Stimulus Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, Timeline of the New York Times Book Review, 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.

Congress included $135 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in its latest stimulus package. The NEA, regional arts organizations, and state arts agencies will help disburse the funding across the country. “I am grateful to members of Congress and the president for recognizing the economic and societal contributions of the arts, especially given the recent devastation to the sector,” said NEA acting chairman Ann Eilers. (Publishers Weekly)

The New York Times Book Review has curated a timeline of its 125-year history. Among the highlights: In the fifties, James Baldwin and Langston Hughes reviewed each other’s work. In 1988, a group of Black writers led by June Jordan and Houston A. Baker published a tribute to Toni Morrison. The first issue to appear in color was printed in 1993.

Casey Cep of the New Yorker writes about the history of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas. She spotlights how the current owner, Danny Caine, has been standing up to Amazon, including through the publication of his popular zine “How to Resist Amazon and Why,” which he has since expanded into a book.

“At this point, I cannot explain queerness any longer in ways that don’t involve ghosts.” Michael Elias analyzes queer-coding and queerbaiting in literature and film, theorizing queerness as a form of haunting. (Catapult)

“They were two young people, proud of their bodies, in touch with their sensuality, and unafraid of sharing themselves wholly with each other.” Nuala O’Connor recalls reading James Joyce’s erotic letters to Nora Barnacle as research for her novel. (Paris Review Daily)

“Think of the absence as negative space, the inevitable presence of silence because of censorship, the dominance of silencing over what’s already difficult to articulate.” Nicholas Wong discusses his use of blank space in his latest poetry collection, Besiege Me. (Lambda Literary Review)

Searchlight Television and Westbrook Studios intend to adapt N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy for the screen. (Deadline)

The Millions highlights fives books that publish today, including Body of Stars by Laura Maylene Walter and Already Toast by Kate Washington.