Remembering Charles R. Saunders, Witnessing Amanda Gorman, 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.

Friends of the writer Charles R. Saunders, who died at age seventy-three in May, gathered for a memorial this past weekend. The group recently raised funds for a headstone and monument for the author, seeking to pay homage to Saunders and his groundbreaking, but overlooked, works of Black speculative fiction. “Charles gave us that fictional hero that looked like us and existed in a world based on our origins,” said writer Milton J. Davis, who hosted the memorial. (New York Times)

“It is no secret what poetry can do. What Black poetry can do.” Ashley M. Jones recalls the joy of watching Amanda Gorman deliver her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the presidential inauguration. (CNN)

Meanwhile, Viking Books for Young Readers has announced plans to publish Gorman’s debut poetry collection, The Hill We Climb, titled after her inaugural poem. (Publishers Weekly)

In an unusual volume, Virginia Woolf and other authors shared their opinion on who might be “the greatest poet who ever lived” and other matters. The book, with Woolf’s handwritten responses, sold at auction for £21,000. (BBC)

“I want to be warm and safe but perched at the precarious edge of possibility, ready to leap into adventure though I never actually will.” Amber Sparks writes in praise of liminal spaces. (Electric Literature)

“That is the benefit of unfinished novels. Reading them, we learn how best to situate ourselves in an unfinished world.” Matthew Redmond recommends reading unfinished novels. (Literary Hub)

Anthony Doerr has a new novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, forthcoming from Scribner in September. Entertainment Weekly has revealed the cover and published a brief excerpt.

Tara Anand and Anshika Bajpai revise classic book titles for the pandemic era: The Merchant of Venice is now The Merchant of Vaccines. (New Yorker)