paper trail

Poetry magazine will not publish its September issue; Yaa Gyasi discusses her new novel

Yaa Gyasi. Photo: Penguin Random House © Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation

The large indie bookstore Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon will no longer sell titles on Amazon. CEO Emily Powell said the company had long seen the negative impact Amazon has had on bookstores and neighborhoods but that selling on the site “was hard to give up, sort of like smoking.”

Poetry magazine will not publish its September issue, as it works to revamp its editorial process and hiring practices. The magazine has had several high-profile resignations this summer after an outcry over the publication of a poem by Michael Dickman that used racist language as well as the Poetry Foundation’s brief public response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The editors wrote in a statement: “This pause is a necessary part of Poetry magazine’s reckoning with the deep-seated white supremacy of our organization.”

At the Los Angeles Times, Yaa Gyasi talks about her new book, Transcendent Kingdom.

At the New Yorker, Victor Luckerson looks at how white allyship is affecting Black bookstores, profiling Fulton Street Books & Coffee in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After the killing of George Floyd, Luckerson writes, “Stores that were once community-gathering spaces for Black people are now centers of intellectual triage for white people.” The store’s owner, Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, observes, “We always bear the burden of being the educators, being the folks who push, and sometimes it’s exhausting.”

In a statement, White House spokesperson Judd Deere has accused the Washington Post of “blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization” apparently in response to a Thursday story by David Fahrenthold, Josh Dawsey, and Joshua Partlow detailing how the president’s company charged the government for hotel rooms at Mar-a-Lago. Deere announced that the White House is building up a “very large” dossier on the work of Fahrenthold and others it sees as a “disgrace to journalism and the American people.”