Writers in TIME 100, a Gothic Interview With Carmen Maria Machado, 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.

TIME magazine has released its annual survey of the world’s hundred most influential people. This year’s list includes novelist Marlon James, memoirist Tara Westover, and playwright Lynn Nottage.

Read more about James’s latest work in “Shape-Shifter: A Profile of Marlon James” by Kima Jones. (Poets & Writers)

“At its core, the Gothic drama is fundamentally about voiceless things—the dead, the past, the marginalized—gaining voices that cannot be ignored.” Carmen Maria Machado on the nineteenth-century vampire novel Carmilla, and the tale’s relationship to a real-life trial for “morbid harlotry.” (Electric Literature) 

Vulture presents five ways to read the Mueller report, and wonders how the audiobook version will manage the frequent appearance of the word “redacted.”

“My medium is the English language, maybe the most violent colonial weapon ever invented. What are the writer’s responsibilities when working in such a brutal medium?” Kaveh Akbar speaks to Kevin Young about his long poem “The Palace,” recently published in the New Yorker.

At the Guardian, Sarah Ditum wonders why writers like novelist Ian McEwan still don’t embrace what Ursula K. Le Guin described as the “left-handed monkey wrench” of science fiction.

“I needed velocity, velocity that could be so rapid as if it were mad brush strokes on a canvas in which the narrative is only within the strokes, the story crystallized to the point where it does not stand anymore and all that is left is the speed of it.” Poet Ishion Hutchinson is chasing the image of the sea wherever he goes. (Trinidad and Tobago Newsday)

Over at BOMB, fiction writer Mark Mayer discusses the cosmos of the human mind presented in his debut story collection, Aerialists. “The deeper we follow the imagination, the deeper we enter into ourselves.”

And the endings to some of Franz Kafka’s unfinished masterpieces may soon be revealed, after a Swiss court ruled that safety deposit boxes held in Zurich should be opened and their contents—a trove of unpublished writing by the surrealist author—shipped to Israel’s National Library. (PBS NewsHour)