Seamus Heaney Center Opens to Public, Trayvon Martin’s Parents to Publish Memoir, 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:

Tomorrow, the Seamus Heaney HomePlace will open to the public in the Nobel Laureate’s hometown of Bellaghy, Ireland. The literary and arts center is a permanent exhibition honoring the poet’s life and work. The center is currently collecting stories from people who knew Heaney, for an archive titled “My Seamus Heaney Story.” (Irish Times)

On January 31, 2017, three weeks prior to the fifth anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s killing, Random House’s One World imprint will release a memoir written by Martin’s parents. One World editor Christopher Jackson says the book—titled Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin—“brings Trayvon back to life as the full, three-dimensional, complex kid he was…and then to the dark and confusing days following his death, which slowly transform into the blossoming of a powerful, historic movement for change and healing that we’re still watching unfold five years later.”

The National Book Foundation has announced its 2016 5 Under 35 honorees. This year’s winners are Brit Bennett, Yaa Gyasi, Greg Jackson, S. Li, and Thomas Pierce. The annual $1,000 awards are given to debut fiction writers under the age of 35 “whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.” Check out the Grants & Awards Blog for details.

President Barack Obama has officially proclaimed October 2016 as National Arts and Humanities Month. “Be it through the pen of a poet, the voice of a singer, or the canvas of a painter, let us continue to harness the unparalleled ways the arts and humanities bring people together.” (

At Bookforum, fiction writer Alexandra Kleeman discusses her new story collection, Intimations, the connections between literature and dreams, and why she gravitates towards stories of fear. “I like menace, dread, and fear because they’re all feelings that involve a heightened sensitivity to your surroundings.”

In honor of Banned Books Week, which ends October 1, test your knowledge of banned and challenged books with this quiz from the New York Public Library.

Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Paula Hawkins, and Liane Moriarty are among the Hollywood Reporter’s 2016 list of “Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors,” which the publication also refers to as “the industry’s most sought-after word nerds.” Ahem.