Simon & Schuster Announces It Will Not Distribute Book by Officer Who Shot Breonna Taylor, London Book Fair Goes Virtual, 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.

Simon & Schuster announced late yesterday that it will not distribute a forthcoming book by Jonathan Mattingly, one of the police officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor in March last year. Mattingly fired at least one of the six bullets that struck Taylor on the night of the raid. Hours before this announcement, Simon & Schuster had stated it had no editorial control over the book because it was only serving as the distributor for the acquiring publisher, Post Hill Press. The news about the book and Simon & Schuster’s affiliation with the project drew widespread criticism from across the literary community. (New York Times)

The organizers behind the London Book Fair have announced that this year’s events will be held exclusively online. “With the continued uncertainty around international travel and vaccination rollouts, it has become apparent that an in-person fair for 2021 would not be able to offer the full value to participants that we want to deliver,” said director Andy Ventris. Events are scheduled for the beginning and end of June. (Publishers Weekly)

The Central Avenue Publishing anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 has generated $20,000 in profits to date, which will be donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. The Independent Publishers Group, which is distributing the anthology, has pledged an additional $20,000 donation. (Shelf Awareness)

“The 1918 flu pandemic was the first in which libraries were central to disseminating public health information.” Julia Skinner writes about how libraries evolved during the 1918 influenza pandemic. (JSTOR Daily)

“I’m in constant awe at the inventiveness of book artists and bookmakers. I love seeing stunning juxtapositions of materials and text.” Library director Sarah Kortemeier spotlights a selection of artist’s books from the collection at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

The New York Institute for the Humanities has announced a new partnership with the New York Public Library Center for Research in the Humanities. The organization will move its administrative offices from New York University to the library offices at 445 Fifth Avenue.

The shortlist has been announced for the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, which honors outstanding literary translations from German into English. Administered by the Goethe-Institut, New York, the prize confers $10,000 to the winning translator. (Publishers Weekly)

The official trailer has been released for Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Amazon Prime Video will release the complete limited series on May 14. (Deadline)