The American Writers Museum, Hillary & the BookExpo, Joy Harjo and More! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

American Writers Museum Opens in Chicago


The American Writers Museum opens its doors today in Chicago.  The 11,000 square feet space houses timelines, placards, a word “waterfall” with interactive games, and more. A small selection of the writers represented include Mark Twain, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Helen Keller, and Emily Dickenson. Per Max Rudin, a member of the museum’s content leadership team, a main goal of the museum is to “capture the energy of our uniquely democratic literary culture in all its diversity and sometimes even its eccentricity.”


Hillary Clinton to Appear at BookExpo 2017

bookexpoThe special appearance will be on the main stage at the at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC on June 1st. Clinton is currently wrapping up a book of essays that will be published later this year. The book is currently untitled, but will surely be a topic of the special event (among other things??). Sorry folks, the event is already sold out. The BookExpo will run from May 31 – June 2, and will include many other authors including Stephen King and retired astronaut Scott Kelly.

Joy Harjo Wins $100K Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

The critically-acclaimed poet from Oklahoma and a member of the Mvskoke Nation, Harjo has written seven books of poetry including How We Became Human- New and Selected Poems,  and The Woman Who Fell From the Sky. On winning the venerable prize, Harjo said,

“…There are so many who are a part of me making it to where I am on this poetry road. I’ve had so many teachers. Some were formal educators, others artists, family members, elements, animals, plants and others. The process of becoming never ends. Thank you.” — Joy Harjo

Nigerian Publishing Company Cassava Republic is Growing

Cassava Republic, launched in 2006 and based in Abuja, Nigeria, is thriving. The publisher of such titles as Every Day Is For The Thief by Teju Cole and Seasons of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim expanded into Europe last year and will now be expanding into the U.S. too.

But wait! There’s more!

Amazon makes a checkout change. Uh-oh. 

James Patterson and former President Bill Clinton are collaborating on a novel.

Anne with an E debuts on Netflix.

Is “picting” the new writing?

For our video of the week — nurturing young creatives.  This piece, titled Writer’s Craft Film Poetry, is by Victoria Malawi and was posted on May 7th. In her narration of the moving video, she says this about her young star, “You know more about love than anyone I know.”


laurel dowswell

Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am the Eggman” 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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