Showtime Adapts Jonathan Franzen’s Purity, Jane Austen’s Reality Stars, 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:

Showtime has picked up a twenty-episode drama series based on Jonathan Franzen’s 2015 novel, Purity. Daniel Craig will star and serve as an executive producer alongside Franzen and several others. Production begins next year; no release date has been set. (Variety)

Undergraduate students at Yale University have launched a petition against the requirement of an English course that focuses on “Major English Poets,” because the assigned poets—including Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Milton—are all white males. The students wish to refocus and “decolonize” the course to include “literatures relating to gender, race, sexuality, ableism, and ethnicity.” (Guardian)

June marks the beginning of LGBT Pride Month. Celebrate LGBTQ history and pride with a sampling of LGBTQ poetry, prose, audio, and video, provided by the Academy of American Poets. (

“Where are we going, Walt Whitman? / Which way does your beard point tonight?” Find out with this illustrated guide to Allen Ginsberg’s poetic ode to Walt Whitman, “A Supermarket in California.” (Signature

The reality television stars of today resemble heroines from Jane Austen’s novels: “[Austen’s] writing focuses almost entirely on women searching for stability and status, deploying the very limited means available to them. Deprived of intellectual gratification or professional empowerment, they scheme, manipulate, and get bogged down in petty rivalries with each other. Their ultimate endgame is marriage, described by Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice as the ‘pleasantest preservation from want.’” (Atlantic)

The Do Space technology library in Omaha, Nebraska, has no books, but it provides the public with free access to high-end technology, including computers loaded with business and creative software, laser cutters, and 3-D printers.  (NPR)

“In the imposed rhythm of the day, there wasn’t the time to step back and appraise my ideas, to delete paragraphs, to question my identity.” A writer reflects on his life at an artist’s residency. (Guernica