Kakutani, Man Booker, a City of Notions & more! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

 Michiko Kakutani is Leaving The New York Times

After 38 years as the chief daily book critic, Michiko Kakutani has announced her farewell. Indelibly interwoven with the profession, her last name even transformed into a verb – to be “Kakutanied”, she covered books across genres from literature to memoir, politics to poetry, and guided generations of readers. The famed critic plans to continue writing in her retirement, focusing on longer pieces on politics and culture.

Longlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize Released

The thirteen nominees for the £50,000 award include Arundhati Roy for The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Colson Whitehead for The Underground Railroad, and Zadie Smith for Swing Time. Roy won the prize for her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1997. Check out the full list of nominees here. Good luck to all the nominees!

Boston Celebrates the Release of First Poetry Anthology

On Thursday, July 27, the Boston Public Library hosted an event to celebrate the poetry collection City of Notions. The book includes poems from nearly sixty contributors, including former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky, poet and playwright Nick Flynn, and poet and essayist Elizabeth Alexander. In this article, WBUR  relates Boston poet laureate, Danielle Legros Georges words:

“She sought out poems that depict Boston in a completely unvarnished light, ‘”including those that address head-on such issues as race, social tensions, and cultural and class differences and positions.”‘


Scrivener 3—Coming Soon!


Literature and Latte have announced that the new version of the award-winning writing software, Scrivener 3, will be released soon. The macOS version will be up first, but a beta version of the Windows offering will be released on the same day. No exact date is set yet, but the company says its “nearly ready” and is set for later this year. There will be new features, as well as consolidation and simplification of older features. For a sneak peek at a couple of screenshots, click here.

But wait! There’s more…

Rust City Book Con coming to Troy, MI, next weekend.

Laughing Heart Literary Festival highlights Appalachian authors August 1st-4th. 

Louise Steinman celebrates the world of literature at L.A. Public Library. 

Wattpad takes chat fiction to the next level. 

Our Video of the Week is “The Tao of the Black Plastic Comb” (Motionpoems) by Glenis Redmond, uploaded on July 27 by Button Poetry. In the comment section, Redmond responds to viewers, “This poem is about embracing ourselves. Loving ourselves…”


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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