Published for a Day

The Word Riot “Published for a Day” experiment is happening, with over 60 (Sixty!) full length books available for download (my sci-fi western about illegal immigration included). Kind of amazing. I recommend heading over and browsing through the synopses and grabbing a few before they’re taken down. One day only! GO TAKE A LOOK.

And if you have a blog, spread the news! Let’s get these authors some eyeballs.

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Dumb Shit That Gets You Down

Rejections are tough, no question. And editors, God bless ’em, are known to reach out on occasion and provide a word or two of explanation–usually to soften the blow. But sometimes it backfires. Sometimes what an editor, through the goodness of his/her heart, provides by way of explanation can be outrageous, insulting, or worse: can stick in your head like the inane chorus of a damn top 40 song, just to make you feel hopeless, despondent, and hateful.

I’m not going to name the journal, let alone the editor, but the most recent case of this happening earned me the following: “One of the reasons I passed on your story was I thought it was a bit too long. And not just for our mag, but for what it was doing.”

Now, I could list out the reasons why this irritates me. I could find fault with it’s logic. I could recuse its author. I could continue my tantrum. But all that is sheer defensiveness. What I’m interested in here is the pain. Are there any criticisms you’ve received from editors (or anyone, really) that have stuck around beyond their usefulness, causing irritation, anxiety, or dismay? Maybe if you gave voice to them here, you could set yourself free.

The Varieties of Poetic Experience

A while ago I began to solicit videos of friends and associates reading/performing/interpreting poems from my collection, In This Alone Impulse, in exchange for a copy of said collection. A dozen or so videos into this project, I’m amazed and impressed by the range of attitude, voice and dimension the videos have exhibited. Each of these videos represents not just a reading, but a unique response to poetry, and in that respect I think they’re quite valuable and interesting art-ifacts.

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Are you feeling ambitious?

This post will serve double duty. First, it will point you toward John Madera’s excellent and informed monthly reading round-up over at The Nervous Breakdown. As he did last time, and as he will continue to do on every first week of the month, his column explores his adventures in reading both new and old works, with heavy emphasis on certain canonical passions (now William Gass) along side of reflections on the work of contemporaries (Aaron Burch, among others). Please go check it out.

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Kate Zambreno reads on Friday in NYC

Kate Zambreno reads from her debut novel O Fallen Angel (Chiasmus Press) at Bluestockings Radical Books–a very cool progressive bookstore in the LES–along with Masha Tupitsyn (Beauty Talk and Monsters) and Kim Rosenfield (Good Morning Midnight).

The Deets:

Friday, April 30 at 7pm at Bluestockings, 72 Allen Street, New York, NY.

Kate’s novel is an American triptych inspired by Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion,” also a grotesque homage to Mrs. Dalloway. She writes the blog Frances Farmer Is My Sister, which will inspire a collection of essays to be published by Semiotext(e)’s Active Agents series in Fall 2011. She is also an editor at Nightboat Books.

Here’s a blurb from one of our favorite former Big Other contributors:

“Haunting and visionary, Kate Zambreno’s O FALLEN ANGEL examines the suburban family with ruthless elegance. Here is a novel, done and undone, a brazen mirror reflecting the 21st century.”
—Lily Hoang