World’s Oldest Library, Saddam Hussein’s Novella, 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:

The world’s oldest library, located in Morocco, has recently been restored and reopened to the public. Previously only accessible to academics and theologians, the al-Qarawiyyin library was founded as part of al-Qarawiyyin University in 859. (Tech Insider)

In December, U.K. publisher Hesperus will release an English translation of a novella written by Saddam Hussein. (Guardian)

PEN America Center has partnered with indie publisher Catapult to launch the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging writers. Annual awards of $2,000 each will be given to twelve fiction writers, and the winning stories will be published in an anthology released by Catapult. (Publishers Weekly)

United States poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera responded to last week’s spate of gun violence by writing the poem, “@ the Crossroads—A Sudden American Poem,” which is dedicated to Anton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the five Dallas police officers slain during anti-police protests. (Los Angeles Times)

“Literature has to dig into uncomfortable vocabularies to find new ways of expression.” 3:AM features an interview with Mexican fiction writer Yuri Herrera.

Meanwhile, at the Oxford American, poet Ada Limón interviews fiction writer Manuel Gonzales about his novel, The Regional Office Is Under Attack.

At Book Riot, Rachel Cordasco reflects on the influence and major works of Nobel Peace Prize–winning author and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel, who died on July 2.