The Healing Properties of Poetry, New Online Platform for Book Clubs, 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.

New York Times columnist Jane E. Brody writes about the value of poetry to personal health. “Poetry can serve as a vaccine for the soul,” psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal tells her. Rosenthal frequently uses poetry as a therapeutic tool and recently wrote PoetryRx: How 50 Inspiring Poems Can Heal and Bring Joy to Your Life.

Publishers Weekly highlights a new online platform for book clubs: Fable. The app enables users to create and moderate their own book clubs, while also offering a series of clubs moderated by well-known authors and public figures.

Poetry East is celebrating its fortieth anniversary and the publication of its hundredth issue. The DePaul University–based journal is holding a virtual event with the Chicago Public Library on April 21 to mark the occasion. “To be able to have the opportunity and support to champion poets and poetry is pretty rare,” editor Richard Jones told DePaul University Newsline. “It’s an unexpected delight that I never would have predicted forty years ago.”

Kemi Alabi has won the Academy of American Poets First Book Award, which includes $5,000, publication by Graywolf Press, and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy. Their winning manuscript, “Against Heaven,” is slated for publication in April 2022 and will be distributed to thousands of academy members. (Publishers Weekly)

“Family life is built upon such a framework of running jokes, old resentments, and personal stubbornness that it’s illegible, at least at first, to anyone new.” Elizabeth McCracken discusses mapping the complexities of married life in her short story “The Irish Wedding.” (Atlantic)

“Sometimes, often, one line, some throwaway aside would turn out to be the essay I should’ve written in the first place.” Lauren Hough, author of Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing, talks shame, reconciliation, and privacy. (BOMB)

The Los Angeles Times interviews five local poets about their creative journeys and the pandemic.

Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, shares her pop culture influences, including books, music, and television. (Entertainment Weekly)