Poets & Writers is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. The organization began in 1970 with a program—which continues to this day—that pays writers fees for giving readings and leading writing workshops in community-based settings. In 1973 Poets & Writers launched a newsletter called Coda; in 1987, Coda became Poets & Writers Magazine. From its comprehensive listings of grants and awards to its in-depth interviews with agents and editors, from trusted, practical guidance about the business of writing to insightful profiles of contemporary authors, Poets & Writers Magazine has been the standard text for writers for decades. Here are a baker’s dozen of iconic covers from years past. (Courtesy of Poets & Writers)
In its first incarnation, Coda was printed on newsprint punched with holes for safekeeping in a three-ring binder.
The health of independent bookstores was already a concern when this photograph of Frances Steloff, founder of the late great Gotham Book Mart, was taken.
Jules Fifer illustrated the cover of this issue, which took a look back at the 70’s.
“The Plight of the First Novel” considered the unlikely success of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.
A portrait of Truman Capote by Nancy Crampton appeared on the cover of this issue, which featured an interview with Crampton as part of a series on photographers who work with authors as subjects.
This issue featured a conversation with Joan Larkin and Carl Morse, editors of and Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time, an anthology they hoped would spark a new conversation among fellow poets.
“Poetry is boring because it’s controlled by boring people,” said Quincy Troupe in this profile by Christine Cassidy.
A profile of T. Coraghessan Boyle described him as “that happy anomaly: the respectable iconoclast.”
In an interview with John Irving, the author discussed his life, his work, and writing through obsessions.
Sharon Olds, known for searing family poems, talked about loyalty, betrayal, and the fellowship of poets.
Dorothy Allison discussed her books Bastard Out of Carolina and Skin.
Toni Morrison, profiled by Kevin Nance.
Chip Kidd designed the cover of the 2010 Inspiration issue.