The Poetic Outlook, Community-Supported Bookstores, 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:

“I think it’s more important to maintain a kind of artistic or poetic outlook on things. To listen to some of the lessons that poetry generally teaches us. Things like respect for nature, or seeing a connection between us and the natural world, gratitude for being alive, kindness, paying attention, being in touch with your inner self, being in touch with your sensitivity.” Billy Collins discusses the poetic outlook, political poetry, and social media. (Connecticut Magazine)

The shortlists for the 2017 Forward Prizes, given annually for poetry collections and poems published in the previous year in the United Kingdom, have been announced. The shortlisted poets include Ocean Vuong for the £5,000 debut poetry collection prize and Ishion Hutchinson for the £1,000 prize for a single poem.

Maine bookstore Blue Hill Books has developed a new bookselling method inspired by community-supported agriculture to stay financially afloat during the slower winter months. Regular patrons can buy up to a thousand dollars in credit at the bookstore; fifty regular customers have already purchased shares. (New Yorker)

Speaking of Maine, fiction writer Elizabeth Strout writes about growing up in a small Maine town and how moving to New York City enabled her to write stories about life in small towns. (Guardian)

“The past twenty years have produced only a handful of LGBTQ-themed books to cross over into the mainstream, and that’s at least partly due to a failure of major publishing houses to nurture a new generation of LGBTQ novelists.” Eric Sasson considers the impact of the next generation of queer writers. (VICE)

Neel Mukherjee answers twenty questions from the Times Literary Supplement, including where the literary world will be in twenty-five years, who is his least favorite fictional character, and which books he wishes he’d written.

Caryl Emerson examines the apocalyptic energy and nihilism of Russian literature in relation to the 1917 revolution and the current government under Putin. (New York Times)

Julie Buntin talks with the Rumpus about being a binge writer, the discrepancy in how books narrated in first-person by women versus men are received, and the books that helped her write her debut novel, Marlena.