Rona Jaffe Award Winners, Contemporary African Women Poets, 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:

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced the six winners of its 2017 Writers’ Awards, given annually to emerging women poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The winners are Ama Codjoe, Dominica Phetteplace, Ebony Flowers, Shawna Kay Rodenberg, Aamina Ahmad, and Tiana Nobile. They each receive $30,000.

At World Literature Today, poet Matthew Shenoda, one of the founders of the African Poetry Book Fund, highlights the work of several contemporary African women poets, including Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Aracelis Girmay, Ladan Osman, and others.

Meanwhile, a new documentary on playwright Lorraine Hansberry, whose iconic play A Raisin in the Sun was the first play by an African American woman to appear on Broadway, will premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival this fall. (Playbill)

PEN Center USA has pulled YA novelist John Smelcer’s nomination for a PEN Literary Award after controversial details emerged about his past, including fabrication of a literary agent and a blurb from Norman Mailer, convictions of second-degree forgery, and questionable claims of Alaskan Native heritage. (Stranger)

Alexandra Clancy, widow of late novelist Tom Clancy, has sued the personal representative of the author’s estate over the rights to the Jack Ryan character, who first appeared in Clancy’s 1984 novel Hunt. (Hollywood Reporter)

At the New Yorker, Miranda July discusses her story “The Metal Bowl,” which appears in this week’s issue of the magazine, as well as what draws her into a story and what short stories should do. “I’m often drawn in by a description of a woman thinking something familiar that’s never been articulated before…. I suppose that I think a short story should be a little startling, have some kind of revelation in it.”

“A tormented genius, like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse, consumed by the flame of his creative passion.” Lara Marlowe considers the legacy and influence on French culture of poet Charles Baudelaire, who died a hundred and fifty years ago this week. (Irish Times)