It’s been a while since I’ve posted news of all our various goings on and whatnot. But everyone at Big Other has been up to all kinds of great things.
Figures for an Apocalypse
In a house at the end of a street of deserted
houses, a dog sleeps.
The sun begins
to come up, or the movement
of the earth lets the sun
appear to come up.
Edward Mullany’s stories, poems and pictures have a strange power. They confront what is going on in the world–the violence, the misunderstandings, the place of the family. We’ve spent time together at readings and gone to museums. Edward is a wonderful reader of his work and a good friend. He’s also a peacemaker. Once, in Harlem, he quelled an incredibly loud disturbance outside a bar where our friends were reading.
With sites (especially blogs, I’d imagine) coming and going, resembling fairweathered friends with their weighty promises and concomitant lack of follow-through, and with evanescence and disposability, perhaps, being two of the internet’s primary characteristics, an internet year must be to an in-real-life year as what a dog year is to a human year. But it’s not for these reasons I’m happy to say that Big Other is celebrating its first year today.
A year ago, thinking about how frustrating it was to find a place that invited dialogue (and by “dialogue” I mean the concept formalized best, for me, by Paulo Friere, that is, a nexus that allows, encourages, fosters communication characterized by respect and equality, where diversity of thought is encouraged, where understanding and learning are privileged over mere judgment, although conclusions and sound and informed discernment, that is, sound judgment, and maybe even wisdom, may, in fact, result); thinking about how many blogs encourage stereotypes, discord, stupidity, inanity, macho posturing, and self-reflexiveness, blogs that are havens of groupthink, blogs that are really just another kind of mirror, mirror, on the wall, blogs that are really just digitized lint in an electronic navel; thinking about how I wanted something different from all that noise, I launched Big Other with the idea of it being what I, in some kind act of faith, called “an online forum of iconoclasts and upstarts focusing its lens on books, music, comics, film, video and animation, paintings, sculpture, performance art, and miscellaneous nodes and sonic booms,” a place to “explore how we are made and unmade by images, language, and sound; examine computer-mediated worlds; and dance along with various tumults, genre- and other border-crossings, trespassings, transgressions, and whatever, nevermind.” And I have to say that I haven’t been disappointed. Big Other has become all those things for me, and so much more, and by “so much more,” I mean, it has truly become a conduit for meeting many incredible people in person, and so, I really can’t wait to see what comes next for us.
Do you know Seth Landman? If not, you should. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few weeks ago in Denver, thanks to Mike Young. (Do you know Mike Young? If not, you should.) There were burgers, there were pints and $3.00 martinis, and there was a vacuum. And, later, there was a trade. I gave Seth a copy of We Take Me Apart, and he gave me lovely looking copies of the poetry journal he edits, Invisible Ear (Issues 2, 3, and 4), which look like little chapbooks, each with a unique cover, and each printed in limited editions.
Issue 2’s contents looks like this:
Marie Buck, Jessica Fjeld, Brad Flis, Lawrence Giffin, Rachel B. Glaser, Ben Kopel, Lily Ladewig, Emily Pettit, Alex Phillips, Jono Tosch.
Issue 3’s contents looks like this:
Brian Baldi, Ezekiel Black, Jack Christian, Ari Feld, Lewis Freedman, Anjali Khosla Mullany, Mark Leidner, Edward Mullany, Emily Toder, Lesley Yalen.
And Issue 4’s contents looks like this:
David Bartone & Jeff Downey, Eric Baus, Luke Bloomfield, Francesca Chabrier, Phil Cordelli, Loren Goodman, Kim Hagerich, Hailey Higdon, Brian Mihok, Michelle Taransky.
Please welcome our newest contributors Rachel Swirsky and Edward Mullany. Rachel’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of venues including Tor.com, Subterranean Magazine, and the Konundrum Engine Literary Review. A short collection of her feminist fiction and poetry is forthcoming from Aqueduct Press in 2010. Rachel writes about feminism, social justice, and progressive politics as Mandolin at Alas, a Blog. She also sometimes writes at Ambling Along the Aqueduct, the blog of Aqueduct Press. She maintains a personal livejournal, a facebook page under Rachel Swirsky, and a twitter account as rachelswirsky. More details about her writing can be found at her website. Check out her first Big Other post HERE.
Edward lives in New York. His work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, New Ohio Review, wigleaf, Keyhole Magazine, and other journals. He is an editor at matchbook, and he writes about literature and art at notes about permanent things.