This Year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals, Writers on Visual Imagination, and More

by Staff

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.

The winners of this year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence have been revealed. The winning title for fiction is The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin, while the winning nonfiction book is A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib. Chair of the selection committee Terry Hong praised both writers “for gifting readers with essential antidotes to the polarizing challenges we continue to face.” Each prize comes with a purse of $5,000. (Publishers Weekly)

Mikaella Clements interviews various authors about how their visual imagination (or lack thereof) informs their writing. The answers run the gamut: “I rarely visualize what I’m writing because visualization takes effort and can be distracting,” says Talia Hibbert. While Claire Messud says, “When I’m in a world it’s like a 3D five senses movie. I’m there.” (Washington Post)

Colm Tóibín has been selected to serve as the next Laureate for Irish Fiction. He is the third writer to hold the office, following in the footsteps of Sebastian Barry and Anne Enright. “Colm is one of our finest writers with a recognized international reputation,” said Kevin Rafter, chair of the Arts Council, which administers the position. As laureate, Tóibín will help promote engagement with Irish literature through public programming, including a monthly book club. (Irish Times)

“It’s so wonderful to question yourself and change your mind about things. The idea of things being set in stone is the most boring idea in the world to me.” On a walk with Isaac Fitzgerald, Jami Attenberg discusses her memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You, and the importance of curiosity. (Walk It Off/Substack)

“She’s always playing with the boundaries of the human mind—where our perception ends and reality begins.” Ruth Franklin, the author of an acclaimed biography of Shirley Jackson, discusses Jackson’s genre-defying career and novel Hangsaman. (Guernica)

“It was a long process and a big part of it was understanding why I was doing what I was doing.” Michelle Zauner recalls writing her memoir, Crying in H Mart, as a journey of self-discovery. (Margins)

Authors who published notable books in 2021 reveal the books they are excited to see land on shelves in 2022. Katie Kitamura recommends The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka and Robert Jones Jr. spotlights Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera. (Entertainment Weekly)

Whitney Frick has been promoted at the Dial Press. Previously vice president and editorial director, she is now vice president and editor in chief. (Publishers Weekly)