Elsewhere: a Lit Mag for Writing About Place

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS, ELSEWHERE:

“We envision Elsewhere to be a space for work that has trouble finding its place. We are interested in creative work that deals with marginalization in some form or another. We don’t think of race, gender, class and sexuality as dirty words or as problems to be dealt with outside of literature and art. Rather, we think of them as central to creative activity.”

So, send them your stuff, dear blog readers.

*    *     *    *

A few weeks ago, self was traipsing around southern California in the company of her ex-Assumption Convent classmates (even just typing those words — Assumption Convent — sounds quaint to self’s California ears!). And one of them agreed to spend the day with self, driving to and from San Diego.

And after almost three hours of driving, the two of us ended up in Balboa Park. In a section that was very very hot, with small trails and a children’s playground. And after some woebegone wandering about, self found the greatest discovery:  THE MUSEUM OF TORTURE. And she persuaded her classmate to venture inside and have a look. And indeed there were so many wonders contained therein, wonders such as:

  • the self-mortifying iron ring
  • the iron chastity belt
  • The “Iron Maiden” of Nuremberg (the last recorded use of which was August 1515)
  • All manner of scourges and flails

Self will not get too much into it, but suffice it to say, this museum is so interesting, situated right in Balboa Park.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“River, I Have Known Your Source”: Anvil Press Poetry, England

Self doesn’t remember how or why she bookmarked Anvil Press Poetry. She did it a couple of months ago, when she was traveling in Ireland and England. When she was meeting so many artists, so many people.

On the Anvil Press Poetry website, the “poem of the month” is by Nina Cassian. Self loves it:

“Origins”

River, I have known your source:
sparkling water crocheting quickly through
rock’s rigid garment. Yes, I knew,
river, I have known your source.

With my palm I touched your coolness
and beyond, a splendor not to miss,
the new grass was waiting for your kiss.
With my palm I touched your coolness.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Founded in 1968 by Peter Jay and now based in Greenwich, southe-east London, Anvil Press is England’s longest-standing independent poetry publisher.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Busy Bee

Self is extremely, extremely happy this morning. She was able to wheedle a reading date from her local library for Manila Noir, an anthology that Akashic published last year, and for which she has never given a reading.

She’s only one of — ehem — 15 Filipino writers in the book, it was edited by Superstar Jessica Hagedorn, she loves the pieces in it to bits. Why has she never read for it in her own neck of the woods?  OMG, why?

She wrote a brand new story, just for the anthology. Yup, one winter holiday, almost three years ago, La Hagedorn requested a story from self, and after wringing her hands for nearly a month, and subjecting herself to all sorts of angsty emo feelings, self ended the pity party, grit her teeth, addressed the problem (which had been hovering over her head, a veritable Sword of Damocles, making her incapable of performing even the simplest holiday tasks, such as setting up the Christmas tree) and that very same day, she came up with a story. Turned it in. Got quick thumbs up from Hagedorn. Became pride-ful and slothful. Told the world of her inclusion in said anthology. Crowed about her triumph in her little corner of the world, and then waited for — NOTHING. Everyone in the Philippines and Asia and even the continental U.S. of A. read the anthology, but her story was sandwiched between such greats that no one seemed to have time to comment on it. Nevertheless, nevertheless . . .

She did manage to get Lysley Tenorio (a fellow alum from Stanford’s Creative Writing Program, he teaches at Saint Mary’s in Moraga) to agree to read with her. Quite a feat, as the guy’s got a big agent, a big publisher, and he agreed to make the trek to REDWOOD CITY. And besides, self isn’t sure whether she still can read, it’s been a while. So it is good if Lysley reads with her, for he is an excellent reader. And not only that, he is affable and very used to signing author copies.

Now, since self is so energized, she is thinking of contacting other places, such as Books, Inc. in Town & Country. Hello, they already carry it; she’s seen it there, in their Mystery section. So, what’s the problem, self? What’s taking you so long? Get off your couch and who says you can’t? Get yourself over to Book Passage, while you’re at it.

Johanna Ingalls, Managing Editor of Akashic Books.  She's holding up MANILA NOIR: Self is one of the contributors.

Johanna Ingalls, Managing Editor of Akashic Books, at the 2013 Miami International Book Festival, holding up MANILA NOIR: Self is one of the contributors.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Containers 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

What a good idea, Red Hen Press!

They promoted Type O Negative, Joel Tan’s poetry collection, by handing out these chocolate candy bars at the AWP Book Fair, several years ago.

