Vivian Gornick on Elena Ferrante, City Lights Hosts Dada World Fair, 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:

City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco is currently hosting the Dada World Fair, a two-week celebration of the avant-garde art and literary movement’s centenary. The festival, which runs through November 13, features performances, art exhibitions, and academic talks about the Dada movement, held at various bookstores in the city. (San Francisco Chronicle)

“This is the world in which Ferrante has submerged herself, writing as though from deep inside an interiority of her own that is sealed into the very thing she is trying to make sense of. Herein lies the power, and the limitation, of her writing.” Vivian Gornick considers best-selling novelist Elena Ferrante’s body of work, and how it reflects the author’s desire for anonymity. (Nation)

Speaking of Elena Ferrante, her book of essays and personal correspondence, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey, has just been translated into English and published by Europa Editions. The book is on several publications’ lists of books to read this month, including Flavorwire’s list of ten must-reads for November, which also includes new titles from poet Fanny Howe, and fiction writers Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith.  

On Wednesday, the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut, was designated a national historical landmark. According to an official statement from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the house—the former home of the award-winning poet, who died in 1995—“is nationally significant for its association with one of the most significant American writers of the second half of the 20th century.” (NBC News)

Brooklyn Magazine profiles poet and BuzzFeed executive editor of culture Saeed Jones.

“I understood from Ralph that the American experience derived from the process of a nation constantly making and remaking itself, a place that needed to create its own myths and art and even its own sounds because we had to.” Author and Audible founder Don Katz discusses Ralph Ellison’s influence on his life and future career as a writer. (Daily Beast)

At the Ploughshares blog, writer A. M. O’Malley talks about her position as the executive director of the Portland-based Independent Publishing Resource Center, which she describes as a “launchpad for artists, writers, and makers.”

GalleyCat offers advice for writers seeking to crowdfund ongoing projects through the platform Patreon.