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Roxane Gay to Start Blogging at The Nation

By Harriet Staff

roxanne gay

Author and cultural-critic, Roxanne Gay, will be blogging for the next two weeks at The Nation. Her goal? To diversify the literary conversation across all genres. According to Carolyn Kellogg, of JacketCopy:

For the next two weeks Roxane Gay will be blogging at The Nation about new books by writers of color. Gay, author of the story collection “Ayiti” as well as an essayist and editor, has dedicated herself to calling attention to the lack of diversity in the way we talk about books in this country and to pointing readers toward talented writers of color that she says the media is overlooking.

Gay has been down this road before — in the summer of 2012 she counted the number of reviews of books by writers of color in 2011’s New York Times. That year, about 12% of the 742 books reviewed by the New York Times were authored by people of color. After publishing her findings on The Rumpus, Gay crowd-sourced a list of writers of color as a corrective gesture aimed at editors and readers who responded that they just don’t know how to find writers of color.

When asked about the response to these earlier essays, Gay, who spoke by phone Tuesday, said she “felt like it brought more awareness to the issue, and people responded really, really well.” But, she says, “It’s certainly going to take more than just a couple blog posts on The Rumpus to really create the change that’s necessary. Quite honestly, it’s going to take the editors of these major publications just making clear mandates about including diverse coverage.”

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Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, September 12th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.