07 November 2008

The Return of the Starcherone Fiction Prize for Innovative Fiction

After a year away, Starcherone Books announces the return of our annual manuscript contest, featuring fiction writer Ben Marcus as Final Judge.

The 2009-10 contest, offering $1000 and publication with Starcherone Books, is now accepting entries. Contest is open to story collections, novels, or indeterminate prose works up to 400 pages. Manuscripts will be blind-judged; the author's name should appear on the first of two title pages and nowhere else in the manuscript. There is an administrative fee of $30. Please do not send cash. The postmark deadline is February 15, 2009. The winner will be announced in August 2009. All finalists will be considered for publication with Starcherone Books. See our ad in the January 2009 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

We are very happy to have as judge for our prize for innovative fiction one of the most daringly innovative and powerful authors of our time, Ben Marcus. Marcus is the author of three books to date -- The Age of Wire and String, Notable American Women, and, with Matthew Ritchie, The Father Costume. He also edited The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories. He is Chair of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Columbia University.

Complete information is available at starcherone.com/prize.htm.

04 November 2008

30 under 30

Lily Hoang & Blake Butler are now in the early stages of putting together an anthology to feature innovative writers under the age of 30. The anthology has interest from a respected small press.

Please submit no more than 15 pages of prose/poetry/whatever goes to: thirtyunderthirty@gmail.com by January 15. Send as .doc or .rtf attachment. (For truly exceptional cases, we will consider longer submissions.) Previously unpublished work only please. Also, all submissions should be open to editorial review.

We're looking for the innovative, fresh, exciting writing, and as long as you're under 30 & doing new things with words, please submit.

28 October 2008

Campbell Tatham 1940-2008

Cam Tatham, a good friend to many of us, and one of the most perceptive critics of postmodern fiction, died this afternoon at his home north of Milwaukee. He fought brain cancer--effectively--since the summer of 2007 but took a sudden turn for the worse in the final months of this year.

Cam first published on John Barth before turning to the more significantly minor (in the very best Deleuzian sense) works of FC2 founders and mainstays like Ronald Sukenick and Raymond Federman. With Federman he conducted a lengthy correspondence that helped produce, in part, the novel, _Take It or Leave It_.

For me, he was a mentor through grad school, as well as a very close friend then and now.

We will miss you, Cam.

04 October 2008


Saturday, Oct. 18, morning, noon, and night, Buffalo, NY

Friends, colleagues, critics, and students past and present from near and far welcome writer, raconteur, and retired distinguished professor Raymond Federman back to Buffalo for a day-long celebration of his work and him in visual art, critical appreciations, rollicking literary readings, & champagne. All events are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Starcherone Books, the Department of Romance Languages of the University at Buffalo, UB Anderson Gallery, the Poetry Collection at UB, Medaille College, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, and the following endowed chairs at the University at Buffalo: Melodia E. Jones Chair of Romance Languages, James H. McNulty Chair of English, David Gray Chair of Poetry & Letters, and Samuel P. Capen Chair in American Culture.

Morning: 10:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M., UB Anderson Gallery, One Martha Jackson Place.
Opening reception (with coffee and accompaniments) of an exhibition of Federman-inspired art works by Terri Katz-Kazimov and Harvey Breverman, & photographs by Bruce Jackson. [The image above is Jackson's.]

Noon(ish): 1:00-4:30 P.M., Poetry Collection, 4th Floor Capen Hall, UB North Campus.
Two sessions of presentations and discussion featuring contributors to the forthcoming SUNY Press collection of essays, Federman at 80: From Surfiction to Critifiction, edited by Jeffrey DiLeo.

1:00-2:30: A Life in the Text.
Dr. Larry McCaffery, Dr. Menachem Feuer, & Dr. Ted Pelton.

3:00-4:30: Laughter, History, and the Holocaust.
Dr. Susan Rubin Suleiman & Dr. Marcel Cornis-Pope.

& NIGHT: 8:00 P.M., Medaille College, Main Building, Foyer & Lecture Hall.
An Evening of Laughterature, Surfiction, & Playgiarism in Tribute to Raymond Federman

Readings by (in order of appearance):

Ted Pelton, Christina Milletti, Geoffrey Gatza, Julie Regan, Michael Basinski, & Steve McCaffery.


Davis Schneiderman, Charles Bernstein, Simone Federman, & Raymond Federman

The readings will be followed by a reception and 80th birthday toast.

13 September 2008

david foster wallace : 1962-2008

CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) — David Foster Wallace, the author best known for his 1996 novel "Infinite Jest," was found dead in his home, according to police. He was 46.

Wallace's wife found her husband had hanged himself when she returned home about 9:30 p.m. Friday, said Jackie Morales, a records clerk with the Claremont Police Department.

Wallace taught creative writing and English at nearby Pomona College.

"He cared deeply for his students and transformed the lives of many young people," said Dean Gary Kates. "It's a great loss to our teaching faculty."

Wallace's first novel, "The Broom of the System," gained national attention in 1987 for its ambition and offbeat humor. The New York Times said the 24-year-old author "attempts to give us a portrait, through a combination of Joycean word games, literary parody and zany picaresque adventure, of a contemporary America run amok."

