OUR PUSHCART PRIZE NOMINATIONS
All Hail Pushcart! Yes, we’re one of the many small literary outfits who applaud the Pushcart Prize collections– though we have reservations. To discover what they are, and at the same time find out which works we nominated for the annual awards this year, read this.
Have we missed the boat this year with our picks? Are we all wet? Living in Fantasyland? Let us know!
This week we’ve also kicked off a can’t miss Cat Poetry Festival at our Fun Pop Poetry feature, here.
WE RETURN TO FICTION! Short fiction that is, with two tales by Israeli writer Yoav Fisher.
Last week we encountered the mass output of NaNoWriMo authors. One individual at our discussion has written a 330,000-word(!) work. (He’s since sent us excerpts– we’ll be interested to look at what he’s doing.) The other side of the coin of exciting new literary happenings is the flash fiction movement.
Fisher’s two tales exemplify what flash fiction is about. Yoav Fisher has a Hemingway-like ability to convey more with less– to give the reader the minimum information possible yet create a strong, even devastating emotional impact. We look for writing that hits us between the eyes. Yoav Fisher has done that.
The helmet landed squarely above the ear with an audible thud. Edward surprised himself from the speed and severity. At five foot eight and doughy since middle school, agility and strength were never Edward’s strong points.
Attention All Writers!
Especially if you live in the Detroit area. New Pop Lit editors Karl Wenclas and Kathleen Crane will be doing a presentation for NaNoWriMo at the Troy Public Library on 11/17. Details at our News page here.
ALSO, we’re still promoting our Fun Pop Poetry feature. We have several cat poems coming up and we’re shy at least one good cat photo. Send your candidates in .jpg format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
(Cat photo c/o Scott Cannon– same cat to be featured in a new poem.)
The struggles of being an artist! We at New Pop Lit are down with that struggle. It’s never easy. Today we present a short story, “Breathe,” by David R. Gwyn, which examines the struggle for artistic expression and meaning with a simple but moving profile of a man who has returned to his art after many years away from it.
This is an apt tale to run during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) when thousands of persons across the country take up the challenge of art and struggle to express themselves, with words. We’ll be doing a presentation on November 17th at the Troy Public Library in suburban Detroit in connection with NaNoMoWri. Stay tuned for more details! (In the meantime, enjoy David Gwyn’s story.)
The artist sits, hunched, watching the masses navigate the streets. The colorful fall day contradicts the pale stone structures of Rittenhouse Square. Like the others, this month has come and passed and still he sold nothing. With winter on its way, the season of possible sales closes rapidly.
Happy Halloween! We find ourselves without a new Halloween story to present to you– so we dug up from a literary crypt fragments of an unfinished slasher novel, like cut-up pieces of a corpse. The original idea was that the intellectual parts of the novel would be scarier than the scary parts. It’s about a city, a mayor, and his wife, and staff, and a series of murders with which they’re confronted. Read the excerpts here.
The resurrected novel notes anyway are an apt prelude to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which kicks off November 1st. We’ll be doing a presentation for NaNoWriMo in the Detroit area– more info to follow .
The finely-sharpened hunting knife filled the killer’s vision. Staring at the edge of the knife intoxicated him. The image carried resonances of barbarism. Violence and blood. To his warped mind, the killings were necessary, but they’d also become fun.
WE’VE BEEN primarily promoting poetry the previous few weeks, particularly with our Fun Pop Poetry feature. Pushing the parameters of what acceptable poetry looks like. Some might say we’ve gone too far with that! But in addition to having fun, we also look for more serious verse, written in what we consider to be a “pop” style.
Which means, we look for a poet who uses at least some rhythm or rhyme. Who has a sense, consciously or instinctively, of euphony. Which means poems that are pleasing to recite or read– not in some ethereal never-never land but part of today. Poems which create images of this world. Of now.
Most of all we look for the elusive quality “talent”– a quality once highly valued in the literary realm, but which in our postmodern age of no standards or reality has largely been pushed to the side. Not here!
