Rick Barot Wins Shelley Memorial Award, BookExpo and BookCon Announce Online Offerings, 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.

The Poetry Society of America has announced that Rick Barot is the recipient of the 2020 Shelley Memorial Award. In their citation, judges Katie Ford and Graham Foust wrote, “​Rick Barot’s constancy as a poet of great patience—awaiting the world’s own speaking—makes his writing decidedly rare and rewarding.” The organization also presented the 2020 Norma Farber Book Award for a first book to Zaina Alsous’s A Theory of Birds, and the 2020 William Carlos Williams Award, “for a book of poetry published by a small, nonprofit, or university press,” to Martha Collins’s Because What Else Could I Do

BookExpo and BookCon have released a schedule of online events that will be streamed via Facebook on May 26 to May 29 and May 30 to May 31, respectively. Among its suite of virtual offerings, BookExpo will host the 2020 Adult Book & Author Dinner on May 27 with guests Joy Harjo, Carmen Maria Machado, Ilhan Omar, and Rebecca Roanhorse. All events are free and open to the public. (Publishers Weekly)

“There’s a point at which the poem ends but the question still remains, and so, what do you do? You offer the poem up. You offer the book up and you make an appeal to some kind of other worldly force.” Kiki Petrosino talks to Poets & Writers Magazine about searching for the right forms in her latest collection, White Blood, and turning to spirituality to address lingering poetic questions

Launched on April 2 by the American Booksellers Association and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign came to a close on May 5. The campaign, which opened with a $500,000 pledge from James Patterson, ultimately raised $1,239,595 from more than 1,800 donors. 

“I’ve always seen my dancing and writing as one continuous line of inquiry.” Ellen O’Connell Whittet, the author of What You Become in Flight, discusses the influence of ballet on her emotional and literary development. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Gabrielle Smith highlights free or affordable online poetry events, including open mics, workshops, and slams. (Electric Literature)

“If I can take any credit, it’s for being bold enough to call up strangers and ask for their help.” Amity Gaige on researching the world of sailing for her latest novel, Sea Wife. (Millions)

“Writing this essay, these are the first two days I’ve been quiet with myself.” TC Tolbert pauses to reflect on the trauma of the pandemic. (Poetry)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Book Marks editors Dan Sheehan and Katie Yee for their ongoing video series, “This Week in Books,” hosted on the Virtual Book Channel. Check out the latest episodes to keep up with “the good news and the bad news from the week in books, the big titles everyone is talking about, the best reviewed books, adaptation news,” and more.