Poet Kofi Awoonor Among Victims in Kenya, Banned Books Week, and More

by Evan Smith Rakoff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 9.23.13

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 Nairobi for a literary festival, Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor was among the victims of the ongoing siege by Islamic extremists at Westgate shopping mall in Kenya. (Guardian)

For Banned Books Week, this afternoon PEN American Center is hosting a live Google+ hangout with Sherman Alexie. (Alexie’s novel Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was recently pulled from a New York City school reading list.)

Clive Thompson looks at how the electronic landscape is shaping our thinking and creativity. (Wired)

 “I first read Middlemarch when I was seventeen, and have read it every five years or so since, my emotional and intellectual response evolving at each revisiting.” Rebecca Mead discusses her new book My Life in Middlemarch, which blends memoir, biography, and reporting. (Biographile)

The Australian has more on the plagiarism scandal that has shaken its poetry community.

Meanwhile, genre author Shey Stahl has been accused of plagiarism, and Amazon has removed the ability to purchase Stahl’s books. (Dear Author)

And a new plagiarism scandal involving poet C. J. Allen is underway in England. (Los Angeles Times)

Alexander McCall Smith explains why we should read W. H. Auden. (New Statesmen)

An eight-day Emily Dickinson poetry festival takes place this week in Amherst, Massachusetts. (Republican)

Indy publisher Two Dollar Radio has launched a fundraising campaign to create a film division.

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

News and Trends

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.


Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.


Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.