Published in 1996, "Infinite Jest" cemented Wallace's reputation as a major American literary figure. The 1,000-plus-page tome, praised for its complexity and dark wit, topped many best-of lists. Time Magazine named "Infinite Jest" in its issue of the "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005."

Wallace received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation in 1997.

In 2002, Wallace was hired to teach at Pomona in a tenured English Department position endowed by Roy E. Disney. Kates said when the school began searching for the ideal candidate, Wallace was the first person considered.

"The committee said, 'we need a person like David Foster Wallace.' They said that in the abstract," Kates said. "When he was approached and accepted, they were heads over heels. He was really the ideal person for the position."

Wallace's short fiction was published in Esquire, GQ, Harper's, The New Yorker and the Paris Review. Collections of his short stories were published as "Girl With Curious Hair" and "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men."

He wrote nonfiction for several publications, including an essay on the U.S. Open for Tennis magazine and a profile of the director David Lynch for Premiere.

Born in Ithaca, N.Y., Wallace attended Amherst College and the University of Arizona.

01 September 2008

the writer's edge 2009

Please help pass the word that we are accepting applications for the fourth annual Fiction Collective 2 (FC2) Writer's Edge workshop, held March 19-21, 2009, in Cuernavaca, Mexico, at the Universidad International. This year, the FC2 Writer's Edge will be held in conjunction with the American Book Review (ABR) Writer's Conference, held March 16-18.

Sponsored by FC2 and ABR, the conference will feature workshops on innovative fiction, panels, a faculty reading, open mics for participants, and myriad conversations about experimental prose.

Below are descriptions for the FC2 Writer's Edge workshops, as well as a list of the faculty teaching them. For more information on both the FC2 Writer's Edge and ABR Writer's Conference, including information on how to apply, please click here.


Alexandra Chasin

Creativity, we may imagine, resides in the imagination of the new. It’s cheating to use found texts and other objects. Yet at the same time the body of already-existing texts and artifacts is a vast archive too fantastic to consign to the dustbin of literary (and extra-literary) history. In fact, there is already a rich tradition of literature that imports bits of the world. And those bits needn’t be limited to literary texts. Newspapers, songs, legal documents, textbooks from any number of disciplines, medical records, maps, photos, and other images—not only is it not cheating to use such materials, but it opens up a new set of possibilities for writing into, out of, and/or about the historical record. For writers interested in investigating techniques of representing and referring to the phenomenal world and its infinite pasts and presents—techniques of incorporating its material effects into fictional work—this workshop will offer examples of, discussion of, and exercises in salvage, rereading, quotation, recycling, imitation, cut and paste, (re)appropriation, repetition, reproduction, revision, parody, hoax, and other acts of unoriginality. In preparation, you may want to acquaint yourself with the following fictions: Don Quixote, Kathy Acker; “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” Jorge Luis Borges; A Humument, Tom Philips; Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed.

Jeffrey DeShell

“Mediocre Writers Borrow; Great Writers Steal.” —T. S. Eliot
“Bad artists copy. Great artists steal.” —Pablo Picasso

Writing is never done in a vacuum; it occurs always in context. Often fiction writing is provoked by contact with other art forms like painting, music and film. If composition is a series of decisions about what goes where, shouldn’t the translating of decisions from painting, music and film into narrative language be possible? And if it is possible, how can we go about it? Or, to start from the other direction: how can we weave our obsessions with music, painting and film into our fiction writing? The Greek word for this translating is ekphrasis (which usually refers to poetry), and in the contemporary world we often speak of allegory and mimesis. We’ll try to bracket the theoretical discussions and center our discussion on practical larcenous techniques. Participants are asked to bring a representation (postcard, photocopy, photograph, mp3, film, video, etc.) or actual object of something they’d like to translate into prose. Students may also wish to read Gertrude Stein’s portraits of Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso.

Stephen Graham Jones

So one argument and I don’t necessarily disbelieve it is that punctuation is just a parasite that all it is is the side effect of writing words down in these lines that it’s just a clumsy visual approximation of the natural rhythms of speech that in prose fiction are pretty much exactly what’s supposed to lull the reader into a state where the story can work or or a better way to say it maybe is that that unbroken patter and burble and spike of words is what transports the reader not off the page but into it face first ankle deep and evermore. But yeah, sometimes a comma sure is nice, right? Here we’ll talk about this, both in terse, nervous, over-punctuated sentences we try to laugh off and in long unbroken fragments that wander and forget themselves and then find each other in surprising ways. And we’ll do some writing as well. And never stop

Lance Olsen

Despite frequent (and frequently naïve) claims to the contrary, innovative fiction is neither necessarily ahistorical nor dehistoricized. Rather, it continually questions our culture’s suppositions about what constitutes historical knowledge, embracing the counter-intuitive recognition that texts are simultaneously self-conscious linguistic and formal systems shut off from the world and active participants in larger sociopolitical contexts. In this workshop, which will consist of mini-lecture, conversation, and two exercises, we shall explore the practical and theoretical joys, problemitizations, assumptions, and possibilities in engaging with the past(s)—“real” and imagined—inventively in writing. In preparation, you may want to acquaint yourself with the following fictions: Da Vinci’s Bicycle, Guy Davenport; History of the Imagination, Norman Locke; Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell; Nietzsche’s Kisses, Lance Olsen.

