Ursula Le Guin Launches Online Craft Workshop, New Transgender Poetry Course, 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:

Fantasy novelist and National Book Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ursula Le Guin is starting an online writing workshop. The eighty-six-year-old author, who says she no longer has the stamina to write novels and no longer teaches in person, will answer select questions about the craft of writing fiction on her Book View Café blog. (Publishers Weekly)

Poet Trace Peterson, who is transgender, will teach the country’s first course in transgender poetry at Hunter College in New York this fall. Peterson tells PBS NewsHour that the new course is part of an ongoing effort to create “visibility for transgender people as well as a literary context for their work.”

Ron Rosenbaum’s interview with E. L. Doctorow, who died last Tuesday, is up at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced the first round of grants in its Public Scholar Program, a new initiative that supports the publication of academic nonfiction books meant for general audiences. Thirty-six scholarly writers received grants totaling $1.7 million. (Washington Post)

At the New York Times, James Parker and Francine Prose weigh in on the authors they feel should be removed from the literary canon, and what it means for a work to be canonical.

“The language of grief is not a specialized vocabulary of secret words. It is ordinary language heated and hammered into receptacles that hold themselves steady long enough to fill with a writer’s meanings.” Talking Writing editor Lorraine Berry discusses four new books published within a few months of one another that use distinct and effective approaches to writing about grief and loss. (Salon)

Over at the New Republic, Jason Guriel considers the irony of making a feature film about entertainment-anxious David Foster Wallace. The movie in question is The End of the Tour, an adaptation of David Lipsky’s 2010 memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. “For most of his career, Wallace suggested that art ought to be difficult, that pleasure is suspect, and that entertainment is compromised.”