Feedback from readers
Alvin Irby deserves a standing ovation for starting Barbershop Books, a literacy program for young Black boys (“Barbershop Books” by Christine Ro, July/August 2018). Irby’s commitment and accomplishments are a blessing. Thank you.
Top tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media ephemera
Hanif Abdurraqib’s profile of poet Terrance Hayes (“My Past and Future and Future Assassin,” July/August 2018) garnered praise from many of our 207,000 Twitter followers, including poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil (@aimeenez), who wrote, “I can’t remember such an insightful and well-written big feature of a poet in P&W,” and described the piece as “incredible—all the way down to the sentence level—a thing of beauty.” Another reader, Ayokunle Falomo (@AFalomo), shared his appreciation: “What a gift. What a time to be alive.”
Lines from the previous issue that got readers talking
“I write the poems so I don’t have to talk about this shit.” —Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, in “My Past and Future Assassin” by Hanif Abdurraqib.
“I love sentences so much. The syllables. Phonemes. I have strong feelings about every letter of the alphabet.” —R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries, to Celeste Ng in “First Fiction 2018.”
Three of the most popular posts from pw.org
1. “First Fiction 2018” ( July/August 2018)
2. “The Business of Relationships: How Authors, Agents, Editors, Booksellers, and Publicists Work Together to Reach Readers” (July/August 2018) by Kevin Larimer
3. “2018 MFA Index: A Guide to More Than 200 Programs” (September/October 2017)
Checking in with recent contributors
Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith, who wrote “Some Room to Breathe: In Praise of Quiet Books” for our May/June 2018 issue, made the longlist for this year’s Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. The shortlist will be announced in September; the winner will be named in December. The author of the winning book is awarded $10,000, and each shortlisted author receives $1,000. Check G&A: The Contest Blog (www.pw.org/blogs/prize_reporter) for the latest news.
Remembering those whose words live on
Donald Hall, who died on June 23 at the age of 89, appeared on the cover of Poets & Writers Magazine twice, in 1994 and again in 2014. After his most recent appearance, as the subject of “Turning Time Around” (November/December 2014) by John Freeman, the former U.S. poet laureate and recipient of the National Medal of Arts struck up a correspondence with editor in chief Kevin Larimer. “I have not seen the magazine in a good while, and it is damned good,” he wrote in a letter dated November 4, 2014. “It took me an hour to look through it. I like these many pieces about small presses and small press editors…. Needless to say, I like John Freeman’s piece the best. In all modesty, of course.” The 2014 profile of Donald Hall is now online at pw.org.