Lidia Yuknavitch

One of Gloria Anzaldúa's major contributions to United States academic and creative writing and discussion was the term mestizaje, meaning a state of being beyond binary (either-or) conception. In her theoretical works, Anzaldúa calls for a “new mestiza,” which she describes as an individual aware of her conflicting and meshing identities who uses these “new angles of vision” to challenge old ways of thinking, being and writing. The work of Guillermo Gómez-Peña concerns the U.S.-Mexican border itself, immigration, cross-cultural identity, and the confrontation and misunderstandings between cultures and races. His artwork and literature also explores the politics of language, the side effects of globalization, “extreme culture,” and new technologies from a Latino perspective. Unlike what might happen at an academic conference, as creative writers we will be “inhabiting the territory” of their texts, and moving through their language as citizens of an unnamed country with identities forming at a border of language and geography. We will push ourselves through two major writing exercises meant to reinvent identity stories. In some ways we will be deconstructing whiteness and the position of the “U.S.” writer. We will also create a blog that “performs” our “texts” as an extension of the workshop. In preparation, you may want to acquaint yourself with the following: Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Anzuldua; The New World Border and Dangerous Border Crossers, Gómez-Peña. You may also want to check out some of Gómez-Peña’s performance work at the Video Artist Database: http://www.vdb.org/

11 August 2008

Federman's Return

Raymond Federman turned 80 this past May. In 2009, a collection of essays tentatively titled FEDERMAN AT 80: From Surfiction to Critifiction, edited by Jeffrey DiLeo, will appear from SUNY Press, and this October 18 there will be a celebration of Federman and this forthcoming collection in Buffalo, where Federman taught for some 30 years at University at Buffalo.

I've just finished reading Return to Manure, Federman's 2006 "novel," or whatever one wants to call Federman's particular way of telling elements of his incredible life-story, where he writes about things that have happened to him, but doesn't distinguish between memory and imagination, the real and the made up.

It occurs to me that what I didn't articulate in my disgusted entry of a couple weeks ago about the creative nonfiction workshop "Turning Trauma to Treasure," was the degree of self-exploitation involved in such an attitude toward telling one's own experiences, a degree of selling out that Federman has rejected not only for his whole writing life but, arguably, for his entire life. The starkest formulation of this problem is seen in Federman's crucial single-sentence narrative tour de force, The Voice in the Closet. (The above image, a collage by Buffalo artist Terri Katz Kasimov, is featured on the cover of the Starcherone Books edition of that book, pub. in 2002.) There, Federman tells his most traumatic story: the French police having come to the door of his family's apartment in Paris, in 1942, and his mother saying only "Ssshhh," and pushing him in a closet where he alone in his family would escape detection. Except he doesn't tell it, doesn't assume that the "treasure" he will get by doing so will be worth the diminishment of the trauma that will result from its conversion into mere words on a page.

The narration embodies this dilemma by actually breaking the protagonist in two: the writer who would purport to tell the story is accused and cursed throughout by a second voice, that of the narrrator's younger self, the child who lived the experience and who realizes that a straight narrative articulation of it will have to be a distortion, a lie, an alchemy whereby, after "trauma" gets turned into "treasure," it loses something of itself, its own integrity.

Perhaps this is a reason why Federman's story and the art by which it comes to an audience has failed to find as large an audience in the United States as it has in France, Germany, Romania, Poland, and elsewhere. I was in Toronto over the weekend, and at one point accompanied my 16 year-old niece into Queen St. t-shirt shop. (Queen St. is sort of like a longer, cleaner version of NYC's St. Marks Place.) One of the t-shirts there featured only three words, but summed up how the big country to the South has a rather fundamentally different identity. The shirt said, simply, AMERICA LOVES MONEY. Sad to live in a country that can be summed up in such a way. Here, narrative "trauma" apparently needs conversion into "treasure" -- narrative payoff -- to gain its full share of an audience. Remaining "trauma," a state wherein the wounded is also afflicted with shock and the inability to perform narrative alchemy fully, it doesn't acquire its full value with an American audience conditioned to respond to the "treasure" being laid at their feet while they recline on the couch, faces glowing.

Return to Manure precisely avoids narrative payoff. "Federman" (never merely the author, but never not entirely the author either) and his wife Erica drive in the French countryside to the farm where he as a boy had escaped Nazi radar in the years 1942-5, subsequent to the closet episode. The narrative meanders like a drive itself, with alternating periods of roadside attraction and boredoms during which the narrator slips back into his memories. The memories do not particularly highlight emotional pain but skip through details of the nearly pre-industrial peasant life lived in the French countryside nearly a lifetime ago, as well as recollections of a 14 year-old's growing sexual awareness and stories he made up. When in the end Federman and Erica get to the farm itself at the end of the book, there is no epiphany, unless it be an anti-epiphany: the landscape holds no secrets waiting to be found. Around the back of the barn Federman finds no gleaming treasure, but just another pile of cowshit, smaller than the one at the farm of his youth because now there are fewer cows.

