Blair Braverman discusses her latest book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North, gendered travel narratives, and the pressure to write about personal trauma. ...more
Raphael Cormack discusses The Book of Khartoum: A City in Short Fiction, a collection of short stories he co-edited and translated, the editorial process, and the responsibilities that accompany translating writing. ...more
And while the faces and nomenclature between these historically discrete agents of change differ, the one governing commonality remains the same: unfettered gun ownership and correlative violence play a pivotal role....more
Jeremy Earl discusses his latest album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, the fruitful tension of city vs. country, finding beauty in the darkness of today’s world, and the enduring good vibes of the Grateful Dead. ...more
This year over a thousand people signed up to run for President of the United States. And you thought we had no choices. Craig Tomashoff decided to drive across country and see who some of these candidates are.
In this interview we talk about—well, Juliet especially comes correct about mental health and poetry and honesty and life in West Virginia and why she writes and how terrifying her trailers were for the book and teaching while being bad as fuck and living & surviving trauma and physical attacks and about living without the shell, without the mirrored glasses and mirrored shield and without the lies.
This short comic project is based on my childhood. I grew up on a farm in Iowa where my dad has worked every day of his life. He is the hardest working yet most loving man I have ever known. With this comic essay, I wanted to let people know that being a farmer takes a unique and special skill set that not many have. You must be hardworking and tough, but at the same time be caring and loving.
Till Residency at Smoke Farm, an annual four-day stay in Arlington, serves as the organization’s centerpiece. Then there’s the Till chapbook, which is a collection of work from each year’s resident writers. And every month, they host Till Tonight, a gathering open to writers of all genres, which like the residency, accepts everyone from slam poets to fiction writers, people just starting out to established folks.
If you want to change the world, why write poetry?
Wayne Koestenbaum, writing for the New York Times, takes a moment to appreciate Adrienne Rich’s body of work via the recently released Collected Poems, focusing on Rich’s ability to sing impassioned with ethical concerns.
During a performance at WPXN’s XPoNential Music Festival, Father John Misty decided he couldn’t bring himself to give the show his audience expected and delivered a sermon against numbness instead. Criticizing his own role in producing a climate where dissenters are satisfied with laughing at a problem rather than working for change, the artist spoke over a misunderstanding, cheering crowd:
I always thought that it was going to look way more sophisticated than this when evil happened. When the collective consciousness was so numb and so fucking sated and so gorged on entertainment… How entertaining should this be right now with a fucking battleship in the background and this shit on TV, how fucking fun should this be? (more…)
In the first of a two-part series at the Public Domain Review, Lily Ford uses 18th century illustrations and drawings from balloonists to capture the changes in science and society brought by the first people to see the world from the sky.
The response to [the Handmaid’s Tale] was interesting. The English, who had already had their religious civil war, said, “Jolly good yarn.” The Canadians in their nervous way, said, “Could it happen here?” And the Americans said, “How long have we got?”
For Lit Hub, Grant Munroe interviews Margaret Atwood on seemingly everything, touching on the Salem witch trials, Donald Trump, Canada as a place of refuge, and some of her million projects: Hag-seed, her adaptation of The Tempest; her graphic novel Angel Catbird; and the forthcoming Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, among others.
For Hyperallergic, Allison Meier covers design ideas for nuclear waste warning signs, with scientists and artists around the world attempting to design warning signs that would deter humans 10,000 (or even 100,000) years in the future from digging up our buried nuclear waste.
REMINDER: The first-ever Rumpus LO-FI Film Festival is this Saturday, 7/30! A one-day event at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, the festival will screen three films, in addition to the world premiere of AfterAdderall and two awesome panel discussions. If you haven’t already purchased tickets, what are you waiting for?!
First, in the Saturday Interview, Tyrese L. Coleman talks with author Leslie Pietrzyk about her award-winning 2015 collection, This Angel On My Chest, and its relationship with real life events. The author explains her approach to writing about personal tragedy, which is “to write the ‘true’ things until the truth wasn’t as interesting as what I could make up.”
Finally, Jennifer Fliss recalls the pain of childbirth against the backdrop of a particular setting, the so-called Rust Belt, in the Sunday Essay. The author juxtaposes the urgency and confusion of labor with the “plaid carpets” and “Star Wars relics” of midwestern homes and the unique “patina” of rust. Fliss writes, “If you get really close up, rust can be beautiful. Fissures create abstract shapes and symmetries… Streaks and splotches and cracked paint. None of it is perfect and that’s the beauty.”
At Electric Literature, an anonymous writer shares her personal experience with a creative writing classmate who plagiarized other poets. The writer poses the question of when writing crosses the boundary between respectful mimicry and plagiarism:
When have I changed [a poem] enough that the poem is now in my possession, my creative and intellectual property? One of my students recently noted, “You can do anything in poetry, can’t you?” I answered yes, but qualified the statement: “As long as you don’t appropriate without acknowledgment.” Certainly, there are ways to acknowledge, maybe include a footnote or put beneath the title:”‘after [insert poet’s name].” What is the best way to do this? What are the rules exactly? Where is “the line?”
A novel wants to befriend you, a short story almost never.
Over at VICE, Lincoln Michel nabbed the elusive and brilliant Joy Williams for an interview about her newest short story collection, ninety-nine stories of God. Her answers are wonderful in their minimalist nature, and for lovers of lists she even included “8 Essential Attributes of the Short Story (and one way it differs from a novel).”