Reading Other Women, Sound and Syntax, 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:

“Literature can be a primary engine of dialogue and empathy, yet it is often complicit in silencing women of color.” Writer Rafia Zakaria is launching a new article series at the Boston Review called Reading Other Women. In her introduction to the series, Zakaria says the “aim is to model a far more idiosyncratic way of reading as self-making, in which women of color can seek and find texts by other women that triangulate their own identities back to them.”

Ahead of the October 7 film adaptation release of The Girl on the Train, a piece at the New York Times looks at the fast and monumental success of the novel by Paula Hawkins.

BOMB features an interview with poet Lewis Freedman about his forthcoming book, Residual Synonyms for the Name of God, an investigation of how language proliferates from inherited religious structures. “It’s a book of residual synonyms for the divine name. Because the name of God in rabbinic literature is both an unsayable name and a central force within religious life there’s a constant elaboration of its naming.”  

PEN America has appointed five new members to its board of trustees, including Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle, BuzzFeed deputy editor of culture Saeed Jones, and Hanya Yanagihara, author of the acclaimed novel A Little Life. (GalleyCat)

“What kind of person denies our youth any kind of literature that increases openness and tolerance?” In honor of Banned Books Week, fiction writer I. W. Gregorio recalls the experience of having her debut novel, None of the Above, challenged during its release year, as well as the power of books to change lives. (Publishers Weekly

Nonfiction writer Mary Karr, author most recently of The Art of Memoir, talks with NPR about the challenges of the memoir writing process and the faults of memory.

Meanwhile, at the Best American Poetry blog, National Book Award–winning poet Terrance Hayes explores the connections between poetry and sound, sense, and syntax—the feeling that “something beyond words [is] being communicated in the bones of poems.”