As many writers get ready to make the sojourn to Seattle for AWP, there’s already been a fair amount of controversy and items worth noting online. Below are a few items that caught my attention in February.
Taxing Communications Pre-AWP
Kudos to AWP for organizing the yearly migration of writers to Seattle, but many were caught surprise by the surprising tone-deaf announcement that doors would not be open to the public, a nasty backlash that rippled across Twitter and Facebook, and a late hour save by working with Seattle to find a workaround.
Now that cooler heads preside, perhaps now is the time to read a piece from Becky Tuch from Beyond the Margins: Going to AWP? Try Not to Be an Asshole.
Ethical Debate on a Poet’s Fundraising Efforts
The poetry world had its own version of the debate surrounding Dylan Farrow’s open letter about Woody Allen with an open letter from Kat Dixon to not support poet Gregory Sheryl’s fundraising efforts. Allegations of abuse became the topic of conversation on Dixon’s blog, on Twitter, and in HTML Giant.
J.K. Rowling Had Second Thoughts
The most famous love triangle since Luke’s sister kissing moments in The Empire Strikes Back comes back to the forefront when J.K. Rowling says Hermione should have married Harry, not Ron. Former literary agent turned author Nathan Bransford uses the news as an opportunity to share 3 things writers can learn from this revelation.
William S. Burroughs Turned 100
A century of Burroughs is brought into the spotlight by Davis Schneiderman on Huffington Post with his article that “explodes” five major myths about this towering literary figure.
Did the CIA Fund Creative Writing in America?
Iowa Workshop alum Eric Bennett takes a long look back at the tenure of Paul Engle and the influence of the CIA on America’s most famous writing program. Iowa Public Radio followed up with interviews looking into the possibilities of a connection between the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the CIA, while Press-Citizen.com thought that Bennett’s essay came up short and that the Cold War, not the CIA, influenced the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.