Federman has long maintained that the story of the Holocaust is (to use one of his words, with the cow pun accidental), "unutterable." In the introduction to the forthcoming SUNY Press collection, Charles Bernstein writes that Federman is not a writer of fiction, but a storyteller, that he writes the same stories again and again because that is what storytelling and history both do -- they evoke reality, a complex of delusions and non-delusions. Quite coincidentally (I just read Bernstein's piece for the first time, as I prepare to spring it on the local Buffalo media in advance of the October Federman celebration), Bernstein also describes how Federman's art differs from the Creative Nonfiction vogue: "The elementary error of the literature of self-help and affirmation, the preferred fiction of the mediocracy," writes Bernstein, "is that trauma is overcome, that you get better, that there is healing. That there can be understanding. Federman neither dwells on the abyss, nor theatricalizes it, nor explains it, nor looks away."

This is the farm at the end of Return to Manure: it is not rendered into a trope, symbol, metaphor, emblem, narrative climax, or any other form an author makes. The author resists those alchemies. The farm simply is. The power of such a narrative moment is that, without it being given a single, intended effect, you are left with life and with history, which also offer no easy explanations or resolutions.

[We've got no money, NY State being in a budget crisis ("dollars damn me," said Melville), but whoever wants to come to Buffalo October 18 to help celebrate Federman's life and achievements should let me know, either via this blog or by email and I'll give you the details.]

10 August 2008

Interviews from the Edge 5: Davis Schneiderman and Carlos Hernandez

This new episode in Chiasmus Press' ongoing author interview series is a tag-team event with Davis Schneiderman and Carlos Hernandez, authors of the collaborative novel Abecedarium. They talk about the novel's conception and creation, the importance of explicit collaboration, and scamming their way into a book competition.

Visit carlos-hernandez.net and www.davisschneiderman.com to keep up with the authors and their current projects. Thanks for listening.

03 August 2008

Got Dugatti?

Chiasmus Press is proud to announce that Stephen Graham Jones' latest novel, The Long Trial of Nolan Dugatti, is now available on Amazon.com. Here's the back cover propaganda:

If there's a line between the real and the digital, between meat and the game, between past and present, then hold this book close to your mouth and whisper it into the pages. Please. Maybe the kid in there'll hear you. His name is Nolan Dugatti. He's lost, see, running down hall after hall, something both ancient and not-yet born galloping up behind him on a hundred legs, each individual footfall a sound he knows, a way of shuffling that he's always known. His father? Except it can't be. Unless of course this is another novel from Stephen Graham Jones. Not quite horror, not quite science fiction, but like his five or six other books, a story trembling at some pupal stage between meat and the game, where words will sometimes stop their crawl across the page and crane their neck around at the sky, nod about what they see there-you- then unfold their wings, drift up into another world altogether.

Check out Stephen's latest blog post here, in which he explains the method and madness of a novel written---yes---in a 72-hour blast of fright and delight.

26 July 2008

Writer's Edge 2008 Day One

Things I noticed on Day One from this year's Writer's Edge conference in Portland:

1) There are a lot of guys named Andy attending. Cool guys named Andy. So much so that I am thinking about changing my name to Andy now.

2) Lily Hoang is a filthy overachiever but she gives awesome hugs so it is impossible to hold anything against her for more than a picosecond.

3) Steve Tomasula and Shane Hinton are handy guys to have around if you cut your foot on a rusty nail and want to avoid a staph infection. Steve carries bandages in his wallet and Shane rolls with a tube of Neosporin.

4) Lidia Yuknavitch has the coolest students up at UW-Bothell. One of them is named Selena. I think I am going to try to adopt her before the conference is over, whether she wants to be adopted or not.

5) Andi and Lance Olsen are losing sleep over their inability to score a 3G iPhone and getting to the Apple Store way too late. It's a vicious cycle and I am praying Steve Jobs takes mercy on them tomorrow at Pioneer Square.

6) Mia De Bono is still the most awesome writer name I've heard in a long, long time.

Here are some photos I snapped earlier today. I'll post more to the set as the weekend progresses.

25 July 2008

Mash-Up of two mags

A cool project:



Calling works for an unprecedented mashup of two stately publishing venues:

The Mad Hatters' Review & Bunk Magazine
MaSh up & MayheM & haw Issue

Wedding date: Spring/Summer 2009
Reception: The Mad Bunkers' Mash & Racket Club, Bronx, NY & Somewhere off the L.A. Freeway, date TBA


Mashup is the spirit of the day (second only to dementia): Mash a Democrat and a Tory. Mash a Hip Hop CD with Beethoven's Ninth. Mix the movie Dark Victory with a modern Japanese horror movie sound track. Cross eclairs with ecosystems, a Bush speech with a toilet brush. Of course, writers have been mashing for quite some time with their cutups and exquisite corpses.

Mashup is what happens when content is no longer king, usurped by the mischievous jester adept at standing on his head and hands, spouting irreverent nonsensical sense, walking with frivolity on ceilings, pirouetting on paradoxes, ridiculing rules and rulers, and turning rapid somersaults -- all for the pleasure of the jester, her audience, and his sagacious self.

In homage to the jester, we are mashing two publications:
the irreverent, collaborative, genre-blending multimedia literary magazine Mad Hatters Review
the provocative satirical new media lampoon Bunk Magazine

Not only will the publications collide to present a mashed union (The Mad Bunkers), but we will feature mashed content.

