Robots Write Poetry, Michelle Obama Wins a Grammy for Becoming, 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.

Dennis Tang analyzes versions of famous poems—a Shakespearean sonnet, Sylvia Plath’s “Edge,” Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”—generated by an artificial intelligence language program. He argues that although machines are getting better at approximating the structure of human speech and writing, writing meaningful poetry will likely remain out of reach. (Literary Hub) 

Michelle Obama has won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for the audiobook version of her recent best-selling memoir, Becoming. (Vogue)

Geoff Shandler has left his position as editorial director at William Morrow’s Custom House imprint. Peter Hubbard and Kate Nintzel have been tapped to take his place; Hubbard has been promoted to vice president and editorial director, and Nintzel to executive editor. (Publishers Weekly)

“Everything I’ve ever written, even depictions of the most extreme situations—ones that might seem far from my experience—began with something I knew, if only a dream recalled in the morning.” David Rabe on the origins of his story “Things We Worried About When I Was Ten,” which appears in this week’s New Yorker.

Lambda Literary speaks with Patrick Grace, the managing editor of Plenitude, about the Canadian magazine’s history and its focus on queer and trans literature

Tochi Onyebuchi discusses the structure of his most recent work, Riot Baby, and the rich possibilities of the novella form. (NPR)

Emma Copley Eisenberg recommends fourteen books that deal “carefully and unforgettably” with Appalachia. (Rumpus)

Chani Nicholas considers the link between astrology and storytelling, and how she found her feet as a writer. (Creative Independent)