So here we are in our eighteenth year, telling you about our newest issue, 18.1! We’re happy to be here, and happy to have you reading this sentence, which will hopefully lead you to read the issue.
Before we get to the new one, two brief notes:
1> the DIAGRAM/NMP Chapbook Competition deadline is 4/27. We may get to email you again before the deadline, but let it be known that we are ready to read your poetry, prose, or hybrid work. Details here.
2> one of our favorite times of year is March because of the March Shredness (last year: March Fadness) tournament of literature & music. It’s run, in part, by our editor, and a bunch of likeminded folks. It features 64 essays about 64 songs, all taken this year from the glorious/nonglorious era of hair metal (1983-1992): think pop-metal, songs that appeared on Headbanger’s Ball (maybe) but also made the Top 40. Want to play? There are 2 ways: fill out and submit a bracket (details) by 2/28. It’s easy. Then tune in beginning 3/1 for the first round games. No experience required (nor taste). Just go to the site on 3/1, read the two essays for each game, listen to the songs, watch the video, and vote. Follow the twitter or sign up for the email list for notifications about new games all throughout the month. We like games and we like lit, so combining them is even better, even with shall we say such undistinguished subject matter as Dokken, Warrant, Poison, Lita Ford, etc.
OKAY GET TO THE ISSUE ALREADY! 18.1 featuring
TEXT & IMAGE: Rennie Ament • Jenny Mary Brown • Colby Cotton • Hannah Craig • Lizzie Harris • L I Henley • Chandler Lewis • Eric Pankey • Chris Philpot • Dan Pinkerton • Maya Catherine Popa • Jessica Roeder • Shaelyn Smith • Keith Taylor • Tyler Tsay • Claire Wahmanholm • Patrick Whitfill • Brenna Womer •
SCHEMATICS: A Branch Portal and its Service • Drum Controller, Non-Reversing, Secondary Control / Westinghouse • Frostair Duplex Refrigerator Relay Assembly and Compressor Wiring Diagram • Instability of Unsteered Bicycle • The Position System • Runoff Analysis of the Suburban Property • Synthesis: Suburban Property • Toilet Dome • Vegetation Analysis of the Suburban Property • Wildlife Analysis of the Suburban Property
* & here’s a sample from the issue, an excerpt from
The way Alice Walker went out walking, calling “Zora, Zora, where are you?” and Miss Zora answered back “Alice, Alice, I am here!” Legend has it that Zora Neale Hurston had photographed a zombie. Orgasm flared up inside her. The milk will expire in three days. And later that night after the breeze has left town for some other distant place, after the tablecloths have wended their own wet ways around the clothesline and the bottles of wine have rolled to the roosts of the red-eyed geese—after all of that is done, it will be revealed.
High moon and a light breeze. You in pain and I not yet. This must be the most beautiful night there was. Through the base of our skulls we can feel the deep roots of our humanness, our skin bursting to the touch. This must be what it means to feel gratitude. Will we ever admit our intentions. Force open the lips, then things get real. Barreled, what we can catalogue as ammunition. Nothing minimalist about these matrices. We cocoon deeper into ourselves. The lies we told about the lies we told. And this is how stories work.
The titular inspiration for Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency comes from the second section of an early 20th century opera, the overarching title of which, when translated, means small, trifling, insignificant, disposable. The opera is beautiful. The cycle of the photographs, when projected in sequence, takes over 45 minutes to complete. The sequence is set to music iconic to the decades in which Goldin took the portraits—each named for its subject, or their mood, or their location. The etymology of the things we call ourselves, or chalk ourselves up to. Most of Nan’s subjects were dead within a decade of the snapping shutter.
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston’s best-known novel, begins with Janie Crawford, the main character, returning to a town she has run off from. The women she had known then, in the past, sit on their porches, now still, and watch her walk home. Judgment clouds around their heads in the coagulated summer air. Miss Janie has come back to the closest home she has after killing the man she loved. This wasn’t an accident, but it certainly wasn’t what she originally intended. She had little choice. It was self-defense. It was mercy. As Zora notes, “Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.” The question being, according to what. In accordance with what. Who finds myth in this? What truths to be untold.
In other news, the chapbook contest for 2018 is now reading (deadline in late April, friends). And the six chapbooks in this year’s series (most of which were taken from the contest submissions last year), you can buy them all, including the newest two, Claire Wahmanholm’s Night Vision and Maya Catherine Popa’s You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave, online or find us in the bookfair at AWP or at the offsite reading in Tampa Thursday night. You can find them here.
That’s enough for now, right? Happy reading (and March Shrednessing).
Ander Monson, Editor