Stanley Plumly Has Died, Translating Emily Dickinson, 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.

Poet Stanley Plumly died last week of complications from multiple myeloma. A University of Maryland professor who served as the state’s poet laureate for nine years, Plumly published numerous books of poetry, which often drew upon nature, memory, and his roots in rural Ohio, as well as several books of nonfiction. He was seventy-nine. (Washington Post)

“To speak through another always sets us down in a place of no return, a place of exile, translation’s natural habitat. However, precisely because it is a place of exile, translation allows for the confluence of several voices. And suddenly, sometimes, the almost-miracle occurs.” At the Paris Review, Portuguese translator Ana Luisa Amaral writes about the challenge of translating Emily Dickinson.

Since changing the literary landscape with her bestelling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, E. L. James is trying her hand at something new—sort of. Alexandra Alter profiles James on the release of her new novel, The Mister, which Alter calls “a porny mash-up of Cinderella and Downton Abbey.” (New York Times)

“Poetry has become a kind prayer and meditation that lets me commune with the divine universe and connect to my higher self. The act of creating is an act of faith in one’s self and in the mystery of life itself.” Richard Blanco talks poetry, faith, politics, and his new collection, How to Love a Country. (Poets & Writers)

When Julian Assange was arrested in London last week, photos captured the WikiLeaks founder clutching a copy of Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State. Rosa Lyster explores the history of celebrities wielding books to send a message. (New Yorker)

“I think weirdness is where you get into why we differ, person to person.” Sarah Blake talks to NPR about writing weirdness in her new novel, Naamah, a retelling of the story of Noah’s ark from the perspective of Noah’s wife.

Netflix is on a book-buying spree, having acquired rights to dozens of novels, story collections, and series over the past year. Publishers Weekly looks at the new horizon of literary adaptations for streaming TV, and what it means for authors.

“You go find art. You consume it, and you create a picture of the world to help you understand it. It’s not about me as an artist telling anybody anything. It’s just up to me to make the world, to create the world and place as accurately as I can.” Percival Everett discusses his new book, a mock training manual for slave-breaking. (Rumpus)