paper trail

Story prize finalists announced; Brenden O’Connor on fighting fascism

Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Tayarisha Poe

The London Review of Books has put together a collection of pieces from the paper on “How (not) to stage a coup,” featuring work by Hilary Mantel, Christopher Hitchens, Patricia Beer, and more.

The Story Prize, sponsored by the Chisholm Foundation, has announced its finalists for the year: Danielle Evans, Deesha Philyaw, and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum.

A group of NPR stations has sent a letter criticizing the New York Times, producer Andy Mills, and host Michael Barbaro for their handling of the Caliphate podcast controversy. (One of the central figures of that show was later found to have probably made up much of his story.) The letter reads, in part: “We, along with our audiences, place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from influence of any kind, whether motivated by financial, political, or personal enrichment reasons.” The letter accuses Barbaro of publicly criticising the podcast while privately telling reporters to temper their criticism.

“There are many ways to catch a Nazi,” writes Kim Kelly at Columbia Journalism Review. Kelly is a labor and politics journalist who began writing as a music critic, and learned to spot white supremascist code words and symbols during her time covering heavy metal: “It takes time and dedication to flush out a Nazi who does not wish to be recognized, and you’re likely to miss the signs if you’re not conversant in the language. Music and culture writers are used to reading between lines that way.”

Tonight at 5 PM EST, Haymarket Books hosts journalists Brenden O’Connor and Jay Caspian Kang for a conversation about O’Connor’s new book, Blood Red Lines, the social formations that gave rise to the Trump presidency, and fighting fascism.

At the Paris Review, Claire Schwartz interviews poet Destiny Birdsong about metaphor and control in her debut collection, Negotiations. For Birdsong, sometimes, critical analysis in poetry is unnecessary: “Sometimes a thing is just a thing. It happened, and it was bad.”