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This year’s NEA Creative Writing Fellows; “The Point” launches its “Criticism in Public” interview series

Tope Folarin. Photo: Justin Gellerson

The 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellows have been named. This year, the grantees are all prose writers, including Melissa Febos, Tope Folarin, Kelli Jo Ford, Shruti Swamy, Grace Talusan, and more.

At Vulture, Andrea Long Chu reviews Hanya Yanagihara’s new novel To Paradise. Chu argues that Yanagihara remains at heart a travel writer, and that “her work betrays a touristic kind of love for gay men. By exaggerating their vulnerability to humiliation and physical attack, she justifies a maternal posture of excessive protectiveness. This is not an act of dehumanization but the opposite.”

The Point has launched a new interview series called “Criticism in Public,” which will explore questions on contemporary literary criticism “in direct dialogue with those working at the intersection between academic scholarship and public discourse.” New interviews will be published every other week. The first installment features Jessica Swoboda’s interview with Kamran Javadizadeh, an associate professor at Villanova University who writes about poetry for the New Yorker, The Point, and the New York Review of Books: “I guess what I want to give my reader is an idea that isn’t reducible to paraphrase.”

For NPR, David Folkenflik looks at why the network has recently lost journalists of color. After the departures of three prominent hoats—Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Noel King, and Audie Cornish—All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro tweeted that NPR is “hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds.” Folkenflik’s investigation reveals a host of factors including “hosts [who] concluded they were made to be the public face of NPR but did not have the network's full support.”

Next Thursday, the National Book Critics Circle will announce the finalists for their 2021 awards and host a discussion, “The Critic as Artist: What We’ve Learned in 30 Years of Reviewing,” with critics Jo Livingstone, Daniel Mendelsohn, Parul Sehgal, and Katy Waldman. The awards ceremony and panel are free to attend.