National Poetry Month, Chance the Rapper, Roxane Gay & More! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

National Poetry Month Kicks Off!





April is National Poetry month in the US and there are many ways to celebrate! From Twitter poetry to National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27th, and attending local poetry gatherings, language, poems, and poets are in the spotlight.

Bob Dylan Accepts Nobel in Private Ceremony

With twelve Academy members, champagne, and the medal presentation, Bob Dylan accepted his Nobel on Saturday, April 1st. The meeting took place at a “secret location” before Dylan’s first concert in Stockholm.

Chance the Rapper is Supporting Arts & Literature Programs in Chicago

Grammy winner Chance the Rapper has announced his New Chance Arts and Literature Fund. This fund will go to support arts and literature programs in the Chicago Public School system and will go into effect in the 2017-2018 school year.

“This check that I donated is a call to action,” he says in the accompanying video. Challenging corporations to do the same for the city and its students, he made the announcement at Westcott Elementary. In the same press conference, the Chicago Bulls announced they would be matching his $1M effort.

“As an artist and an after-school teacher, I know that the arts are essential. They teach kids invaluable lessons.” — Chance the Rapper

Famous Russian Poet That Opposed Dictatorship Dies

Yevgeny Yevtushenko, an acclaimed Russian poet, passed away Saturday morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Famous for denouncing the actions of Josef Stalin, as well as the Nazis, he gained international attention for his poem Babi Yar, among many other works.


Roxane Gay Talks With Nerdette About Her New Book, Beyonce, and Much More

Difficult Women


Roxane Gay has a new book of short stories titled Difficult Women and spoke with Nerdette about writing, genre, Lemonade, her work with Marvel and Ta-Nehisi Coates and more during the podcast.

She starts out the interview this way,

“I think that dirty realism is probably my wheel house, and I’m always trying to grow as a writer and experiment. So I never allow myself to be constrained by what I’m most comfortable in because I don’t know that that’s where my best writing happens.”– Roxane Gay



But wait, there’s more!

A space scientist and a professor teach literature through anime. 

The National Undergraduate Literature Conference takes place.

Sci-fi and fantasy writer Delilah Dawson gets interviewed at Wondercon 2017.

AP adds singular pronoun They to Stylebook.

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is this week’s video pick featuring the Austin Public Library series. This is Caroline Gormley with an excerpt from A Darkness So Large.



laurel dowswell
Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am theEggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, a lot of red wine, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.


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