Remembering John Lewis, Reading Poetry in Crisis, 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.

Publishers Weekly pays tribute to civil rights leader John Lewis, who died on July 17 at age eighty. In addition to his legendary activism as a citizen and congressman, Lewis authored a three-part graphic memoir series, March. He won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for the final installment in 2016. 

“Why am I always drawn to poetry, even in times when more pressing headlines should capture my attention?” Nilo Tabrizy revisits the work of thirteenth-century Persian poet Hafez and reflects on the role of poetry in times of crisis. (Guernica)

Port Magazine founders Dan Crowe and Matt Willey are at work on a new annual literary magazine, INQUE, which will “tap into an unprecedented explosion of extraordinary global writing.” The Bookseller reports that the first issue will feature work by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ben Lerner, and Ocean Vuong, among others. 

“I spent five years engaged in this fictional pandemic and now I’ve kind of emerged, blinking into the light, into a real one.” Lauren Beukes compares her new pandemic novel, Afterland, with the realities of COVID-19. (Electric Literature)

“Online lives can be deeply fulfilling, assuaging loneliness and fostering new communities. But when we depend too much on them, things can go awry.” Margot Harrison reflects on her interest in writing cyber horror. (New York Times)

Netflix has acquired the rights to adapt Rumaan Alam’s forthcoming novel, Leave the World Behind. Sam Esmail will write and direct the feature film, with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington cast in lead roles. (Entertainment Weekly)

“I may have thought that plenty of the plotting was preposterous, but I still wanted to stay with it until the end.” Sam Jordison embraces the excess of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and revisits the celebrated author’s own critiques of her debut novel. (Guardian)

Paperback Paris highlights eighteen new and forthcoming books in translation.