The Dreams and Dirges of 1080press, Making Lemonade From Literature’s Lemons, and More

by Staff

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.

“Perhaps it is time for fiction authors to educate ourselves, and learn how to radically and authentically represent the non-human voice on the page.” Children’s author Piers Torday responds to a study published in People and Nature that suggests that fewer animals are making cameos in fiction, a reflection of ebbing ties to the natural world. “I am not sure that public-domain books only, written in English only, from a western canon only, are fully representative of the rich and increasingly human diverse fictional world today. But the decline in actual biodiversity is terrifyingly real.” (Guardian)

For the New York Times, Amy Rowland reviews new works of Southern fiction, including the story collection We Imagined It Was Rain by Andrew Siegrist and Percival Everett’s latest novel, The Trees.

“Maybe that’s why Rea’s voice stayed with me—because it could cut through the homophobic Greek chorus that was always singing in the back of my head.” In an excerpt from his new book, Between Certain Death and a Possible Future, Hugh Ryan remembers the health care worker who taught him to care for himself. (Bomb)

“I’m hyper-aware that changing these texts—so ingrained in the cultural consciousness—implicitly changes the message. People have preconceived notions of how the story should play out, so any change is surprising and, perhaps, a violence to one’s idea of how things should be. There’s a lot of nostalgia, the dangerous kind, at play here.” A. A. Balaskovits describes the thrall of fairy tales and the power of revising them in her story collection Strange Folk You’ll Never Meet. (Rumpus)

Maxwell Paparella charts the first year of the poetry chapbook publisher 1080press and considers the volumes it has released, “full of dreams and dirges.” (Broadcast)

Vivian Manning-Schaffel recalls the soap operas that helped her mother, an immigrant, learn English and rejects the notion of guilty pleasures. “Of course, the idea of taste is completely subjective—one person’s idea of class is another person’s idea of trash. The invisible fence that divides highbrow and lowbrow is largely imposed by money, those we admire, and our own social conditioning.” (Catapult)

“With her little brown bag of limes, Amy March is on top of the world. Revisiting this scene made me wonder: have lemons and limes always been cherished?” For Literary Hub, Jean Huang surveys citrus in literature, from the coveted limes in Little Women to Professor Dumbledore’s favorite candy, the lemon drop.