Roxane Gay on MasterClass, Where to Begin Reading Toni Morrison, 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.

“If you work at it and you read a lot and you have a point of view and you start to use your voice and make it stronger, writing is well within your reach.” The Los Angeles Times interviews Roxane Gay about her new course on MasterClass.

“In everything Morrison wrote, she offered narratives that revealed the journeys of characters, specific but universal, flawed and imperfect, with a deeply American desire for freedom and adventure.” Veronica Chambers recommends where to begin reading in Toni Morrison’s oeuvre. (New York Times)

“I think the most important thing we can do to start with is to normalize that everybody is in struggle, everyone’s weary, everyone’s anxious, everyone’s having a very difficult time.” Best-selling author and podcaster Brené Brown spoke about effective leadership in her keynote for the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute. (Shelf Awareness)

“I have this energy in my head, and I can see it going from my head to my arm to my fingertips to my pen.” Sonia Sanchez shares memories and insights into her writing process. (Philadelphia)

“The first-person narrative is a machine for transforming one soul into another. Such narration preserves a crystalline moment in words like an insect in amber.” Ed Simon surveys the history of first-person narration. (Millions)

The finalists for the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards have been announced. Administered by the Horror Writers Association, the awards recognize horror writing in twelve categories. (Literary Hub)

“I wanted the book to be nonlinear, and to work the way memory works: Sometimes you’re having a lovely day and then a traumatic thought or trigger intrudes.” Randa Jarrar on finding the structure for her new memoir, Love Is an Ex-Country. (Rumpus)

Jarrar recently answered Ten Questions from Poets & Writers Magazine.

Democracy Now! revisits an archival interview with Octavia Butler from 2005.