paper trail

Hanif Abdurraqib talks about musicians who use masks; Bhanu Kapil awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize

Hanif Abdurraqib. Photo: Andy Cenci

Authors Ken Chen and Craig Morgan Tiecher highlight their favorite books of poetry coming out in 2021.

Marcela Valdes, a journalist who has held positions at Publishers Weekly and Washington Post Book World, has been hired as a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine. In a letter announcing the hire, editor Jake Silverstein writes: “Marcela has been an important contributor to the Magazine for many years, covering politics, culture, immigration and more. Her recent cover story on conservative efforts to win Latino votes in the 2020 election showed, yet again, what a rigorous, intelligent and fast reporter Marcela is.” Silverstein also points to Valdes’s work outside of the NYTM, much of it about books: “She’s written about the meaning of Alice Munro to Canadians, the hyping of books like Bob Woodward’s through marketing-driven embargos, and this evocative piece about the marriage of two devout Catholics from immigrant families…. Her essay on the making of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 remains one of the most trenchant examinations of that landmark novel.”

Bhanu Kapil has been awarded the T. S. Eliot prize for her “radical and arresting” collection How to Wash a Heart.

New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers, who wrote extensively about Melania Trump’s tenure as First Lady, has sold a book about Jill Biden to Crown.

Author Hanif Abdurraqib devotes the latest episode of his podcast Object of Sound to the idea of masks and masking in music, discussing performers such as MF Doom, Arca, New York Dolls, and Grace Jones with authors Harmony Holiday and Sasha Geffen.

In a virtual event that will begin today at 2 PM EST, Avni Doshi will discuss her debut novel, Burnt Sugar, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and which will be released in the US this week.