Candy Bar Wrapper (designed after the cover of Joel Tan's new poetry collection!)

candy bar wrapper (designed after the cover of Joel Tan’s new poetry collection!)

Containers # 2 is a fresh coconut:

In the Philippines, there are roadside stands selling fresh coconuts with straws so you can sip the juice.  This was somewhere near Sum-ag, near Bacolod City.

In the Philippines, there are roadside stands selling fresh coconuts with straws so you can sip the juice. Self took this picture on a beach in Sum-ag, just outside Bacolod City.

In January 2012, self went to India for the first time.  She flew from San Francisco to New Delhi, and spent the next two weeks traversing Himachal Pradesh.  She made it to Dharamsala.  It was freezing cold.  These hot braziers were brought into the dining room of the Colonel’s Resort in the village of Bir.

It was so cold, self's last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought in.

It was so cold, self’s last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought in.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Best New American Science Fiction & Fantasy: Series Launch 2015

Found this while googling John Joseph Adams today:

The Best American series is the premiere annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction.  Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites.  A special guest editor — a leading writer in the field — then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish.  This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular —  of its kind.

Now, with Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, series editor John Joseph Adams will curate a new anthology series that will demonstrate what science fiction and fantasy literature is capable of — that will demonstrate that science fiction and fantasy is more than just retreads of Star Trek and Star Wars, that it is the genre of Flowers for Algernon and Fahrenheit 451, of The Man in the High Castle, The Book of the New Sun, and a Canticle for Leibowitz, that it is the genre of Wild Seed and The Left Hand of Darkness, and of Little, Big and The Sparrow and Dhalgren.

Fabulous.

Self would like to add that one of son’s favorite books used to be Frank Herbert’s Dune, which is tellingly not mentioned in the announcement above.  In fact, son had the complete boxed set (hardcover).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Works of Art (Of the Literary Kind): Colette Bryce, Irish Writer # 6

“The Beast”

I thought, to hear my mother talk,
corruption lurked
round every corner;
up back lanes, in the Bull Park shelter,
and nowhere more
than the high-rise walks
and stairwells of the Roseville Flats,
a den, she said, of iniquity –
levelled, now, to rubble.

I followed my nose for trouble;
and found my shadow racing me
along the dizzy balcony
of the seventh floor
and, chasing me,
the hound of hell, a vision –
its overgrown electric blue fur spiked
to lacquered peaks,
after the latest fashion.

–  from the collection The Full Indian Rope Trick (Picador Poetry, 2005)

About Colette Bryce (from the Author Bio at the back of the book):

Her The Heel of Bernadette was one of the most highly praised new collections of recent years, winning both the Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection, and the Strong Award for best new Irish poet.  Her second, The Full Indian Rope Trick (the title poem already the winner of the 2003 National Poetry Competition), sees a leap forward in confidence and range, with Bryce’s dark lyric and darker wit finding many voices.  She grew up in Ulster.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reflections 5: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This is a set of photographs as well as a short reflection on a three-week trip to Venice self embarked on in April-May last year.

After over 30 years at the helm of Calyx Books, Margarita had retired. It had always been her dream to re-visit her childhood home in Venezuela, but the political situation made that difficult.

Venice was the stand-in.  Margarita found an apartment in Ca’ San Toma.

Even though self ended up losing a suitcase (long story, never mind), she took hundreds of pictures and re-visited a city that had haunted her dreams since she first laid eyes on it as a child of 11.

April was a good time to go.  There still weren’t that many tourists.  By May, however, the city was getting noticeably more crowded and stressful.  When she next visits Venice, she’ll try for earlier in the year: start of April, perhaps.

Dear blog readers, don’t even think of visiting Venice in the warm months of summer.  In the summer, the canals’ turgid water would no doubt have an undeniable odor, and the large cruise ships nosing into one end of San Marco Square would disgorge even greater hordes of tourists.  As it was, self never got to see the inside of the San Marco Cathedral.  The lines were too long — stretching all the way down one side of the square. May was the cusp.  She was glad she got to flee to Trieste for a few days.

On a vaporetto, late April 2013

Early Evening n the vaporetto to Murano, late April 2013

On the way to the Grand Canal

Just off the Grand Canal

Somewhere Near the Apartment in Ca' San Toma

Somewhere Near the Apartment in Ca’ San Toma

 

Not Quite on the Level of Shakesperean Tragedy, But Nevertheless Unfortunate

The Fourth Genre: Each miniature chapbook contained an excerpt from a published piece.

The Fourth Genre Table at the AWP Book Fair: Each miniature chapbook contained an excerpt from a piece they had published.  What a neat idea!

