U.K. Online Bookseller Donates Children’s Books to Gaza Bookstore, Poetry Hotline Celebrates Pride, 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.

After learning that Gaza’s Samir Mansour bookstore and library was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, Books2Door, an online children’s literature bookseller in the U.K., pledged to donate one thousand books for young readers. Abdul Thadha, the founder of Books2Door, is coordinating the donation with the organizers of the fund-raiser to rebuild the bookstore, which has raised more than $200,000 of its $250,000 goal. (Bookseller)

In celebration of Pride Month, Pride Poets, a California-based group of LGBTQ poets, has opened a hotline in which anyone can call in to request a custom poem. Calls can be made from 10 AM to 10 PM PDT through Sunday. An anonymous donor will give $15 to the Los Angeles LGBT Center for each call up to five hundred calls. (WEHOville)

“What ultimately happens to young Black men who become statistics early in life? This Life has become my testament to their lot.” Quntos KunQuest, who is serving a life sentence at the Louisiana State Prison at Angola, describes the writing process and impetus behind his debut novel, This Life. (BOMB)

“There is no metaphor here. A body lays in the dark and drives to work and, without language for once in its life, hears itself speak. The pain was pain. The sorrow was sorrow.” Anne Valente writes about miscarriage, sexual assault, and learning “to call things what they are.” (Guernica)

Reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Friendship” helped Jane Hu understand how the pandemic year transformed her relationships. “Whereas the pandemic helped put a definitive end to certain friendships, others petered out in ghostly whimpers.” (New Yorker)

“I realized that when I really like a work of art, a book, a movie or whatever, I notice that what I’m looking for is how the person is really not rooted in the present tense. We don’t have anchors in the present tense. We claim we do and we want to think that we do, but we don’t.” André Aciman reflects on the unreality of the present tense. (Creative Independent)

Publishers Weekly provides an update on the latest plans for this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, which is due to take place in-person, with some virtual events, in October.

The New York Times recommends twelve new books, including Revival Season by Monica West and Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome.