Harry Potter, Hidden Poems & More: Your Lit News Roundup by Emily Ramser

Three More Harry Potter Books?

Following the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling has announced that she is releasing three new Harry Potter books. Harry Potter fans shouldn’t get too excited; these books are not specifically about the Boy-Who-Lived. The three books, Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide; Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Political and Pesky Poltergeists; and Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies will be ebooks that focus on the secrets of the famous wizarding world.

Speaking of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling’s play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been received a shocking amount of negative reviews. Reviewers have raised concern over queerbaiting and the poor portrayal of women in the text. Have you read the newest installment in the Harry Potter series? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments below.

Though Rowling is releasing her newest books in ebook format only, the digital book trend may be falling.

Bookstore Sales on the Rise

Bookstore sales rose 2.5 percent in 2015 and then 6.1 percent this year so far. This is the first annual gain in the brick-and-mortar bookstore sector since 2007. Before 2015, bookstore sales had been steadily declining. I’m excited about this trend, as bookstores are my favorite places in the world.

In Search of Connections Between Sci-Fi and Medicine

Scotland’s University of Glasgow is building a database of science fiction works that deal with medical themes. The school has created a new project called “Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities.” The project is meant to study creative visions of medical care by finding connections between science fiction and medicine. The whole thing is crowd-sourced, meaning they’ve opened it up to contributions from the public. If you’re interested in helping out, get started here.

The Affrilachian Poets Refuse Award

The Affrilachian Poets have decided to reject a 2016 Community Arts Award from Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. The award is given to nine groups or individuals each year who have made a sustainable contribution to arts in Kentucky. The Affrilachian Poets have chosen not to accept the award because the governor’s comments, positions, and actions on several issues, including education, criminal justice reform and the LGBTQ community, do not align with the group’s. This is the first time anyone has rejected this award according to the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of Kentucky.

Hiding Poems in Columbia, MO

Sidewalks in downtown Columbia have been decorated with hidden poems. The Missouri Review, a literary magazine, has painted poems on local sidewalks in clear water repellent spray. As such, the poems are only visible when it rains. I’m hoping other cities will start hiding poems on their streets soon too.

Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collectionI Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.

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