Poets & Writers13 min read
Name A Song
REGINALD Dwayne Betts is the author of A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Avery, 2009) and three poetry collections, including Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010), Bastards of the Reaga
Poets & Writers30 min read
Deadlines
POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES state, national, and international prizes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We list only prizes of $1,000 or more, prizes of less than $1,000 that charge no entry fee, and prestigious nonmonetary awards.
Poets & Writers3 min read
Julie Langsdorf
Age: Fifty-six. Residence: Washington, D.C. Book: White Elephant (Ecco, March 2019), a novel about the chaos that ensues when a developer moves into a quaint community and starts tearing down old houses. Agent: Suzanne Gluck of William Morris Endeavo
Poets & Writers9 min read
How to Get Paid
IMAGINE you finally sell that first book. For years you’ve been piecing together low-paying teaching gigs or toiling away at a dull office job, and then—miracle of miracles—an editor at a major New York house offers you a six-figure deal to publish y
Poets & Writers3 min read
Valencia Robin
Age: Over fifty. Residence: Charlottesville, Virginia. Book: Ridiculous Light (Persea Books, April 2019), winner of the 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, a collection that spans the arc of a life, from the poet’s childhood in Milwaukee
Poets & Writers19 min read
Recent Winners
POETRY AWARD Bryce Berkowitz of Butte, Montana, won the 2019 Poetry Award for Bermuda Ferris Wheel. He received $1,000, and his book will be published by 42 Miles Press in October 2020. He will also give a reading at Indiana University in South Bend.
Poets & Writers3 min read
Margaret Renkl
Age: Fifty-eight. Residence: Nashville. Book: Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss (Milkweed Editions, July 2019), a collection of essays, including illustrations by the author’s brother, that offer a lyrical portrait of a family while
Poets & Writers8 min read
Conferences & Residencies
POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES application information for writers conferences, literary festivals, residencies, and colonies of interest to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Applications for the following events are due sh
Poets & Writers2 min read
Tomorrow’s Literary Voices
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING? That was the question I asked the eight industry leaders whose answer-essays are featured in this issue’s special section. It was, of course, a rhetorical question, intended to elicit conjecture about wha
Poets & Writers3 min read
Timothy Brandoff
Age: Sixty. Residence: New York City. Book: Cornelius Sky (Kaylie Jones Books, August 2019), a novel about a doorman at a posh Manhattan apartment building who wanders the city streets in search of life’s higher meaning while confronting unlikely ang
Poets & Writers3 min read
Fifty & Forward
POETS & WRITERS IS MORE than a magazine. We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving creative writers. We pay fees to writers giving readings and leading workshops, provide information and advice to authors, and help them connect with one an
Poets & Writers3 min read
Reactions
Feedback from readers Thank you for the innovative approach to the annual MFA Issue, in particular “My MFA Experience” (September/October 2019) by Kevin Larimer. I connected with the article not only as a Wilkes University MFA alumnus, but also as a
Poets & Writers4 min read
A Necessary Resilience
PUBLISHING is such an intensively collaborative enterprise, I find it surprising that we in the industry value independence above everything else. After all, none of us is ever working alone—except perhaps when we read and evaluate a manuscript that
Poets & Writers3 min read
The Second Shelf
The exterior of the Second Shelf bookstore in London resembles a K2 kiosk, the iconic red telephone booth that dots the city’s streets. The shop, which stocks modern first editions, manuscripts, and other rare and rediscovered books by women, is all
Poets & Writers3 min read
Peter Kaldheim
Age: Seventy. Residence: Lindenhurst, New York. Book: Idiot Wind (Canongate, August 2019), a memoir of the author’s journey from addiction to recovery while on the road from New York City to Portland, Oregon, and back again. Agent: David McCormick of
Poets & Writers4 min read
Where Poetry Meets Journalism
For nearly two weeks in 2018, poet Doug Van Gundy and photographer Matt Eich interviewed residents of Webster County, West Virginia. They talked with gravediggers and teachers and diner cooks. They had coffee with an ex-military man who sold sawmill
Poets & Writers5 min read
This Is Not a Manifesto
SEVERAL years ago the poet and publisher Matvei Yankelevich and I offered a conference panel audience the spectacle of an actual disagreement. Not a fierce one but a firm one. We hugged afterward, to make clear that it was partly for show, but it rem
Poets & Writers5 min readWellness
Narrative Medicine for Doctors
Toby Campbell under-stands that storytelling is good medicine. As an oncologist and associate professor in the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at UW Health—the academic medical center and health system at the University of Wisconsi
Poets & Writers4 min read
A Sustainable Business Model
IF YOU are lucky enough to encounter a group of two or more independent publishers in the wild—whether in their natural habitat behind the tables at the Brooklyn Book Festival or perhaps gathered furtively at BookExpo America, in the less hospitable
Poets & Writers3 min read
Literary MagNet
The Southern Gothic tradition is subverted and at play in Leigh Camacho Rourks’s Moon Trees and Other Orphans (Black Lawrence Press, October), a debut story collection that portrays a Louisiana that is both bayou and fast food joint, abandoned substa
Poets & Writers4 min readSociety
Truth to Power
A BOOK is a timeless medium that can’t be hacked, surveilled, or used to co-opt movements—as political and insurgent now as it was when the printing press was invented. But too often the stories we’re allowed to tell are dictated by an exclusionary c
Poets & Writers1 min read
Small Press Points
Unnamed Press (www.unnamedpress.com) is an object lesson in thinking globally, acting locally. C. P. Heiser and Olivia Taylor Smith, two former staffers at the Los Angeles Review of Books, founded the press in 2014, drawing inspiration from the flour
Poets & Writers5 min read
Distribution and Discoverability
INDEPENDENCE comes at a price. While supply-chain optimization, technological innovation, and shifts in reading and buying habits have lowered operating costs for many in the book business, publishers included, the price of independence is still most
Poets & Writers1 min read
The Written Image
Finding the right words is a matter of a civilization’s survival in Heaven’s Vault, an adventure video game centered on translation. Released in April 2019 by the Cambridge, England–based company inkle, Heaven’s Vault stars character Aliya Elasra, an
Poets & Writers3 min read
Right in Front of You + Immersive
MY HOPES for the future of independent publishing involve three major elements: stronger “channels” of interest that drive better visibility for writers, particularly fiction writers; more collaboration among writers to create these channels and gath
Poets & Writers3 min read
A Century of Yale Younger Poets
This year marks the centennial of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the oldest annual literary award in the United States. The prize, which offers publication of a debut collection by Yale University Press, has heralded the arrival of luminaries such
Poets & Writers5 min read
Digital Distribution Models
DISTRIBUTION. Format. Editorial. In publishing—as with almost all media—these three elements work in tandem to define the business models that allow creatives to be creative for a living. For over a century print publishing in the United States saw a
Poets & Writers3 min read
The Time Is Now
“I received a sign in my dream that you would vanish from me,” Naja Marie Aidt writes in When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back (Coffee House Press, 2019). “But images and signs cannot be interpreted before they’re played out in concrete ev
Poets & Writers3 min read
A Call for Change
THE FUTURE of independent publishing must be innovative. The future of independent publishing lies not in breaking into the corporate system but rather in creating an alternative to the corporate system. Independent publishing can lead the way in cre
Poets & Writers13 min read
DREAM HOUSE As Interview
FOR some writers the line between fantasy and reality is so fluid, they are able to uncover the poignant truths that can be found in that fringe space in between. This borderland is the realm of fantasy and horror writers like Shirley Jackson and mag
…Or Discover Something New