Toni Morrison Has Died, Challenging Gun Culture, and More


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.

“If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison has died. The Nobel Prize–winning author, groundbreaking editor, and teacher was eighty-eight. (TIME, Guardian)

Read a profile of Morrison from the November/December 2008 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, gun control activist Shannon Watts talks about taking on the gun lobby, grassroots organizing, and her new book, Fight Like a Mother. “We can’t un-elect everyone who opposes us, but we can change hearts and minds.”

“How do we move forward ethically and morally in a way that sustains our collective home, nourishes our collective heart? Poetry is my way of trying to assist in making that road.” U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo introduces a poem from her forthcoming poetry collection, An American Sunrise. (Elle)

“I want people to see that disability is the lens through which I see the world, not the subject. I think it’s important we don’t force marginalized writers to constantly regurgitate stories that deal with their trauma.” Keah Brown on celebrating yourself, the magic of fiction, and her debut essay collection, The Pretty One. (Rumpus)

At Electric Literature, Regina Porter talks about rediscovering the past and transitioning from playwriting to fiction with her debut novel, The Travelers.

Jamie Quatro considers the cycle of twenty-six sonnets that may be the first sonnet sequence written in English, as well as the sixteenth-century female poet who probably wrote it. (New Yorker)

Following book distributor Baker & Taylor’s withdrawal from the industry, trade wholesalers Bookazine and Ingram have signed hundreds of new bookseller accounts. (Publishers Weekly)

“With greater subtlety and insight than any novelist before or since, Sandel shows how a woman’s sense of herself, and thus her very destiny, is defined from the cradle by her place in the beauty hierarchy.” Emma Garman on the mastery of the reclusive translator and novelist Cora Sandel.