Round-Up: Indepedent Bookstore Day, Apple’s iBooks shuts down in China, and Warsan Shire

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From the celebration of Independent Bookstore Day to a closer look at the poet behind Beyonce’s Lemonade, here’s the latest literary news:

  • Saturday was 2016’s Independent Bookstore Day. Indie bookstores all across America participated in this year’s festivities. Last year’s Indie Bookstore Day was a huge success, resulting in a 70 percent increase in book sales at small bookstores. This year is the holiday’s second year; the people running the event hope to expand to more independent bookstores in years to come. Independent Bookstore Day program director Samantha Schoech told Publisher’s Weekly, “We are figuring out ways for smaller, slightly more geographically isolated stores to participate.”
  • The release of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade has shone a great spotlight on poet Warsan Shire, whose poetry is featured as spoken-word interludes throughout the film. Beyoncé reads from several of Shire’s poems, including “Dear Moon,” “Warsan Versus Melancholy,” “How to Wear Your Mother’s Lipstick,” “The Unbearable Weight of Staying,” “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love,” and “Nail Technician as Palm Reader.” The twenty-seven-year-old poet was named the 2014 Young Poet Laureate; the New York Times reports that “she is already known to many as a compelling voice on black womanhood and the African diaspora.”