Claudia Rankine & Jericho Brown Pen New Poems For Right Now | Book Pulse

Claudia Rankine and Jericho Brown write new poems, commissioned to respond to this moment. 13 of the 24 National Book Critics Circle board members have resigned. The social media and book buying initiative #BlackoutBestsellerList gets coverage. Donald Trump’s niece has written a tell-all book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. The Walter Scott Prize and The Wolfson History Prize are announced. The July LibraryReads picks are out, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher tops the list. Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado, and Thomas Page McBee consider “What Does Pride Mean Now?”

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Antiracist Reading Lists, News, and Collection Development/RA Resources

The NYT prints new poems by Claudia Rankine and Jericho Brown, commissioned to respond to “this historic moment in our country.” There are recordings of the poets reading the poems as well.

HuffPost: “16 Books By Black Authors Everyone Should Read.”

The Guardian writes that the newly created “Black Writers’ Guild calls for sweeping change in UK publishing.”

Jezebel writes “RIP To The National Book Critics Circle, Felled By a Tweet.” 13 of the 24 board members have now resigned. Vanity Fair also has coverage as does NPR.

The Poetry Foundation has written an open letter in response to the criticism poets have brought against it.

Popsugar reports on the #BlackoutBestsellerList initiative underway this week. It was begun by Amistad.


The Washington Post reviews A Burning by Megha Majumdar (Knopf; LJ starred review): “bright and scalding.” Also, Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why: Essays by Alexandra Petri (W.W. Norton): “not just very funny but stingingly poignant.”

The NYT reviews Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (Europa): “a vibrantly imaginative narrative of passion, intrigue and literary ambition.” The “Graphic Content” column is out as is the "New & Noteworthy" column.

NPR reviews Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World by Robert M. Gates (Knopf; LJ starred review): “says presidents too often rely on the military for matters that more often than not call for other elements of American power: diplomacy or foreign aid or clear strategic communications.” Also, Miss Iceland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (Black Cat: Grove Atlantic): “quietly mesmerizing, unsettling.”

Briefly Noted

Reese Witherspoon picks two books for June, I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown (Convergent Books: Penguin; LJ starred review) and The Guest List by Lucy Foley (William Morrow: Harper; LJ starred review).

Donald Trump’s niece has written a tell-all book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump (S. & S.). It comes out in August reports The Daily Beast. The NYT, People, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Guardian also report.

The Walter Scott Prize is announced, The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey (Atlantic Books) wins.

The Wolfson History Prize is announced, The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans by David Abulafia (Oxford) wins.

The July LibraryReads list is out, Peace Talks: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Ace: Penguin; LJ starred review) tops the list.

The authors are announced for the forthcoming From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Del Rey: Random). The collection marks the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. has the list of writers.

O: The Oprah Magazine offers “13 Best Books About Road Trips to Satisfy Your Summer Wanderlust.”

Poets and Writers features “the summer’s best debut fiction.”

BuzzFeed names “21 Audiobooks We're Excited To Listen To This Summer.” BookPage has audio for June. suggest “Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: May 2020.”

The BBC has “The best short stories for every taste and mood.”

It is Pride Day at Book Riot. Here is an index to their features.

ElectricLit interviews Jean Kyoung Frazier, Pizza Girl (Doubleday: Random House). Also, the site has poems by Elena Ramirez-Gorsk.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Emily Temple, The Lightness (William Morrow: Harper).     

Otherppl interviews Roxane Gay. Lit Hub has the recording and transcript. prints the first chapter of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (Tor Books: Macmillan).

The NYT asks “What Has Lockdown Meant for L.G.B.T.Q. Artists and Writers?” and asks authors Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado, and Thomas Page McBee to reflect on the question “What Does Pride Mean Now?”

The Nerdist reports on the Doctor Who Big Finish audio dramas, including that the serial will have its first openly trans character, Tania Bell, one of the Doctor’s companions, played by Rebecca Root. The site has an interview with Root.

In more audio news, Mary Robinette Kowal is showing how books get narrated in a series of videos of her recording The Relentless Moon. has details.

CrimeReads explores “How the Flavia de Luce Series Investigates the Traditional English Village Murder Mystery.”

Entertainment Weekly reports that Stephen King wanted to write a book about Jason from the Friday the 13th movies.

The first lady’s spokesman says of The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump by Mary Jordan (S. & S.), “This book belongs in the fiction genre.” People has details.

O: The Oprah Magazine has a piece by Genevieve Hudson, Boys of Alabama (Liveright: W.W. Norton).

Aljazeera reports on the Al-Karma Selects series, “a project to reintroduce modern Egyptian classics,” including an English translation of Adel Kamel's Malim the Great.

In forthcoming book news, Nghi Vo has a new book in the works for 2021, The Chosen and the Beautiful ( “a magical reimagining of The Great Gatsby told through the eyes of a queer, Asian-American.” has details.

The Guardian reports on how Bloomsday is now really Zoomsday.

Lit Hub is partnering with the Royal Society of Literature to celebrate Dalloway Day, tomorrow.

Shelf Awareness reports that PRH will distribute all Catapult Book Group titles. These include Catapult, Counterpoint Press, and Soft Skull Press.

John Bolton will have “criminal problems” according to Donald Trump if he publishes his book. The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (S. & S.) is set for June 23. The Washington Post reports. 

Authors on Air        

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Eve L. Ewing, 1919 (Haymarket Books) and spotlights The End of Me by Alfred Hayes (NYRB Classics).

The Oscars move eight weeks later due to the pandemic. They will now be held on April 25, 2021. The eligibility window also shifts, through Feb. 28, 2021. PBS NewsHour reports. Vulture writes that other major awards are likely to shift around the new date as well.

ABC News gets an interview with John Bolton. A one hour special will air this Sunday. His book comes out next Tuesday. Ben Stiller is going to direct London, based “a short story/high-concept thriller” by Jo Nesbø. Jessica Chastain options Alice Feeney’s His & Hers for TV. Grady Hendrix’s Horrorstör gets optioned for the movies. Julie Summers’s Dressed For War: The Story of Audrey Withers, Vogue Editor Extraordinaire From The Blitz To The Swinging Sixties gets optioned for TV. Bear Grylls is creating a modern-day update of The Count Of Monte Cristo. Deadline reports on all.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing