Remembering Amiri Baraka, Disappointment and the Art of Rejection, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

New Jersey’s Star-Ledger reported that former New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka died yesterday at age seventy-nine.

In the Washington Post, Matt Schudel discusses the life, storied career, and polarizing work of Amiri Baraka.

Eloise Klein Healy, the first appointed poet laureate of Los Angeles, has resigned from her position to focus on her recovery from viral encephalitis. (Los Angeles Times)

Sales of Barnes & Noble’s Nook fell 60.5 percent over the nine-week holiday season; the bookstore giant’s retail sales dropped 6.6 percent. (Publishers Weekly)

In an effort to protect small businesses, the French government has approved a bill that would ban Amazon and other online retailers from offering free delivery. (Shelf Awareness)

BuzzFeed lists sixteen books to read before film adaptations hit theaters this year, including Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Memoirist and former child soldier Ishmael Beah spoke with NPR’s Renee Montagne about his first novel Radiance of Tomorrow.

On Graywolf’s blog, editor Jeff Shotts discusses the challenges of his job and the lamentable art of rejection: “The first thing to be said is: by practicing this art, you will disappoint, can only disappoint, you will always always disappoint.”