The Evolution of Bibliographies for Fiction, Mensah Demary Stewards Soft Skull Press, and More

by Staff
4.30.21

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.

“Like many systems that appear meticulous, the writing of citations is a subjective art. Never more so than in fiction, where citation is an entirely other kind of animal, not required or even expected.” Sophie Haigney writes about the evolving use of bibliographies in fiction and her fascination with mapping out sources. (Drift)

“I’m personally spending time with the backlist to help myself plan on how to do my own thing with Soft Skull, in my own way, to define what is a ‘Soft Skull book’ or put my spin on the Soft Skull sensibility.” Mensah Demary reflects on taking the helm as the new editor in chief of Soft Skull Press. (Don’t Write Alone)

Ron Charles observes the overdue “sea change in publishers’ interest in their authors’ behavior,” citing W. W. Norton’s decision to put Blake Bailey’s books out of print after allegations of sexual assault against the author were made public. “Pretending that a book floats in a vacuum is the privilege of people protected from discrimination, erasure and assault.” (Washington Post)

“I look ridiculous, I bet, but I don’t think about that while I’m swimming. When I’m swimming I’m swimming. When I’m writing I’m writing.” Elizabeth McCracken finds writing wisdom at the swimming pool. (Literary Hub)

A new joint task force of writer associations, including the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, is calling on the Walt Disney Company to honor its contracts with authors. The corporation has been under heightened scrutiny since last year when Alan Dean Foster reported missing royalty payments, spurring other authors to report the same issue. (Publishers Weekly)

In a new episode of the podcast Women Who Travel, publishing executives Jynne Dilling Martin and Lisa Lucas help compile “the ultimate summer reading list of books written by women.” (Condé Nast Traveler)

The New York Times offers advice on where to buy books, outlining the pros and cons of independent bookstores, big-box stores, and online retailers.

Orion poetry editor Camille T. Dungy and fellow poets recommend outstanding collections, including The Carrying by Ada Limón and Habitat Threshold by Craig Santos Perez.