T. S. Eliot Prizewinner, a New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and More


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.

Roger Robinson has won the 2019 T. S. Eliot Prize for A Portable Paradise, which was published by Peepal Tree Press in July last year. John Burnside, the chair of this year’s judging panel, notes the collection “finds in the bitterness of everyday experience continuing evidence of ‘sweet, sweet life.’” Established in 1993, the annual £25,000 award honors the best new poetry collection published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

The Library of Congress has selected Jason Reynolds to serve as the next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He is the seventh person to hold the position and will succeed Jacqueline Woodson, who began her term in 2018. He plans to focus on outreach to young readers in rural America: “I have plenty of colleagues who are terrified or uninterested in going to those places, but if we love children, you can’t only love the ones who are convenient.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Because I have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and because in the Muscogee way all of the children we come into contact with are all our children, I have to do what I can to help make a place for sunrise.” Joy Harjo talks to the Washington Post about her experience as U.S. poet laureate and the crises of our era.  

At Publishers Weekly, Allison Hill shares her vision for the American Booksellers Association. She will be assuming the role of CEO in March, succeeding Oren Teicher, who retired in November last year. 

Literary Hub presents a list of 282 of the most anticipated books publishing in 2020. “Get going—this is going to take a while.”

The Guardian catches up with the women writers who are challenging gender bias in the espionage fiction industry

Vikram Paralkar talks about his latest book, Night Theater, and its imagining of an afterlife, “in which the very things we seek to escape (bureaucracy, drudgery) are heightened and ubiquitous.” (Electric Literature)

“The characters who were let go were not beloved. That’s why they had to go.” Neda Disney shares the origins of her debut work of fiction, Planting Wolves. (Los Angeles Review of Books)