, I Am a Witness to Change,” the poem begins “Today, I wake up tired / a tiredness that plagues me / soft grey hues, contrasting over a grieving landscape, / filled with many frigid hearts.”

The Paris Review has announced the winners of its annual awards. N. Scott Momaday will receive the 2021 Hadada Award, which honors a “distinguished member of the writing community who has made a strong and unique contribution to literature.” Meanwhile, Eloghosa Osunde has earned the 2021 Plimpton Prize, which celebrates “an outstanding story published by an emerging writer in the magazine in the previous calendar year,” for her short story “Good Boy.”

Cindy Myers has been hired to serve as interim executive director at Small Press Distribution. She will assist in the search for a permanent executive director to succeed Brent Cunningham, who stepped down last month. (Publishers Weekly)

“There are those for whom New York was only ever a playground, and I feel similarly about them. They never deserved it.” Emily Raboteau recalls scenes from the height of the pandemic in New York City and considers how the crisis has revealed and exacerbated racial and class inequalities. (Literary Hub)

“When society doesn’t allow you to see yourself, you stay hidden.” Celia Laskey writes about the urgency of making queer narratives available to young people. (Electric Literature)

The Millions highlights five new books out today, including Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick and The Apprenticeship, or the Book of Pleasures by Clarice Lispector, translated by Stefan Tobler.

Penguin Press will publish Lapvona, a new novel from Ottessa Moshfegh, in summer 2022. The novel will feature “a crippled motherless son and his bitter shepherd father” and a blind midwife with “witchy power” living in a troubled medieval fiefdom. (Literary Hub)