Trump Budget Proposes Eliminating Several Arts Organizations, Retiree Saves Small-Town Newspaper, 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 Trump administration has released a 2021 budget proposal that includes requests to eliminate federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Congress has rejected similar requests from the Trump administration for the past three years and is expected to act similarly this year. (Publishers Weekly)

California’s oldest weekly newspaper, the Mountain Messenger, was expected to cease publication after longtime owner Don Russell decided to retire. Then Carl Butz, a seventy-one-year-old retiree, decided to buy the business, becoming a local hero in the process. “Simply put,” he wrote in a letter to readers, “the horrible thought of this venerable institution folding up and vanishing after 166 years of continuous operation was simply more than I could bear.” (New York Times)

The British Library has acquired novelist Andrea Levy’s creative archive—including notebooks, research material, correspondence, and audio recordings—for £140,000. Levy wrote five novels, including Small Island and The Long Song, and is remembered by the Guardian as “the supreme chronicler of the Windrush generation.” She died last year at age sixty-two due to cancer. 

“Hope lies in texts that can accommodate and keep alive our intricacy, our complexity and our density against the onslaught of the terrifying, sweeping simplifications of fascism.” Literary Hub has published Arundhati Roy’s 2020 Clark Lecture in English Literature, a lecture series instituted in 1888 by Trinity College, Cambridge.  

Luis J. Rodriguez reflects on the value of poetry, and how poet laureates around the country help keep the art alive and thriving. Rodriguez himself served as poet laureate of Los Angeles from 2014 to 2016. (Los Angeles Times)

“In order to write, do we not need to be infinitely free? A novel attached to social expectations sounds terrible.” Amina Cain talks to the Paris Review Daily about finding a kind of liberation through writing

Teddy Wayne discusses exploring loneliness and “psychological life under capitalism” in his latest novel, Apartment. (Millions)

Crystal Wilkinson recommends ten books by Black authors writing about Appalachia. (Electric Literature)