The Intimacy of Translation, Writing the African Diaspora, and More


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.

At Guernica, Crystal Hana Kim expresses the complicated pains and disappointments of experiencing a language barrier with her own family members, and shares what has changed for her since talking to her mother about poetry and even translating some of her grandmother’s poems. She describes finding a silver lining to linguistic boundaries: “There will always be much lost in the gaps, where one tongue does not transfer cleanly to another, but that loss can be valuable; it can help us work harder to understand one another.”  

Bernardine Evaristo talks to the New York Times about Girl, Woman, Other, which was recently awarded the Booker Prize alongside Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. She discusses the initial idea for the book and her creative goals. “My mission is to write about the African diaspora. That’s what I’ve done with all my books.” 

At the Atlantic, Jami Attenberg shares a recent favoriteAbsolute Solitude by Dulce María Loynaz. She shares what reading Loynaz taught her about the nature of solitude, and makes the case for balancing the pursuit of solitude with community. “Solitude is better as a block of time than as an entire existence.”

“A literary ‘classic’ is a recurring character in one’s life. One reads it, years go by, one reads it again, and it becomes the sum of those readings over time.” At the New York Times, Elif Batuman maps her ever-shifting relationship to Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence

In an interview at Vogue, poets Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky discuss their new astrological guide, Astro Poets, titled after their popular Twitter account. While providing astrological insights, the pair hope to introduce and lead more readers to poetry. 

While completing a writing residency in a small town in Iceland, Amanda Whiting swam nearly every day at the local public pool. At Literary Hub, she shares the problems swimming could and could not solve

Sally Rooney visits the set of the BBC and Hulu adaptation of her latest novel, Normal People. “It’s like walking into the inside of my head.” (Esquire)

In more coverage for literary television, Seth Perlow celebrates the quirks of the new Apple TV+ series Dickinson, and implores viewers to not get hung up on historical inaccuracies. (Washington Post)