The Kafka Band, Writing as an Immigrant, 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:

“To be a citizen is to move through checkpoints to support your life. Everything has a stamp. Being a writer, you never get a stamp. It’s either you jump off the cliff and fly, or you don’t.” Ocean Vuong talks about writing as an immigrant, the importance of artistic collaboration versus artistic competition, and his decision to write a novel. (Creative Independent)

Bookstore sales bounced back this March, with sales rising 2.4 percent compared to March 2016. Sales for the entire quarter are still down compared to 2016, however, due to lower sales in January and February. (Publishers Weekly)

The Kafka Band, who in 2014 released a ten-song album named after and inspired by Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel, “The Castle,” are now working on a musical adaptation of Kafka’s novel Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared. (Open Culture)

“The reader should come away knowing what an author did well, what an author didn’t do as well, and knowing what is interesting and important and new about this book—or not.” Pamela Paul, the editor of the New York Times Book Review, explains what makes a good book review. (Poets & Writers Magazine, Atlantic)

Paisley Rekdal has been named the Utah state poet laureate. As part of her term, Rekdal will create an online map of Utah that includes interviews of local poets, editors, and publishers. Rekdal succeeds poet Lance Larsen. (Deseret News,

The American Writers Museum opens today in Chicago. The Maui News chronicles how artists Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris made the museum’s exhibit honoring poet W. S. Merwin and his dedication to poetry and conservation. The exhibit features readings of Merwin’s poems and a recreation of parts of his extensive palm garden in Hawaii.

William Friedkin, the director of The French Connection and The Exorcist, travels through France visiting the spots Marcel Proust used to frequent, including Illiers-Combray, the small town that inspired much of Proust’s masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time. (New York Times)

Fantasy writer George R. R. Martin confirmed in a blog post on Sunday that HBO is developing five spinoff series of Game of Thrones, and that he is still working on the sixth novel in the series, The Winds of Winter. (Los Angeles Times)