The Fine Arts Work Center Responds to Call to Action, CLMP Firecracker Awards Finalists, 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.

The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown has published a response to the open letter from fellows and other constituents, which called out the organization for its failure to support people of color and issued several demands for structural reform. In their response, the FAWC offers an apology to fellows, student, and staff, and commits to several immediate actions, including establishing an Anti-Racist Working Group, improving the diversity of its board, and creating an advisory body of former fellows. 

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses has announced the finalists for its sixth annual Firecracker Awards, which honor literary magazines and independent press books. Nine books are shortlisted for the fiction prize, ten for nonfiction, and six for poetry. Three magazines are up for the award for best debut, and eleven magazines will be considered in the category for general excellence. 

Dali Adekunle criticizes those that glorify and applaud essential workers, while failing to provide them with material protections. The language used to describe frontline workers reminds her of an infamous racist cinematic trope: “The Magical Negros of cinematic lore, those black sacrificial super-humans appropriated for the advancement of white people, have emerged as our essential workers.” (Electric Literature)

“I was searching for reflections of myself, but I didn’t know what that looked like yet.” Genevieve Hudson, the author of Boys of Alabama, recalls the moment they first found queer community. (O, the Oprah Magazine)

Catherine Taylor talks to Jacques Testard, the founder of Fitzcarraldo Editions, as the award-winning press approaches its sixth birthday. “I think we’re still very much in our launch phase,” Testard says. “Six years in the life of a publishing house is nothing.” (

“I do trade big, juicy emails with some people in my life, but receiving them isn’t quite the same as slitting open a letter, taking it to a big chair and settling in for the twenty minutes it takes to devour it.” Dwight Garner laments the rarity of handwritten correspondence, and revisits his favorite literary letters. (New York Times)

“Threshole: noun. A point of cross-over, portage, or a violent passing through.” Lara Mimosa Montes discusses the title of her new poetry collection, Thresholes, and explains her interest in the uncanny. (BOMB)

Knopf has acquired a new novel from Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro. Titled Klara and the Sun, the novel will be published in March 2021. (Publishers Weekly)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Indie Shindig, a new virtual program organized by six independent publishers to help each other promote new titles to booksellers. Running June 22 through September 28, Indie Shindig events will take place every Monday, with the inaugural event titled “In Solidarity: Black Voices Matter.” Every week, the participating publishers will also split a donation of $10 to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation per bookseller attendee. (Publishers Weekly)