Writing With Chronic Illness, Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Notion of Genius, 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:

“Our notion of genius as an individual nature fits well with the dominant Western fantasy of the author as a romantic loner, which also helps to excuse the various kinds of bad behavior that writers are sometimes guilty of.” Pulitzer Prize–winning fiction writer Viet Thanh Nguyen troubles the idea of the Western “genius” and what this means for Asian American writers. (New York Times)

At the Paris Review blog, fiction and nonfiction writer Nafissa Thompson-Spires discusses living and writing with a chronic illness, and the anxiety and importance of telling difficult illness narratives. Listen to Thompson-Spires read from her new story collection, Heads of the Colored People, as part of the Page One author reading series.

Five women publishing professionals, including Terese Marie Mailhot, Meredith Talusan, Ijeoma Oluo, Kathryn Belden, and Kima Jones, have a conversation about the growing popularity of books about race, gender, and sexual identity. (BuzzFeed Reader)

Nacima Qorane, a Somaliland poet, has been sentenced to three years in jail for reciting poetry calling for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. (BBC News)

The finalists for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award have been announced. The $10,000 award is given annually for a novel or story collection by a writer under the age of thirty-five.

In more prize news, on Friday poet Danez Smith won the inaugural Four Quartets Prize, a $20,000 award sponsored by the T. S. Eliot Foundation and Poetry Society of America for a unified and complete sequence of poems.

Prepare for a literary summer with this list of thirty books published in June, July, and August, including new fiction from Lauren Groff, a memoir from Porochista Khakpour, and poetry from Terrance Hayes. (Elle)