Twenty-Two Ways to Teach Poetry, Legitimizing Writing Ambition, 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:

In honor of National Poetry Month, the New York Times offers twenty-two ways to teach and learn about poetry, including making an erasure of a news article, writing a poem for a friend, keeping a metaphor journal, hosting a debate that pits poetry against hip-hop and rap, and hiding or posting poems in public spaces.

“In order to write the novel, I’d had to first acknowledge that I wanted to write it, that I could and would write it. Why had it taken nearly forty years for me to understand that I had the right to my ambitions?” Ayana Mathis writes about her struggles to legitimize her writing as a black woman, and the paralysis she felt after the enormous success of her debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. (Guernica)

Imbolo Mbue has won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award for her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers. Mbue will receive $15,000. (Washington Post)

In other award news, the shortlist for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has been announced. The six finalists for the annual £30,000 prize are Ayobami Adebayo, Naomi Alderman, Linda Grant, C. E. Morgan, Gwendoline Riley, and Madeleine Thien.

The Times Literary Supplement considers the late Umberto Eco’s regular column in the Italian culture magazine L’Espresso, through which he analyzed everything from pop-culture obsessions like James Bond and Harry Potter to technical innovations such as Twitter and the cell phone.

Amazon has announced that it will open not one but two brick-and-mortar bookstores in New York City this year. One store will be located on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building, the other in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. (Publishers Weekly)

Maggie Nelson talks with the Cut about how writing her books feels both accidental and fated, the response to her book The Argonauts, and the effort to write “something very specific and very granular and very idiosyncratic, that somehow feels like an open boat.”

“Here is a hard lesson: poetry and fashion are both profound and fugitive. They lie just beyond our grasp.” Mia You explores the intersections of poetry and fashion. (Harriet)