For this hystorical issue we are soliciting three types of artistes:
Those who wish to be mashed
Those who wish to do mashing with those who wish to be mashed
And those who wish to mash their own

WE WILL BE OPEN FOR EMAIL SUBMISSIONS ONLY (madbunkers@yahoo.com cc: madbunkers@gmail.com) ON SEPTEMBER 1ST. Deadlines vary according to category.

Verily yours,

Carol Novack, Pub/Ed Mad Hatters' Review &
Mark C. Marino, Pub/Ed Bunk Magazine
& various & sundry editors to be listed on our Bunkhouse page

Those Who Wish to be Mashed

Submit your inventive written works to us for surprise use in the issue. Primarily we are seeking poems, short fictions, whatnots and literary non-fictions. Please familiarize yourselves with Mad Hatters' Review and Bunk Magazine to get an idea of what we like before deciding to submit. We cannot predict how we will mash your work, only that we will mash it and you will receive proper acknowledgment. In fact, we will present unmashed works on the 3rd floor, baby clothes department.

Aside from the above literary submissions, the Mad Bunkers are seeking visual, aural, and interactive art forms, as well.

These may include:
still images
flash animations, text generators, or other forms.

Have no fear, if you can make it, we can mash it.

Poems, short fictions, whatnots, or literary non-fiction (maximum word count 3000) by October 1st.

We will consider previously published works, but you must provide detailed publication credits.
Also provide a bio (150 words max).

If you are interested in collaborating (directly) with the mashers, please let us know that in a brief cover letter.


Those Who Wish to Mash

Submit your proposal for a mashup project using our accepted literary works. The proposal will necessarily be somewhat general since you will not know your text just yet. However, we are looking for innovative (oh, that tired word again) visions on how to mash texts with each other or with other media. The finished piece may differ widely and wildly once you see the text.

Proposal: 500-750 words
Portfolio of previous work
Links to online examples (if they exist) of works similar to the mash you propose.
Bio (150 words max)

October 15th deadline


Those Wish to Mash Their Own

We will also consider self-contained mashup submissions (unpublished) in which artists mashup other source material in new and interesting ways. When using large chunks of still recognizable texts, if the source material has been created by another person or persons, we will need written permission from said individual/s (unless other licenses -- read: Creative Commons -- apply).

Submit: Completed Mashup work by November 15th.


Submission Guidelines:

Selection Criteria: For a sense of our selection criteria, please peruse the contents of our publications and then mash those together in your mind. If you find yourself mindless after the mashing, you won't be alone and help is on the way. We will facilitate an online Mash Support Yahoo or Google Group for a modest fee.

Submit all works to madbunkers@yahoo.com, cc madbunkers@gmail.com. Texts (words alone) should be pasted into the corpus of your email and attached as Word or RTF docs. Visuals should be medium resolution jpegs or gifs. Very large files should be sent via yousendit or other file-sharing software, but only after September.

Add both of these e-addresses to your contacts list so we don't have to deal with spam blockers when we correspond with you. We do not believe in snailmail. The GPO is under the influence of 5,687 corrupt greedy bastards who plot daily against the struggling masses. We won't reveal the identity of the 5,687 corrupt greedy bastards. You of all people should know.

Simultaneous submissions are politically correct. We are politically correct. And we believe that self-important, self-centered editors who want writers to place their creations in mothballs for more than 30 days while awaiting decisions should be tarred & mashed with sharp-beaked birds. Of course, if your precocious child is accepted into another nursery school, please let us know immediately. We'll serve up the Ritalin to some other brat.

On the other hand, we hate sending rejection emails and refuse to do so. So please --- if you haven't heard from us within 120 days of your submission, presume that "while we enjoyed your submission, it didn't suit our current needs." This has got to be the dumbest, most over-used rejection letter language both of us editors and you have had the misfortune to read. Lots of chi-chi journals send out letters like that. We've surmised that lots of chi-chi editors lack imagination. So instead, imagine that our rejection letters would read: "Dear ____, Thank you so much for sending us __________. We came to blows over it, but the other editor prevailed. There's no accounting for taste. We'll never work together again. The other editor's a Philistine. You deserve better, but please don't forget to revise at least 10 times and check your grammar and word usage, particularly "lay" and "lie." We are offering an online sentence diagramming & verb conjugation workshop for a modest fee. With cutting edge, new media grammar films. Adverbial abuse will be thrown in free if you sign up today. May you thrive & multiply! Love, Carol & Mark et al.

Multiple Submissions: NO NO NO, we can't deal with them. EG. If you send us a mashup video called "Mama's Boy" and a month later decide to send us "Daddy's Girl," we won't consider the latter. No way. Send us your best. We deserve it and so do you.

Multiple Type/Category Submissions: Let's say you want to be mashed, but you also want to propose a mash. You may email separate submissions, but watch the dates, please!

Queries: Okay, sure, go ahead, but don't ask what time it is when there's a clock on the wall behind you.


COMBINATION SPECIAL VIDEO CONTEST PITCH - a Mad Hatters' Review & Web del Sol hosted competition with a $500 prize to the first place winner: ENTER ENTER ENTER!


Some examples of mashups. These serve as an inspiration for the theme -- rather than models for how to mash for this issue.

