Tracy K. Smith on Poetry in the Technological Age, Summer Reading, 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:

“And despite what social media would have us believe, it is not the language of sharing and following, or buying and wearing, but rather that of bearing deep and unabashed witness to the urgencies and upheavals of lived experience, that comes closest to bringing us into visceral proximity with the lives and plights of others. That’s not just distraction, and it’s not a luxury. It’s a means of self-preservation, a way of affirming commitment to the belief that our lives can and should matter to one another and to ourselves.” To mark the beginning of her second term as U.S. poet laureate, Tracy Smith has delivered a lecture on the power of poetry in the age of technology. (Washington Post)

Literary Hub offers the “ultimate summer books preview” by counting the most recommended titles from twenty-eight summer preview book lists. Lauren Groff’s story collection Florida is the most recommended pick, followed by Fatima Farheen Mirza’s debut novel, A Place For Us.

Researchers have found that there is a difference in the “psychological experience” of owning an e-book versus owning a print book—people are more attached to physical books and use them to “establish a sense of self and belonging.” (Forbes)

In honor of Philip Roth, who died last week, the Paris Review has posted his “Art of Fiction” interview, as well as his novella Goodbye, Columbus.

Speaking of Roth, Tim Parks writes about how to read autofiction by looking at the work of Roth and Leo Tolstoy. (NYRB Daily)

Tobias Grey profiles Gaël Faye, a French-Rwandan rapper who wrote the novel Small Country, which became a surprise hit in France and is now being published in English by Hogarth. (New York Times)

“Reading brought on a desire to write, and writing brought on a desire to read. The night passed with out me closing my eyes…” Elena Ferrante writes about reading and insomnia. (Guardian)

Poet Jenny Boully talks with the Rumpus about liminality, daydreams, and her latest book, Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life