Support for Booksellers, ALA Cancels Annual Conference, 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.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which provides support for booksellers and bookstores facing financial hardship, has raised more than $700,000 since early March. Publishers Weekly spoke with executive director Pamela French to learn how the foundation is adapting and scaling its usual operations to support the many booksellers who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus-related store closures.  

The American Library Association has canceled its annual conference, which was scheduled to begin on June 25 in Chicago. “ALA’s priority is the health and safety of the library community,” said Wanda K. Brown, the association’s president. “As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, it’s become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we need to make tough choices.”

Our editor in chief, Kevin Larimer, and former editorial director, Mary Gannon, have been at work on the forthcoming compendium, The Poets & Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer. At the Millions, the pair share some advice for writers. 

Citing financial losses due to declining sales and postponed publication schedules, Skyhorse Publishing laid off 30 percent of its staff. (Publishers Weekly)

KGB Bar, one of New York City’s most iconic literary gathering places, is struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (Poets & Writers Magazine)

Paul Lisicky and Mark Bibbins discuss their recent books, which both address their personal experience of the AIDS crisis. (Guernica)

Lynne Tillman shares notes from a typical day of social distancing. (Literary Hub)

Poet Sally Wen Mao shares reflections from teaching in the latest installment of the Electric Literature series “Can Writing Be Taught?” 

Christos Tsiolkas recommends ten books that explore the complexities of shame. “Shame tears us apart; and shame allows for compassion and contrition.” (Guardian)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Ken Chen for his high-spirited Facebook Live dispatches, intended “to bring some joy and ridiculousness into our lives right now.” Chen is also archiving the videos at Vimeo