The big hubbub in Creative Writing Land this week is of course the fallout from Kate Gale’s HuffPo article posted on Monday defending the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP); the article by Gale, founder and current managing editor of Red Hen Press, was a response to last week’s accusations of a lack of diversity and transparency at AWP. Gale’s article (which has since been taken down but can be read here) was widely viewed as offensive and caused quite an uproar. We covered the initial backlash and Gale’s retraction, along with some commentary from AWP Director David Fenza. The Chronicle of Higher Ed also covered the story, as did many bloggers and writers. Gale issued a more personal apology. The matter is far from settled and we’ll no doubt being hearing more about it.
A sort of related controversy sprang up on the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog, when a post from poet and VIDA director Amy King and a number of other poets called “What Is Literary Activism” inspired a response about more general notions of political activism from a series of other poets, and then a further response from King and others.
Amidst all the frustration around AWP, writers are also making effort to call attention to other conferences and festivals going on in the near future. One such event is the Split This Rock Poetry Festival to be held in Washington D.C. April 14-17 2016. The lineup includes newly-appointed Poet Laureate Juan Filipe Herrera and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney.
In other events news, the prestigious New York City-based Happy Ending reading series, which mostly focuses on big name and up-and-coming fiction writers, will re-launch this November at its biggest venue yet, Symphony Space on New York’s Upper West Side.
Finally, getting paid is of interest to all writers. A HuffPo blogger recently wrote about the importance of standing of for the value of one’s work as a journalist and insisting on getting paid rather than merely trading writing for "exposure."