The PEN VIDA Count, Gannon Named New CLMP Director, and More

by Staff

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:

Mary Gannon has been named executive director of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), a nonprofit organization that supports independent book and magazine publishers by providing technical assistance, facilitating peer-to-peer learning, and connecting diverse communities of readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, educators, and funders. Gannon, the former editorial director of Poets & Writers who for the past five years served as the associate director and director of content for the Academy of American Poets, succeeds Jeffrey Lependorf. (CLMP)

“I’ve learned that I am not just a poet, that poets are not just poets. If I could tell my younger self one thing about being a poet, about being any one thing, I’d tell her that that is unnecessary. I’d tell her that we contain multitudes.” Nicole Sealey is featured alongside fellow poets José Olivarez and Carl Phillips in Poetry Today, a new series from the Chicago Review of Books.

An art installation featuring ten thousand books illuminated with LED lights will “pave” a street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on October 23. The anonymous arts collective Luzinterruptus is partnering with the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities to present “Literature vs. Traffic” in an effort to allow literature “to take over the streets and conquer public spaces, freely offering those passing by a traffic-free place that, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word.” (ClickOnDetroit)

The government of Kuwait is increasingly banning books, the New York Times reports. Recent targets include One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and Children of Gebelawi by Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz as well as a Disney version of The Little Mermaid.

PEN International and VIDA: Women in Literary Arts recently announced a new collaboration to monitor gender disparities in literature worldwide. The PEN VIDA Count will draw from data collected by PEN Centers around the world, building on PEN’s advocacy work through its Women Writers Committee and the newly launched Women’s Manifesto. (VIDA)

“Hurston challenges the nation’s narrow view of the African continent, the transatlantic slave trade, and the diasporic cultures that came as a result of it.” Torry Threadcraft of the Atlantic reviews Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” which was kept in the Alain Locke Collection at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center for more than half a century before its publication by Amistad this past May. (The Atlantic)

The 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury announced its shortlist for the annual prize given for the best Canadian novel or collection of short stories. They are Patrick DeWitt for French Exit; Eric Dupont for Songs for the Cold of Heart, translated by Peter McCambridge; Esi Edugyan for Washington Black; Sheila Heti for Motherhood; and Thea Lim for An Ocean of Minutes. The winner receives $100,000 Canadian; each finalist will receive $10,000 Canadian.