In spite of the fact that self hit the AWP Book Fair for a couple of hours every single day, she still managed to miss the following exhibitors, don’t ask why:

  • The Allegheny Review
  • The Austin Review
  • Barn Owl Review
  • Bellingham Review
  • Big Fiction Magazine
  • Booth
  • Burnside Review
  • Cutthroat
  • Duotrope
  • Ellipsis
  • Emergency Press
  • Fiction International
  • Five Points
  • Florida Review
  • Four Way Books (She missed Brian Komei Dempster’s reading for Topaz, boo)
  • Gargoyle Magazine
  • Gingko Tree Review
  • Grist
  • Hayden’s Ferry Review
  • Hobart
  • Kelsey Street Press
  • Kore Press
  • Lapham’s Quarterly
  • LSU Press
  • MacGuffin
  • Mid-American Review
  • Milkweed Editions
  • Minnesota Review
  • n+1 Magazine
  • Naugatuck River Review
  • New Delta Review
  • New Issues Poetry & Prose
  • New Letters/ BkMk Press
  • New York Review of Books
  • Newfound Journal
  • Night Train
  • Noemi Press
  • Omnidawn Publishing
  • Owl Eye Review
  • Pacifica Literary Review
  • Painted Bride Quarterly
  • Paris Press
  • Passages North
  • Permafrost Magazine
  • Poetry Flash
  • Press 53/ Prime Magazine
  • Puerto del Sol
  • Quiddity
  • Redivider
  • Rio Grande Review
  • River Teeth
  • Rock & Sling
  • Salamander
  • Sarabande Books
  • Sewanee Review/ Sewanee Writers Conference (Self has never been, but she heard this one is fabulous)
  • Soho Press
  • South Dakota Review
  • Submittable
  • Sun Magazine
  • Sundog Lit
  • Sycamore Review
  • Tampa Review
  • The Rumpus
  • Tusculum Review
  • Upstreet:  A Literary Magazine
  • Versal
  • Veterans Writing Project
  • Virginia Quarterly Review
  • Water-Stone Review
  • Whidbey Writers Workshop
  • Zone 3 Press
  • ZYZZYVA
  • Small Press Distribution

By the time self left Seattle, she had such an accumulation of flyers, reviews, chapbooks and other what-have-you from book and magazine publishers at the Book Fair that she had to check in not just one but two pieces of luggage at Sea-Tac.

Spork Press (based in Austin, TX):  Featuring Handmade Books of Fiction * Poetry * Whatever

Spork Press (based in Austin, TX): Featuring Handmade Books of Fiction * Poetry * Whatever

But, it’s all good.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Family 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme this week is FAMILY.

The prompt on The Daily Post site asks:

What is family?  For some, family is defined by genetics.  For others, it is simply those with whom you share a bond of love.

Son and his best friend, Kramer. Kramer's doing a PhD in UC Davis; he used to be in Harvey Mudd.

Son and his best friend, Kramer. Kramer’s doing a PhD in UC Davis; he did his undergraduate work in Harvey Mudd. Photo was taken at Buck’s in Woodside.

Calyx Press, based in Corvallis, OR, published self's first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila. The editors are my second family.

Calyx Press, based in Corvallis, OR, published self’s first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila. The editors became self’s second family.

Gracie being chased by Scots Terrier w/ pee fetish. She passed away in April 2011.

Gracie being chased by Scots Terrier. She passed away in April 2011.

Poem for the Day After New Year’s (2013)

Poem 53 of the One Hundred Poets (translation from the Japanese by Clay MacCauley)

written by Udaisho Michitsuna no Haha (937 – 995)

Sighing all alone,
Through the long watch of the night,
Till the break of day: –
Can you realize at all
What a tedious thing it is?

The poet was the daughter of Fujiwara no Motoyasu, and became the mother of the imperial commander Fujiwara no Michitsuna.  Self’s personal copy of the One Hundred Poets is the one published by George Braziller in 1989, and edited by Peter Morse.  Each poem is accompanied by an illustration by Hokusai.  Here’s how Morse describes Hokusai’s illustration for Poem 53:

The woman has been awake, for her clothing is rumpled due to her restlessness.  She has come out on the porch with a lantern, presumably at dawn, to look for her missing husband.  We see a pipe and tobacco pouch resting on the pillow within the house, the sign of an absent man.  Around the corner of the house we can see a cistern and water dipper.

This figure of the lone woman appears several other times among Hokusai’s drawings . . .  She is always waiting for a man, a situation generally suggested by the poem.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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