The 2019 Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes, Claudia Rankine on White Privilege, 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 Whiting Foundation has announced the winners of the 2019 Literary Magazine Prizes and an expanded list of awards. The prizes, which are the nation’s largest for nonprofit literary magazines, went to the Common, American Short Fiction, the Margins, Black Warrior Review, and the Offing. (Poets & Writers)

“Just do it, I told myself. Just ask a random white guy how he feels about his privilege.” Claudia Rankine describes opening up conversations about privilege and race with white male passengers while traveling on airplanes. (New York Times)

“I used to think I would go to the moon because I was told I would go to the moon by a book, titled You Will Go to the Moon.’ In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this weekend, Bruce Handy looks back on the “sheer, wide-eyed discovery” that characterized the children’s books written after the groundbreaking mission. (New Yorker)

Meanwhile, the Smithsonian recommends twelve nonfiction books with the best stories of the Apollo program

At the Kenyon Review, poet Emilia Phillips talks about recovering from cancer, finding silence, and her latest collection, Empty Clip. “The self within the body is what makes the body potentially so dangerous, and the way the body breaks down around the self is what makes the body so dangerous to the self.”

NPR pays a visit to Long Branch Free Public Library in New Jersey, the first library in the state to join the growing trend of public libraries offering the services of a social worker—as well as career counseling, tech courses, and care for the homeless.

“Ah, screw it: the short story is, with the glorious exception of poetry, absolutely the least ideal mode of expression for our distracted society because it takes a certain kind of intense concentration.” Fiction writer Peter Orner refuses to defend the form. (Paris Review)

In profiling con man Matthew Cox as he attempts to transfer his skills as a scammer into that of a true-crime writer, Rachel Monroe finds herself questioning her own journalistic and storytelling habits. “Cox was such an obliging subject—suggesting that we meet while he was still at Coleman, because the prison would provide a dramatic setting for our interview; highlighting parts of court documents he thought I’d find juicy—that I felt self-conscious about my own reporterly maneuvers, my needling questions, my hunger for pithy, revealing quotes.”(Atlantic)

And in the United Kingdom, a poet and an English professor have created Places of Poetry, an interactive digital map of England and Wales for members of the public to “pin” with poems inspired by place. (Guardian)