Windham-Campbell Prizewinners, Barnes & Noble During Coronavirus, 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.

Eight writers have been named winners of the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prizes: poets Bhanu Kapil and Jonah Mixon-Webster, fiction writers Yiyun Li and Namwali Serpell, nonfiction writers Anne Boyer and Maria Tumarkin, and playwrights Julia Cho and Aleshea Harris. The unrestricted grants of $165,000 are intended to provide their recipients a life-changing opportunity “to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.” (Poets & Writers Magazine)

Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt anticipates difficult times ahead for the company. While book sales remain strong, Daunt notes significant declines in café business and other non-book sales. He warns of possible layoffs if more stores are forced to close due to quarantine measures. (Publishers Weekly)

Poet and memoirist Molly Brodak died on March 8 at age thirty-nine. Her debut poetry collection, A Little Middle of the Night, won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and her memoir, Bandit, which documented her experience as the child of a compulsive liar and bank robber, was widely celebrated by critics. (New York Times)

BookExpo, UnBound, and BookCon have been postponed from May to July 22 to July 26 at the Javits Center in New York City. 

The staff at Poets & Writers Magazine have assembled a running list of resources for writers in the time of coronavirus.  

Dorany Pineda spoke to booksellers in Los Angeles about the difficult decision to close their doors. (Los Angeles Times)

“I come back to the idea that all I can control is today.” Lilly Dancyger on attempting to write a book when the future seems so precarious. (Electric Literature)

In the 1880s, Walt Whitman was much admired by a group of working-class men from Bolton, a small town in Northern England. For Poetry, Evan Jones shares how Bolton is keeping the local tradition of reading Whitman alive today.   

In addition to our regular Daily News coverage, Poets & Writers Magazine will be celebrating new books and writers who have gone the extra mile to support our community with a Daily Shout-Out: Today’s shout-out goes to Tara Skurtu for her rapidly expanding Twitter thread, #InternationalPoetryCircle, which invites writers to record readings of their poems (and poems they love). Skurtu also added tips on making contributions accessible, including a link to a guide for adding captions to videos.