Top Ten Books of the Year, Graduate Students Protest Tax Plan, 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:

A week after it announced its “100 Notable Books of 2017,” the New York Times Book Review has released its annual list of the top ten books of the year, including Patricia Lockwood’s memoir, Priestdaddy, and Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award­­–winning novel Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Speaking of Jesmyn Ward: At the Smithsonian, the writer considers the work of filmmaker Ava DuVernay and her ability to “invert the tradition of the dehumanization of black people and the black body in the media.”

Yesterday graduate students across the country from all different departments—creative writing, chemistry, history, and more—gathered to protest the Republican tax plan that is being debated in the Senate. Among other changes, the plan will reclassify tuition waivers as taxable income, forcing many graduate students to pay significantly higher taxes. (CU Independent, NPR)

Minnesota Public Radio has dropped radio show host and poetry advocate Garrison Keillor following an allegation by a woman that Keillor sexually harassed her. The network has cancelled Keillor’s daily show, The Writer’s Almanac, through which he read a poem a day, and will no longer air old broadcasts of his famous program, A Prairie Home Companion. (Star Tribune)

“The bile in a satirist’s mind must be balanced with hope, or the whole enterprise is doomed.” On Jonathan Swift’s 350th birthday, Ron Charles considers the current state of political satire. (Washington Post)

An ex-boyfriend of Emma Cline has filed a lawsuit against the novelist accusing her of using spyware to access his e-mail to plagiarize parts of her breakout debut novel, The Girls. Cline has filed a countersuit. (Guardian)

PBS NewsHour takes a closer look at Fonograf Editions, an arm of Octopus Books, which produces recordings on vinyl of poets reading their work, including its latest record, Alice Notley’s Live in Seattle.

Young adult writer Cassandra Clare has closed a deal with Random House rumored to be in the seven-figure range for two books in a new adult fantasy series. (Publishers Weekly)