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Behind the Scenes

Dianna Dragonetti’s Response to Janey Smith/Steven Trull’s “Fuck List”: The “Art” of Rape Culture

Dianna Dragonetti is so fucking brave. He’s younger than me, but I am constantly amazed at his strong spirit and often look to him as an example for how to best handle difficult situations. I stand with Dianna, one hundred percent.
- Alexandra Naughton

In November of 2013, Janey Smith (“alt lit” alias of Steven Trull) published his now-infamous “Fuck List”—subheading, “A List of Writers I Want to Fuck (Or Get Fucked By)”—on this very site. Though the post has since been removed (as of today), it has left its destructive impression. The fact that it was published at all is important and disturbing, especially granted that it gave way to the recently rescinded “We’re Fucked,” a book authored by Peter BD and published by Plain Wrap Press. Smith/Trull viewed this, writing in the preface of “We’re Fucked,” as his “Fuck List come to life.”

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Behind the Scenes / 65 Comments
September 5th, 2014 / 10:02 am

Cambodia’s Visceral Landscape: Drugs, Sex, Writers, Etc

cambodia collage

Rauan: Why did you come back ???

Greg: I won’t have an answer to that question that I’ll like, at least not until I find some stability back here. Cambodia’s beautiful, warm, welcoming, collective, community-driven, adventurous, and so on. There are many magnets of ideas pulling you to stay, and you meet so many people who have stayed and after talking to them and hearing their story, you know, it makes sense. “Why go back to THAT?!” they say, referencing that capitalist hyper-consumerist society they once knew. One truthful reason I pulled away from the Kingdom of Wonder was to feel that reverse culture shock everybody talks about. That’s the selfish end. I also wanted to graduate from UW in person rather than digitally (we need to harness our tangible humanity when we can, no?), and I wanted to see friends and family, both in Maine and in Seattle, who I missed dearly. And Ethiopian food. There’s always that.

RK: You told me, in person, that it’s a great place for Westerners to visit. And then you mentioned Sex, Drugs and Food. So, let’s start with Sex. Can you please tell us about the sex culture and your personal experiences therewith?? (plz be as thorough as you can. gay/straight/trans.        animals??)

my friend Greg Bem (poet, photographer, performance artist) spent about 9 months in Cambodia. He came back I guess for the adventure. And that’s why, I suppose, he’ll return. Also, we had Indian Buffet recently: Goat curry (which seems terribly mundane, in a way, though I can’t begin to tell you how crazy good it tasted), Tandoori Chicken and a bunch of desserts: Kheer, Kheer, Kheer !!!

fisting my gullet cambodia

me w/ desert  / regaled w/ Cambodia

GB: There are a lot of stereotypes about Cambodia–Phnom Penh in particular–born from the even wilder situation in the ’90s. Certain things, like laws, for example, have been created to narrow down the dirtiest, nastiest side of the wild, but you can still find the wild in all the dark recesses. I found myself following in the shadow of Burroughs and Bowles and other brutal, masculine READ MORE >

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September 3rd, 2014 / 10:00 am

Paul Cunningham: Why Should I Read YOUR Journal ????

Photo on 8-18-14 at 10.49 PM (1)

ok, Paul, so why should we read YOUR journal ???

I genuinely enjoy seeing someone’s bogus sense of self-entitlement completely disrupted by the words or opinions of a Deluge contributor. I cannot help that this disrupted person is almost always a white heterosexual male.

I’m obviously not doing any of this for approval from others. I don’t care if anyone disapproves of the kind of writing I’m distributing. I’m doing this to challenge readers. I’m doing this so people who are pissed off about a specific experience or situation have an outlet other than Facebook. I’ve been doing this since 2009 and I plan to continue doing this.

All joking aside, I think everyone should read Deluge because it is a celebration of bodies in the sense that I frequently choose to publish work by writers opposed to phobic violence against all bodies. I am sharing stories of bodies engaged with the resistance of corporate bodies.

And here let me quote myself:

The contents of an issue of Deluge is so many things at once. It might involve a critique of whiteness or the regulations that exist within sociality. It might contain work that is belligerently orgiastic and, at the same time, it might even contain work that is anti- male orgasm. Deluge is a bookshelf on which Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto and Warhol’s Blue Movie transcript both rest. Deluge is when Kim Vodicka writes, “Yes, I am a big ‘ol bitch, and you best / stand behind me. / Feminist is next to godliness.” It is when Roberto Montes writes, “I hear an October voice / Telling me to fuck / Is this racist / The white boys ask / When they grab my butt / Really wondering / How anyone could be different / Or turned like a gasket out.” When Monica McClure writes, “But all I really want / is to live a good life / paid for by someone who feels / illiterate in symbolic systems of manhood / For him I will fill a bathtub / with expensive rosewater / that I got for free in swag bags / I’ll stuff holes with pure sugar cane / bought with the IMF budget of countries / who failed to understand the compromising / nature of relationships.” It is when you and Gary write lines like, “the wilderness knows i am a real fucking pig, and apples my mouth, over and over / i let myself get frosted by all the men dressed as trees.”

