The Economic Lives of Writers, the Best Sentences of 2017, 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:

The Slate Book Review rounds up the nineteen best sentences from books and pieces published in 2017.

A new report from the Arts Council in England shows that print sales of literary fiction in the United Kingdom have fallen significantly in the past decade, and that only the top thousand authors can afford to live on book sales alone. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, an Authors Guild report shows that 65 percent of literary translators earn less than $20,000 in gross annual income, with only 7 percent able to live solely on income from translation work. (Publishers Weekly)

David Bonanno, the longtime editor of American Poetry Review, died last Friday at age sixty-eight. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Literary critics and scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar have come together to release The Annotated African American Folktales, which includes tales from both Africa and America. (New York Times)

Caleb Green, a four-year-old boy in Chicago, read a hundred different books on Saturday on Facebook Live saying, “I like to read and I want to read more like my sister.” (ABC News)

“The poem is a timeless place where you can go into the spaces that you may not be able to socially or emotionally.” Prageeta Sharma talks about writing poems after the death of her husband, rethinking the avant-garde, and teaching in Montana. (Creative Independent)

HarperCollins will release a previously unpublished book by Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” in May. (Essence)

“It won’t hurt poetry (any worse than it’s already hurting) if for a few years a coterie of readers find their thoughts and feelings reflected back at them in verse form.” Carl Wilson offers a critique of Rupi Kaur and other Instagram poets. (New York Times)