paper trail

Hanif Abdurraqib’s new monthly column; Marlon James talks with George R.R. Martin

Hanif Abdurraqib

Michael Robbins—author of the poetry collection Alien Vs. Predator and the essay collection Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music—just announced that he has another book in the works: “contract signed for my third book of poems, Walkman. scheduled for early '21 if civilization hasn't collapsed.”

The Verge has posted a video of a conversation between Marlon James and George R.R. Martin, in which the authors dwell on genre, violence, and a writer’s concerns about audience.

The Paris Review has posted the first installment of poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib’s new monthly column, Notes on Pop. “I like a jukebox that requires labor. I’m not aging into one of those fist-shaking olds who sits on a porch and bemoans the fact that kids these days don’t play outdoors or that people stare at their phones or whatever else gets said about the younger generations. But there is the fact that I prefer a jukebox, one that cannot be controlled by a phone. I believe in accountability everywhere, even as it so eagerly escapes much of our day-to-day lives.”

Author Emily Gould talks about The Bell Jar, Andrea Kleine’s novel Eden, and how social media has hurt book reviewing: “The flattening of discourse into BEST or WORST is uh … THE WORST. Also people are very scared of being canceled and this is bad for both books and criticism, duh.”

Meghan O’Rourke—whose books include the poetry collection Halflife and the memoir The Long Goodbye—talks about her plans as editor of The Yale Review. “The great challenge of editing a literary journal—or a political and literary journal, which I hope the Yale Review will be—is to figure out how to publish an assortment of really good pieces that add up to something more than a slightly incidental aesthetic. That point to aspects of our cultural experience that we know but maybe haven’t named or aspects of the discourse that are hypocritical or unrigorously explored.”