We believe we’ve discovered a young poet of striking talent in Timmy Chong. Read his poetry here and see if you agree.
they call us corrupt
because we travel in packs—
newfound adults in
pastel shorts and
they say our brotherhood
bleeds mob mentality,
that we are aggressive
in our privilege
and childish for
buying the same brands,
spitting off of sidewalks,
stumbling at dawn, and
singing too loud our
We’re serious about moving in a strong way into the genre of poetry. The classic art has been marginalized by the academy; kept alive by hip-hop and open mics. As always, we aim for a fusion of the two types.
October 17 is the birthday of Sylvia Plath, whose dark vision in its mix of craft and passion in the last years of her life was a high point of American poetry. After her death, the form abandoned its sense of music and euphony.
An exception to this abandonment happened in Liverpool, England in the early 1960’s. We’ve discovered a pop poetry movement centered in that industrial city– at the same time a group of moptop musicians began making waves with a unique brand of pop music. We’ll have a report on this, upcoming.
At our News blog, we take an entertaining glance at the five poets named last week as finalists for the National Book Award for Poetry. In fact, we grade them.
What’s our reaction to the Nobel Prize for Literature award to Bob Dylan? To us, it shows the failure of today’s poets to connect meaningfully with the general public– creating a vacuum which has been filled the past fifty years by popular troubadors like Bob Dylan. We say, give us not Bob Dylan but another Dylan Thomas!
Our fledgling Fun Pop Poetry feature is a beginning, only that, to a true poetry revival– making the art accessible to everybody.
For a more serious version of pop poetry, in one week we’ll feature several poems from one of the best young poets we’ve seen– proving to us the future of poetry is very bright. Stay tuned to this literary station!
OCTOBER, which ends with Halloween, is a crazy month– and we’re going crazy about poetry. Toward that end, we feature Four Poems from intellectual poet Bruce Dale Wise. As you’ll see, he’s known for his topicality.
Are his poems traditional? Postmodern? Both? Neither? Read them and judge for yourself.
The coup in Turkey has been stopped; the purges now begin.
It’s time to cleanse state institutions shouts out Erdoĝan.
So who is being targeted in this his counter-coup?
All those who do not totally support his point of view:
We also have a dynamite interview with Bruce up at our New Pop Lit News blog. Check it out!
I lean to our time, the New Millennial period; the Internet has opened up the possibilities of American poetry, and I think it is exciting to be writing right now.
The world is changing, and the worlds of fiction and poetry are changing with it.
With scores of other kinds of media now in existence, other options for the individual, reading needs to be quickly accessible. Upon being read, the story or poem should give the reader a quick high or kick. It’s the only way the literary art can compete.
Among the innovations coming from new writers and websites are short shorts and flash fiction. Stories shorter than the traditional story. Instead of 5,000 words, 500. Or 150. When done well, the new works become more compressed, more powerful, more impactful– ending at times with modernist abruptness.
Today we present two such works by Andrew Sacks, who’s as adept at the form as any writer out there. We hope you enjoy them.
Now a more “serious” engagement presented itself, in the mutual celebration of her birthday. David knew something special had to be done. There would have to be a gift, and a meaningful one. Chosen wisely. Chosen for a woman of taste and a certain obvious refinement.
We’re authentic. Our roots are in the DIY zine scene. It’s why we occasionally publish stories from one of the best underground zine writers in America, “Fishspit.”
Also, we’re shameless. We enjoy promoting this site. We can’t help noticing the love for cats across the Internet. Cats are a pop phenomenon. We want in on it.
What happens when you cross a tough underground writer with a cat?
You get “The Cutest Cat That Ever Lived.”
Is it “Literature” with a capital L? We don’t know! But it is entertaining. And authentic. And heartwarming. Especially if you like cats!
I’ve seen thousands of kittens. I’ve volunteered at countless cat rescue shelters . . . so you know I’ve seen cats in my life. I grew up on a farm where at any given time there were 17-23 cats. I have seen cats! I guarantee you Pip was the cutest kitten that ever existed. Don’t you even try to tell me your kitten is cuter.