Roxane Gay Launches Online Magazine, Asian American Penguin Classics, 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.

“We will respect our readers’ time and intelligence. We will challenge our readers and ourselves. We will have fun.” Roxane Gay has launched Gay Magazine, an online publishing platform that will feature writing about culture, politics, and more. And yes, they are accepting submissions.

To coincide with Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Penguin Classics will add four novels by Asian American writers to its line this May. The Hanging on Union Square by H. T. Tsiang, East Goes West by Younghill Kang, No-No Boy by John Okada, and America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan will each be published with an introduction by a contemporary Asian American author, including Alexander Chee and Elaine Castillo. (Publishers Weekly)

Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh has resigned in the wake of the scandal surrounding her self-published children’s books. Pugh is under investigation for receiving roughly $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System, where she was a board member until March, for copies of her Healthy Holly books. (NPR)

This year’s PEN World Voices Festival kicks off on Monday. The festival’s lineup features more than two hundred writers and intellectuals, including Jennifer Egan, Masha Gessen, Marlon James, and Arundhati Roy. (New York Times)

“The meaning of a book is to awaken you, to make you feel alive, to make you open your eyes and look at human beings differently.” Novelist Leïla Slimani joins Hanya Yanagihara, Bret Easton Ellis, and other writers in sharing the purpose of their novels’ shock value. (Guardian)

At the Margins, Kazim Ali pays tribute to the poet, novelist, and critic Meena Alexander for tackling “that terrifying condition of the human heart in the most universal of terms.”

“You will find yourself in a poem and you will feel a connection to it that’s more beautiful than you can imagine.” Minnesota high school senior Isabella Callery on winning the 2019 Poetry Out Loud National Championship.

Last year filmmaker and comedian Woody Allen pitched a memoir to publishing houses and was met with disinterest; many publishers said it would be “toxic" to work with him. The New York Times estimates that before the #MeToo movement Allen’s memoir would have instigated a six- or seven-figure bidding war.