My old New School buddy, Melissa Petro, has an op-ed up at the Huffington Post about the closing of the Craigslist adult services section- Thoughts from a Former Craigslist Sex Worker. Also, you might remember Melissa’s previous piece about sex work, “Not Safe For Work,” which appeared on The Rumpus.
One of the classes Melissa and I took together at New School was a seminar on the 20th century novel, taught by Dale Peck. Dale is 1/5 of a new publishing collective called Mischief & Mayhem, whose site went live just today. From their hot, fresh statement of purpose:
The collective came together in response to the increasingly homogenized books that corporate publishers and chain retailers have determined will sell the most copies. We recognize that there are readers who want to be challenged instead of placated.
The other four M&M-ers, by the way, are Lisa Dierbeck, Joshua Furst, DW Gibson and Choire Sicha. The collective seems to have a raft of events and projects planned, and will bring books into the world as an imprint of O/R Books, publisher of the Collected Fictions of Gordon Lish (see our sidebar ad) and Eileen Myles’s Inferno: A Poet’s Novel.
Another school-friend of mine, our own Amy McDaniel, has a fantastic essay in the new issue of Tin House. The theme of the issue is “Class in America” and it’s a doozy from start to finish–there are stories by Benjamin Percy and Charles Baxter, an excerpt from Lydia Davis’s new translation of Madame Bovary, poems by Major Jackson and Sarah Gambito, an interview with Luc Sante, A.N. Devers visits Poe’s house(s), and a whole lot more. I am enjoying this thoroughly & recommend it heartily.
And finally, there’s a new installment of Poets off Poetry, a series edited by Jackie Clark and published on Coldfront, which is run by Graeme Bezansen, John Deming & Melinda Wilson–New Schoolers all. In this POP-isode, Mathias Svalina (who did not go to NS, but looooves someone who did) writes about the time he listened to Side A of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory for a week straight.
When I first took a job as stripper, I had no sense that my decision to do so would have any real, far reaching effects on my life. To the contrary, I found in sex work a solution to very nearly all my problems at the time. No longer homesick or lonely, my new job not only remedied the un-belonging I’d experienced as a foreigner, but— as a product of a broken, working-class household, the first in her family to go to college, let alone study abroad– through sex work I discovered in myself a seemingly unending source of power and autonomy relating but not only having to do with my newfound ability to make money, and lots of it, anywhere in the world. And yet…
– from “Not Safe for Work,” an essay by my friend, Melissa Petro, about the lasting stigma associated not with being but with having ever been a sex worker. It is on the front page of the Rumpus today, and despite its title does not actually contain anything that will get you in trouble at your job. Which is just one reason why you should go read it now.