Resources for Artists and Booksellers During the Coronavirus Outbreak, Poetry and Crosswords, and More


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.

Alexandra Alter reports on how the outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting the book business, from canceled book fairs and book tours to closed bookstores. (New York Times)

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, three major bookstores—McNally Jackson in New York City, Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., and Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon—have together laid off more than six hundred employees. (Publishers Weekly)

By offering services such as curbside delivery and online book clubs, indie bookstores around the country are hustling to stay afloat as business has plummeted. (Washington Post)

Kickstarter has compiled a list of resources for artists during the coronavirus pandemic. The American Booksellers Association has compiled a set of recommended steps and resources for booksellers.

“For writers, as the tentacles of the coronavirus unfurl each day, everything is copy. But what happens when every writer on the planet starts taking notes on the same subject?” Sloane Crosley on whether now is the time to be writing a novel about the coronavirus. (New York Times)

Adrienne Raphel considers the long tradition of “poet-crossworders,” including Fatimah Asghar, W. H. Auden, and Alice Notley. Raphel’s book Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures With Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them came out yesterday from Penguin Press. (Literary Hub)

Amazon banned the sale of most editions of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, but then reversed its decision. (New York Times)

Ann Patchett profiles Reese Witherspoon and her many literary endeavors. These include the actress and producer’s book club, which is “something of a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket for a number of books,” and her screen adaptations of contemporary books. Witherspoon and Kerry Washington released the first episodes of their adaptation of Celeste Ng’s novel Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu yesterday.