Third-Graders Save a Barnes and Noble, Literary Cocktails, 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:

Hazlitt writers look back on their year: Hanif Abdurraqib discusses a year of living alone: “I am learning what it is to be responsible for your own warmth.” Tommy Pico reflects on a year of trying to write a screenplay and releasing the tension in his life: “Day-to-day, a queer Native person leaping around this deeply stolen and homophobic land, I generally try to lessen the ambient tensions floating in my air.”

Barnes & Noble decided to keep its store in Daytona Beach, Florida, open after a class of third-graders wrote letters to the CEO of the chain begging him not to close the store. (ABC Local 10 News)

At the New Yorker, Zadie Smith talks about her new story, “The Lazy River,” writing essays versus stories, and the tension between the “we” and “I.”

The Washington Post asks what “bad-sex novels can teach us in this bad-sex era” and looks at the examples of Lucinda Rosenfeld’s What She Saw…, E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, and Michel Houellebecq’s The Elementary Particles.

From a “Margarita Atwood” to a “Tequila Mockingbird,” Food & Wine considers the trend of literary-themed cocktails and drinks.

“She didn’t ask me to make the book about race, class, mental health, and gentrification without being about them; she wanted it all right at the center, where it belonged.” Naima Coster writes about navigating the publishing industry as a woman of color and what it meant to work with Morgan Parker, an editor of color, on her debut novel, Halsey Street. (Catapult)

The Guardian profiles essayist and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik, who discusses his family; his latest memoir, At the Stranger’s Gate; and how he deals with the criticism that his writing is privileged.