Toy Story Requiem for a Dream Mashup

This video mashes up footage, music, and more

One of the most famous mashups:
The Grey Album

Generators -- these automate the process of mashing up.
Here's an existing text mashup machine that draws upon Project Gutenberg

Here's a typical mashup parody: The Show Title Mashup Generator

Here's another satirical masher


CONGRATULATIONS! If you've managed to get through these verbose, rococo, convoluted, selves-indulgent, compulsory guidelines and believe you've understood them, you have won a virtual mad bunker's beanie with a genuine starfish (one of the few left on this planet) embroidered atop. Please send head size and choice of colors (EG: complicated cerulean with vibrant yellow starfish; sexy violet with neon green starfish.)

15 July 2008

It was TRAUMA, but now it's TREASURE!

I have changed nothing below in this advert I found on the Creative Nonfiction Magazine website:

Turning Trauma into Treasure

Washington, DC

September 20

This intense, day-long program with CNF Editor Lee Gutkind will present the art and craft of memoir writing, explaining how to capture traumatic stories in a way that touches and impacts readers.

During this intense and entertaining day, participants will learn how to:

• find the precious nugget of the story
• isolate the crucial magic moment
• infuse the story with a universal chord
• develop a narrative arc
• frame and focus the story
• capture essential intimate details
• share their hard-earned, hard-learned wisdom

$275 registration fee includes a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction. (After August 20, $290.)

07 July 2008

chiasmus press podcast #6

Episode #06 marks the return of the Chiasmus Press podcast after a lengthy absence. You tell us if it was worth the wait:
:: Conference recaps from AWP and &NOW :: 2008 releases by Lou Rowan, Kevin Sampsell and Lily Hoang :: Looking forward to Writer's Edge :: Teaser preview of our upcoming release from Stephen Graham Jones :: First Book Contest :: Post-production update on The Iconographer :: Lidia's healthy skepticism towards Barack Obama :: WE LOVE STEVE TOMASULA!! :: Andy's love affair with Big Oil :: Trevor drinks Andy's milkshake P.T. Anderson style :: Chiasmus mascots Rusty and Chomsky get it on :: Flashmob of kids threatens to destroy the Milwaukie mothership ::

You can shout back by email (contact@chiasmusmedia.net), or leave us voicemail through Skype (username: chiasmuspress). Don't forget that the podcast is listed on iTunes, which makes subscribing to our RSS feed easy enough that even a U.S. president could do it.

23 June 2008

undoing the novel : first book contest

This just in from the amazing Chiasmus Press . . .

Dear Chiasmus Nation:

The last time we held our Undoing the Novel contest, you blessed us with epic, sexy books by Colette Phair and Lily Hoang. And we thank you ever so much for these blessings.

Now we come before you again with our arms and hearts agape, and ask that you bless us yet again...

Undoing the Novel—First Book Contest

Eligible fiction: innovative novels, anti-novels, novellas, graphic novels, short story collections, hybrids

Deadline: August 30, 2008

Reading Fee: $25.00

Award: Publication + 10 author copies

We are looking for new writers at the front edge of fictional form. Our mission is to continue to publish fiction that burrows underneath the commercial market and busts up and through consumer culture book-as-product bunk. We believe new writers ought to share the space with accomplished writers.

Send Manuscripts, SASE, and fee by August 30 to:

Chiasmus Press
8826 SE 28th Ave
Milwaukie, OR 97222

Make checks payable to: “Chiasmus Press”

Winner announced: November 1, 2008

press home: [www.chiasmuspress.com]
press blog: [chiasmuspress.wordpress.com]

One thing you've always known about us, Nation, is that we are never satisfied. Please speed the most fierce and ferocious to us.




26 May 2008

Jefferson Hansen Starts New Review Blog

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: I am looking for reviews, books to be reviewed, and interviews for a new blog, Experimental Fiction & Poetry: Reviews, Interviews, Commentary at experimentalfictionpoetry.blogspot.com. (I just renamed it, so you might have to access it by googling "blogger" "Jefferson Hansen".) Please visit, leave comments and spread the word. Currently featured is a review of Charles Bernstein's GIRLY MAN, in addition to commentary on the underground fiction writer David Ohle. Send books for review to 4055 Yosemite Ave. S., St. Louis Park, MN 55416

15 May 2008

First Wall Rebate podcast

This week, Chiasmus-nauts Shane Hinton and myself are launching First Wall Rebate, a podcast focusing on videogames and gaming culture. Unlike the overwhelming majority of gaming podcasts that focus on sales figures and finicky demographics by industry insiders/reviewers, we are insisting upon a serious, engaged and intelligent conversation about the aesthetic, socio-political, philosophical and/or rhetorical functions of games, and how this new media artform compares to older ones (including writing, film, music, and performance). This is not a podcast geared specifically for gamers; we are hoping to share and showcase a wide variety of experiences and interests.

We recorded Episode 00 on 12 May as both an opening salvo and test run for our digital recording setup. There are a few hiccups towards the end, but we are hoping you will give it a listen anyway, and to continue coming back in the weeks and months ahead. You can subscribe to our RSS feed here; we will be available at iTunes Music Store shortly.