Shit happens. Poetry happens. “Same shit, different bidet,” READ MORE >

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August 20th, 2014 / 5:35 pm

Worst New Poets ???????

worst new poets

*******

There’s nothing new about anonymous Twitter accounts taking shots at well-known writers. Some of them are funny. Some of them are mean. Some of them are neither. Some of them are both.

But what’s got my attention about Worst New Poets is that they’re engaging with their Followers (internet heavyweights like Elisa Gabbert and Rebecca Hazelton- but enough celebrity name dropping here) in a generally reasonable and intelligent manner. Plus, of course, how can you not show some interest in someone shoving pies in people’s faces??  (But, I wonder, is this something we need?? … I dunno… And what’s the deal?? … I mean, what’s the deal ?? ..)

So, anyways I reached out to Worst New Poets, they responded promptly and politely, and here, now, is the transcript of a quick little Q & A that we did:

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Rauan: Please tell me what Worst New Poets is all about ?? (ie: what is it? why are you doing what you’re doing? what good (if any) do you expect to come of it ??)

Worst New Poets: Worst New Poets was originally a spur-of-the-moment response to the annual release of Best New Poets (whom we admire very much). The impulse to start WNP, however, was not unfounded. These thoughts about the poetry landscape have been gestating in our heads—subconsciously maybe—for quite some time. We thought it was an interesting idea to call out some flaws published by established writers, instead of praising 50 “new” poets that were breaking ground in contemporary poetry. We don’t have a set goal in sight, though we do enjoy the discourse that has been generated in the past week, so we don’t think we’ll stop any time soon.

Like we mentioned during the initial barrage of Twitter attacks (exaggerating), we like the idea of creating discourse within a community that far too often promotes from within. There seems to be a clear consensus among writers that the current literary landscape is extremely incestuous, READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 3 Comments
August 5th, 2014 / 8:31 am

Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC)

chiprc

Chicago Publishers Resource Center

I recently read at an event organized by Peter Jurmu which took place at John Wawrzaszek’s Chicago Publishers Resource Center

I chatted with John a bit before the reading and then asked him to send me a bit more info about the center:

Chicago Publishers Resource Center is a new community space in Chicago that focuses on literary and artistic projects. On Independence Day weekend, CHIPRC will celebrate its first anniversary!

We’re fortunate in that Chicago has such a diverse and thriving publishing community, including a large self-publishing scene from indie comics to zines. There are multiple writing programs in area colleges and universities. It’s funny how everyone is so compartmentalized – people don’t realize the resources at their fingertips. There is not a dedicated space where all these communities can connect. The center is a community space that welcomes everyone looking for a place to meet others, learn a new skill, or simply to get to work.

The name is an homage to the IPRC in Portland, a wonderful resource to artists in that area. I took to focusing on the word publishing, allowing the community to define it as widely as possible. In the digital age, society is writing more than any other time in history. Programming has to include not only print, but digital media; it has to include film, music, theater, and comedy. It has to honor graphic storytelling in comics, animation, shadow puppetry, and design. Writing is not only influenced by all these forms, it is at their center.

CHIPRC’s programming focus has been balanced between craft and projects. The idea of learning, honing, or improving a skill is important to establish a basis for implementation. In the first year, there have been workshops, discussions, meetings, readings, film screenings, work days and more. The ideas come from the community and are led by those in the community.

In the next year, I look to strengthening community partnerships and expand the types of programming offered. It’s been great so far.

So, if you’re wanting to host a reading, lead a workshop (how to make books, get published, do collages, etc, etc), or to find out about upcoming events, then please contact John at chicagoprc(at)gmail(dot)com.

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July 4th, 2014 / 1:32 pm

How Are Publishing Genius Submissions Going?

I used to do occasional “inside baseball” posts about running a small press, like this one from four (!) years ago. I guess it’s been a while. I find them clarifying, and usually after I write one I change something about how I “do business.” With that in mind, here are some numbers and thoughts related to Publishing Genius’s book submissions currently and throughout history. This year’s open submission period ends at 11:59pm on Monday.

Last year Publishing Genius didn’t even have an open period, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t accept books from submissions. It’s just that I was still working through 2012′s manuscripts. There were about 400 that year, and it took me too long to figure out my responsibility to each one. It’s really hard to honor every book, and I think I was intimidated by the force of dreams coming at me like a big, wet wave. I know the excitement of finishing a writing project—big or small—and the intense hope that comes with sending it off. READ MORE >

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June 28th, 2014 / 1:05 pm

MEGALOMANIA VOL I: “a beginner’s guide to elias tezapsidis”

 
 

5 ways to get elias to like you

buy him an expensive dinner, an expensive outfit, or something expensive that he would like

tell elias about yourself but don’t talk too much about yourself or elias will tune you out

never under any circumstance tell elias that he’s your second favorite person

if you call elias in the middle of the night, please have something important to say to him (i.e. elias i just bought you a super expensive outfit) or he will terminate your relationship

do not bore elias under any circumstance

 
 

jonathan franzen despises elias

jonathan franzen does not like elias for some reason. it’s probably because elias writes a lot on the internet and jonathan franzen doesn’t know how to use the internet properly

 
 

elias grew up in greece

elias was a happy child in greece. he was super popular and everyone loved him. if this is a surprise to you, then you have a lot more to learn about elias

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Behind the Scenes / 8 Comments
June 19th, 2014 / 4:00 pm