What Delia Owens Is Reading, Stephanie Burt Reviews Nine New Poetry Books, and More


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.

“One sentence from Toni Morrison can inspire a lifetime of writing.” Delia Owens, whose novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, is the best-selling book of the year thus far, shares her reading recommendations. (New York Times)

At the Yale Review, Stephanie Burt reviews new poetry collections by Jericho Brown, Lightsey Darst, Angie Estes, D. S. Marriott, Paisley Rekdal, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Mark Scroggins, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Elizabeth Treadwell.

“In some ways, my greatest legacy might be that I spent my life getting a ton of people to read some of the most important Black women writers of our time. I’m okay with that.” Writer and activist adrienne maree brown on the collective knowledge behind her recent best-seller, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good. (Creative Independent)

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop has launched a new program that empowers writers of color to witness and write about mass incarceration. The Witness Program will provide Roshan Abraham, CM Campbell, Christina Olivares, and Sarah Wang each with a $750 stipend to visit incarceration and detention centers, meet with affected individuals, and correspond with incarcerated writers.

The world’s largest publisher of journals has cut the University of California off from its database. The university and the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier failed to agree on how much content should be open access and at what cost to the school. (San Francisco Chronicle)

As Barnes & Noble moves closer to the completion of its sale to Elliot Capital Advisors, the bookseller has issued a former tender offer to its shareholders detailing the investment management firm’s bid to buy the bookselling chain for $6.50 a share in an all-cash transaction. The offer will expire on August 6. (Publishers Weekly)

Ever wondered what eleven years of best-sellers looks like?  An interactive map of the 5,000 books that made it onto the New York Times’s “Best Selling” and “Also Selling” lists between June 2008 and June 2019 has the answer. (Pudding)

And Metallica is offering younger readers a crash course on the band’s history. Coauthored by Howie Abrams and illustrated by Michael “Kaves” McLeer, The ABCs of Metallica will be published on November 26. (RADIO.COM)