26 April 2008

Mad Hatters' Review event

Continuing my glut of recent postings. A cool event to check out:

Mad Hatters' Revue
Sunday, May 4, 4-8 pm, Bowery Poetry Club, NYC


MC'd by comedienne Lisa Levy, the Revue will feature FICTION WRITERS & POETS, PERFORMANCE ARTISTS & MULTI-MEDIA MASTERS Alex Caldiero, Alan Davies, Samuel R. Delany, Tonya M. Foster, Pierre Joris, Timothy Liu, Eileen Myles, Nicole Peyrafitte, Wanda Phipps, Alan Sondheim, Stephanie Strickland, Steve Tomasula & Edwin Torres; MUSICIANS & SOUND ARTISTS, including Benjamin Rush Miller, austin publicover, Tom Abbott, & Ben Tyree with Will Martina; VISUAL ARTISTS & FILM-MAKERS, including:: Amy Cohen Banker, Orin Buck, Theresa Byrnes, Michelle Handelman, Heide Hatry, Gregg LeFevre, Iris Schieferstein, & Robert Withers. + Drink Specials & Door Prizes

Mad Hatters’ Review
Edgy and Enlightened Literature, Art and Music in the Age of Dementia

23 April 2008

Deconstructing Books Contest

Here's some non &NOW-fun. Make you own book-deconstruction video and win one-hundred American dollars.

Judges: Raymond Federman, Lidia Yuknavtich, and me.

The inspiration was a previous shameless-but-failed attempt to get on "The Colbert Report" that my postmodernism students cooked up after we read I am America (and So Can You).

Best, and happy deconstructing.


22 April 2008

&NOW Books/ Residency at Lake Forest College

Two opportunities:

&NOW Books (an imprint of Lake Forest College Press)

The newly formed Lake Forest College Press is pleased to announce the formation of its imprint, &NOW Books. Every two years, &NOW Books will publish THE &NOW AWARDS: THE BEST INNOVATIVE WRITING—a collection of the most provocative, hardest-hitting, deadly serious, patently absurd, cutting-edge, avant-everything-and-nothing work. Distribution of &NOW books will be through Northwestern University Press.

Attendees at &NOW 2009 (Fall, SUNY Buffalo) will receive a complementary copy of the debut anthology, but writers need not attend &NOW to be included in the collection.

The contents of the &NOW AWARDS will be chosen through a nomination process. Attendees of the &NOW conference and friends of the organization can send up to four nominations of published creative pieces (print or online) to andnow@lakeforest.edu with the subject line: “&NOW Nominations.” Please briefly tell us why we should consider a particular piece, and, whenever possible, send us relevant author bibliography and/or web links. Nominated works must have been published since 2004 (the year of the first &NOW conference), and the first anthology will cover the period from 2004 through 2009.

The Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize
&NOW/Lake Forest College

Lake Forest College, in conjunction with the &NOW Festival of Innovative Writing and Art, invites applications for an emerging writer under forty years old, with no major book publication (chapbooks and the like excepted), to spend two months (February-March or March-April 2009) in residence at our campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are no formal teaching duties attached to the residency. Time is to be spent completing a manuscript, participating in the Lake Forest Literary Festival, and offering two public presentations.

After the residency, the completed manuscript will be published, upon approval, by the new Lake Forest College Press &NOW Books imprint. The stipend is $10,000, with a housing suite and campus meals provided by the college. The position will be offered on alternate years to writers of prose and poetry, with the 2009 residency going to a poet. Hybrid genre and non-classifiable applications are welcome during either year. Send curriculum vita, manuscript in progress, and a statement of plans for the completion of the manuscript to Plonsker Residency, Department of English, Lake Forest College, Box A16, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045. Review of manuscripts by judges Robert Archambeau, Davis Schneiderman, and Joshua Corey will begin May 15, 2008 and continue until the position is filled.

21 April 2008

Chiamus Press First Book Contest

Undoing the Novel—First Book Contest

Eligible fiction: innovative novels, anti-novels, novellas, graphic novels, short story collections, hybrids

Deadline: August 30, 2008

Reading Fee: $25.00

Award: Publication + 10 author copies

We are looking for new writers at the front edge of fictional form. Our mission is to continue to publish fiction that burrows underneath the commercial market and busts up and through consumer culture book-as-product bunk. We believe new writers ought to share the space with accomplished writers.

Send manuscripts, SASE, and fee by August 30 to:

Chiasmus Press
8826 SE 28th Ave
Milwaukie, OR 97222

Make checks payable to: “Chiasmus Press”

Winner announced: November 1, 2008

Click here for more information

19 March 2008

Subito Press Book Competition

Subito Press of the University of Colorado invites submissions to its annual book competition. We will publish two books of innovative writing, one each of fiction and poetry.

Submissions will be accepted from June 2 to August 15 (postmark date).

Submit manuscripts of up to 70 pages of poetry or up to 100 pages of (double spaced) fiction along with a $20 reading fee and an 8.5 x 11 SASE if you would like a copy of the winning entry in your genre. Manuscripts should include two cover sheets: one with title only, the other with title, author's name, address, e-mail, and phone number. All submissions will be judged anonymously by the creative writing faculty at the University of Colorado; friends, relatives, and former students of University of Colorado creative writing faculty are not eligible. Simultaneous submissions o.k.; please notify Subito immediately if your ms. is accepted elsewhere. Winners will give a reading at the University of Colorado. Notification of winners will occur by December of 2008.

