Turning to Thoreau in the Age of Climate Crisis, The Lorax at Fifty, and More

by Staff
8.13.21

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.

“Henry was fascinated by the constant cycles of change and regeneration, transience and resilience, whether the timescale was geological or seasonal, or that of human generations.” With Henry David Thoreau as his guide, Wen Stephenson becomes more attuned to his environment—and the threat of climate change. (Nation)

“The conflict between the industrious, polluting Once-ler and the feisty Lorax, who ‘speaks for the trees,’ feels more prescient than ever.” NPR reports on the enduring relevance of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, which was first published fifty years ago.

“I look upon prayer not as a way to court divine intervention as much as a way to orient myself. I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about whether or not there is someone or something on the other end of the prayer.” Kaveh Akbar discusses how faith, self-examination, and uncertainty figure in his latest collection, Pilgrim Bell. (Chicago Review of Books)

“When we go deep into our wounds as a form of self-discovery it should be celebrated not shamed.” Megan Culhane Galbraith describes the writing of her memoir-in-essays, The Guild of the Infant Saviour, as “necessary bloodletting.” (Believer)

“In order to keep making poems, I have to tune out the static that comes from the outside world—both negative and positive noise.” Maggie Smith reflects on the scope of her career and the writing of her latest collection, Goldenrod. (Millions)

“Life is full of excellent places to read. Stop pretending the beach is one of those places.” Headed to the beach? Alex McElroy argues that books are better left at home. (Atlantic)

Anthony Doerr, Celeste Ng, and Jason Reynolds were among the many distinguished guests at yesterday’s virtual event to celebrate the Book Industry Charitable Foundation’s twenty-fifth anniversary. (Shelf Awareness)

“The visceral experience of a cocktail becomes a tangible language to express what a book means to me, and how it’s affected me.” Lindsay Merbaum creates and photographs cocktails to match the “scents, flavors, and imagery” of recent books. (Electric Literature)