“Surreal” Named Word of the Year, Fanny Howe on Filmmaking, 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:

In an interview with the Paris Review, poet Fanny Howe reflects on her life and work as a writer, as well as her newer venture as a short filmmaker, and the value of poetry in our current world. “Poetry is innate. You can’t not have poetry if you want to have a whole human being.”

Meanwhile, at Signature, Siri Hustvedt discusses her new essay collection, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, in which she explores various artistic and scientific disciplines in attempt to reconcile the divides between science, art, math, and literature.

On Sunday, Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji was released from his two-year prison sentence for “violating public modesty” with a chapter from his 2014 novel The Use of Life. (Los Angeles Times)

From the abrupt dismissal of Barnes & Noble CEO Ron Boire to the sale of Perseus Books, Publishers Weekly recaps the biggest publishing industry stories of 2016.

Merriam-Webster has named “surreal” its word of the year. The company noted that “surreal” lookups typically spiked following tragedies, and that the single biggest spike in lookups came “in November—specifically November 9, the day Donald Trump went from candidate to president-elect.” (Washington Post)

Over at BOMB, writers including Will Chancellor, Lindsay Hunter, and Jonathan Lethem reflect on their favorite books of the year.  

Book Riot features a list of notable under-the-radar books published in 2016 by independent presses.

Why not check out one more list? Here’s a guide to the best independent bookstores in America (Daily Beast)