The Dancers Who Influence Zadie Smith, National Authors Day, 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:

Happy National Authors Day! In 1949, The United States Department of Commerce recognized November 1 as a day to honor American writers. Celebrate by reading your favorite authors, and follow #NationalAuthorsDay on social media for news and more information. (

On the occasion of the publication of her new novel Swing Time, fiction writer Zadie Smith considers the dancers that have influenced her writing, including Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Beyoncé. (Guardian)

“I don’t know why, but I always believed in things I couldn’t see, in a God that has no name, and preferred the outdoors to the indoors.” Poet Fanny Howe discusses religion, her childhood, raising a mixed-race family, the lines between poetry and fiction, and her new collection of essays, The Needle’s Eye: Passing Through Youth, out today from Graywolf. Listen to Howe read an excerpt from the book, featured in the Page One section of the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. (Literary Hub)

At the Ploughshares blog, Emily Smith considers various representations of witches as bodily translations of fear in literature.

Stephen King has written a children’s book under the pseudonym Beryl Evans called Charlie the Choo-Choo. (Guardian)

Brooklyn, New York–based poet Fury Young discusses his debut poetry collection, Meat & Milk (Lit Riot Press), as well as his day job as a carpenter, and how writing poetry keeps him sane. (Interview)

In the New York Times Style section, Man Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James gives a tour of his Minneapolis loft.

Natalie Babbitt, author of the popular children’s book Tuck Everlasting, has died at age eighty-four. (New York Daily News)