The 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Finalists, Crowdsourced Poetry, 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.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation has announced the twelve finalists for its annual fiction and nonfiction awards, which honor books published or translated into English the previous year that “promote peace and reconciliation.” The finalists for the 2019 fiction prize include Richard Powers for The Overstory and Tommy Orange for There There; nonfiction finalists include Tara Westover for Educated and Wil Haygood for Tigerland. The winners, who will each receive $10,000, will be announced at an awards ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 3.

“I am from black cows, / tacos, bicycles, and / The gentle lure of crickets.” Poet Kwame Alexander has compiled a collective poem of memories of home, crowdsourced from 1,400 NPR listeners.

In New Jersey, Princeton University has named Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri the new director of the university’s creative writing program. Lahiri succeeds poet Tracy K. Smith.

At age ten, Marley Dias couldn’t see herself in the “classic books” she was assigned to read at school, so she launched a campaign to collect and distribute children’s books with Black girl protagonists. Since then, Dias has collected more than twelve thousand books, visited the White House, and written her own book for the young activist girl, Marley Dias Gets it Done: And So Can You! She’s celebrated her fourteenth birthday, too. (Guardian)

From smoothie recipes to salt baths, well-being coach Franziska Eichler offers tips for how to stay healthy while leading a creative life. (Creative Independent)

The stories of Dr. Seuss are off the page and about to tour North America. Entertainment company Kilburn Live and Dr. Seuss Enterprises have reinterpreted the author’s children’s books as “The Dr. Seuss Experience,” a fifteen-thousand-square-foot interactive space complete with a carousel and a balloon-filled maze. (People)

Bookseller Richard Booth, who transformed the small Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye into a secondhand book shopper’s paradise with his collection of more than a million titles, has died at age eighty. (New York Times)

“In the moment of the creative act, I am suddenly only aware of the immediate, immortal now—and that in itself is a kind of freedom.” Poet and performer Janaka Stucky talks to BOMB about art as a mystical experience, transcending language, and his new collection, Ascend Ascend.