Writing Blindness, Celebrating Octavia Butler, 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:

In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Literary Hub asked the all-volunteer staff members of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts to discuss the books that changed their lives.

Los Angeles–based arts nonprofit Clockshop has organized a program called Radio Imagination, a yearlong celebration of the life and lasting influence of science fiction writer Octavia Butler. The program centers on ten contemporary literary and art commissions that explore Butler’s archive at Huntington Library in Los Angeles, along with performances and literary events set to take place in New York City. Butler passed away in 2006.

The Toast features a four-part essay series about living with blindness, presented by LightHouse Interpoint, a weekly essay series from LightHouse for the Blind. The first installment is titled, “On Being Who I Am: My Life as a Tall Blind Woman,” by Georgina Kleege. (Toast, LightHouse-SF.org)

“One of the fears that many black women writers have historically had is that if they reveal too much of their intimate lives, it could reflect badly, not only on themselves but on the black community.” Morgan Jerkins writes for the New Yorker about black women writers and the necessity of keeping a secret space in their personal journals

E-tailer Amazon plans to open a second brick and mortar bookstore, Amazon Books, in San Diego this summer. The news follows rumors that Amazon is planning to open three- to four hundred more physical stores, according to the CEO for General Growth Strategies. Amazon’s first bookstore opened in Seattle in last year. (Publishers Weekly)

Return those library books! The San Jose, California, public library is struggling to recover years’ worth of checked-out books—many of which are impossible to replace;  the facility reports $6.8 million in unpaid library fines.

Best-selling Southern author Pat Conroy, known for his novels The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, passed away on Friday at age seventy. Conroy, who grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, “mined the people, the places and the trauma of his childhood and young manhood for his thinly fictionalized novels and a series of memoirs that captivated readers with their openly emotional tone, lurid family stories and lush prose that often reached its most affecting, lyrical pitch when evoking the wetlands around Beaufort, S.C.” (New York Times)