Remembering W. S. Merwin, Laurie Halse Anderson on Speaking Out, 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.

“I stand eating the black cherries / from loaded branches above me / saying to myself Remember this.” W. S. Merwin—former U.S. poet laureate, Pulitzer Prize–winner, and one of the most prolific poets of his generation—has died at age ninety-one. The New Yorker remembers the “transcribed prophecy” of Merwin’s writing, while the New York Times outlines the poet’s journey from writing hymns for his father’s Presbyterian congregation to studying Zen Buddhism in Hawai’i.

At NPR, Laurie Halse Anderson talks about her new memoir, Shout, and the challenge of speaking out about sexual abuse. “That’s why we turn to stories—to look for models of how to do things.”

“Reading is knowledge, but writing is power. For the historically disempowered—young people in general—if they learn to express themselves effectively they can write themselves into positions of influence.” Dave Eggers on the leadership of the next generation and his new novel, The Parade. (Guardian)

Apple is set to adapt Min Jin Lee’s best-selling novel Pachinko as a drama series. Lee will serve as an executive producer alongside showrunner Soo Hugh and former HBO executive Michael Ellenberg. (Vulture)

“Cooperate with one another or die.” As planetary conditions worsen, the mandate of travel writers has changed. (Atlantic)

At Words Without Borders, poet and translator Ricardo Alberto Maldonado discusses erosion and resilience in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Reading great literature makes us beautiful and wise, but reading campaign memoirs makes us something even better—informed citizens.” Jake Bittle embarks on reading the recent books of the 2020 Democratic candidates, from Elizabeth Warren’s This Fight Is Our Fight to Amy Klobuchar’s The Senator Next Door. (Baffler)

“And somebody has to say that we / never need to grow forever.” At last year’s Universe in Verse, Amanda Palmer read her husband Neil Gaiman’s tribute to “poet laureate of science” Rachel Carson. The annual event, a celebration of science through poetry, is held each spring at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, New York. (Brain Pickings)