Send mss. to:
Subito Press
Department of English
226 University of Colorado, Boulder,
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0226

Subito Press adheres to the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses Contest Code of Ethics:
CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Email: cwengl@colorado.edu
Voice and Voicemail: (303) 492-1853
Website: http://www.colorado.edu/English/crw/crwprogram.htm

01 March 2008

tubearts contest

I just received the following email from Aaron Jaffe about what sounds like a fascinating contest/project. For a video explaining things in more depth, please click here.

I’m writing to let you know about an art and writing contest we’re holding on YouTube. Writing is a central part of our society, but writers who want to focus on something other than pop culture and drunken celebrities are struggling to find footholds on YouTube. It’s a site that should naturally be a haven for writers, but the YouTube staff takes a passing interest in the arts at best.

The purpose of the TubeArts contest is to call for the addition of an “art and writing” category, and to let writers explore YouTube as medium for their work. The winner will also receive $500 and some great exposure (between myself and the six judges, we have 90,000 regular viewers).

I’ve included a link to the contest introduction video below. I hope you can take a moment to visit and leave a comment. The comment section is serving as an online petition, and the more comments we get the more people will see the video. . . .

YouTube could be a place for writers to showcase their work. It could be a place that makes poetry accessible and interesting to a new generation. We’ll take a big step towards that goal if this contest is successful, but we’re not going to be able to do it without you!

19 February 2008

alain robbe-grillet : 1922-2008

This sad news from Bloomberg.com, courtesy of Marc Lowe:

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Alain Robbe-Grillet, the French author and theoretician of the 1950s ``new novel'' genre, died today, the Academie Francaise reported. He was 85.

Seeking to overturn conventional fiction, Robbe-Grillet attempted to write novels that avoided psychological or ideological commentary, as he explained in his 1963 book, ``Pour un Nouveau Roman'' (``Toward a New Novel'').

In place of plot and character, Robbe-Grillet focused on meticulous descriptions of things and events as seen by an objective eye. With their timetables of people coming and going, Robbe-Grillet's novels can resemble noir detective stories.

His 1953 novel, ``Les Gommes'' (``The Erasers''), addresses a murder committed by the man who's investigating the crime. ``Le Voyeur'' of 1955 describes a stranger who kills a young girl.

Two years later, Robbe-Grillet published ``La Jalousie'' (``Jealousy''), in which a jealous husband spies on his wife and her suspected lover through the shutters of a blind, or ``jalousie.'' Time and again, his work explores the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity.

Born in Brest, Brittany, on Aug. 18, 1922, Robbe-Grillet trained as a statistician and agronomist before turning his hand to fiction. He wrote more than 10 novels, including last year's ``Un Roman Sentimental'' (``A Sentimental Novel''), a book about pedophilia that he called a ``fairy tale for adults.''

Robbe-Grillet also directed motion pictures, including ``L'Immortelle'' (``The Immortal,'' 1963) and ``L'Homme Qui Ment'' (``The Man Who Lies,'' 1968). His best-known work in film was his screenplay for Alain Resnais' ``L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad'' (``Last Year at Marienbad,'' 1961).

He was elected to the Academie Francaise in 2004.

10 February 2008

the writer's edge :
1 march application deadline

Please note that the application deadline for the third annual Writer's Edge conference is 1 March.

Sponsored by FC2 and hosted by Portland State University, The Writer's Edge will be held Friday through Sunday, 25-27 July, in downtown Portland, Oregon, and feature five workshops on innovative fiction, two panels, a faculty reading, two open mics for participants, and myriad conversations about experimental prose.

For more information, please click here.

13 January 2008

Goodreads politics

Simultaneous with reading Lidia's last post, I got involved in the past couple weeks with Goodreads, a networking site that operates on the basis of books -- who's read what, how you felt about it. It's not quite coming in each other's mouths, but it's addictive, promising, and emphasizes -- I'm right there with ya, Lid -- READING. One of the probs with the "year's best" lists we come up with is that inevitably we're listing our friends, and even if they write great books, it feels a little bit too local for me (besides which, there's the inevitable "hey, how come he didn't list MY book"!). A more outwardly networked service like Goodreads let's you list your faves, and then the listing riffs out into worlds semi-known and totally new.

Reading = Jouissance, yes, yes, yes... but I also feel nowadays a need to have a fully political commitment to reading as well. The new NEA report on reading, "To Read or Not to Read" (pdf), which updates the earlier 2004 report,"Reading at Risk," begins with three factual statements about our failing democracy:

• Americans are spending less time reading.
• Reading comprehension skills are eroding.
• These declines have serious civic, social, cultural, and economic implications.

Reading is becoming more and more explicitly a political act,and promoting reading certainly is. I made phonecalls for John Kerry in 2004 (I called Pennsylvania, which he won) -- now I'm trying to devote more time to promoting reading. Starcherone Books is a non-profit -- as are many small presses -- whose legal justification is as an educational organization promoting reading. That once felt like a convenient legal loophole in order to compete for grant money. It doesn't anymore.