Read Across America Day, Writing a Memoir While Grieving, and More


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

Today is the twenty-first annual National Read Across America Day, which honors the birthday of the late Dr. Seuss and his influence on young readers across the country. (USA Today, National Endowment for the Arts)

Celebrate the day with this map of the most popular book in every state. (Hello Giggles)

“I often wonder if I would have become a storyteller if not for adoption. On the one hand, that is in my genes: my birth father is a writer. Yet I do think it was partly feeling like an outsider—not just in my white family, but in the place where I grew up—that first made me look for a way to express who I was while searching for other worlds to escape to.” Writer and editor Nicole Chung reflects on adoption, grief, and writing her forthcoming memoir, All You Can Ever Know, knowing her late father will never get to read it. (Longreads)

“But to what extent is black art responsible to the broader mission of black liberation and the pursuit of social change?” Clint Smith considers what W. E. B. Du Bois might think of the success of the Black Panther film and the role of black art in America. (Paris Review)

For more from Clint Smith, listen to him read from his profile of Kevin Young, published in the November/December 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, in Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

French-based nonprofit Les Amis de la Maison Baldwin has announced poet and essayist Justin Phillip Reed as the winner of its inaugural writer-in-residence program, created to honor the thirtieth anniversary of the death of James Baldwin. Reed, selected by Cornelius Eady, will spend a month writing in the village of St. Paul de Vence, France.

Ko Un, a celebrated South Korean poet often favored for the Nobel Prize in Literature, has been accused of sexual harassment by poet Choi Young-mi. The eighty-four-year-old Un has denied the allegations, but his poems are now being removed from textbooks, and the Seoul library named for him has been shut down. (Guardian)