washington dc capitol

Benjamin Franklin and the Witch of Endor

Pop Lit Fiction

The wild election season is heating up.

To celebrate the madness, we’re running a new short story by Washington D.C. Beltway expert Tom Ray– giving us an entertaining inside look at the struggles staff handlers and party officials go through trying to manage what are increasingly unmanageable politicians. Any familiarity to real life? Naw!

Read Tom Ray’s “Benjamin Franklin and the Witch of Endor” now!

The word was out that Hathaway was still a buffoon, so there weren’t a lot of applicants for the position. Despite Patricia Hathaway’s seeming hostility toward me, I was hired.

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(Also keep up on our new Fun Pop Poetry feature.)

neighborhood 2

The Old Neighborhood

Pop Lit Fiction

The long and lazy summer! A time for reflection– for memories of childhood, of the old homestead, days past. Simpler times. The friends you had. The girl you knew.

Can we go back to those days? Should we go back?  These questions are raised by Andy Tu’s bittersweet story, “The Old Neighborhood.” We think you’ll like it.

She’d always been somewhere in the bottom of his mind, covered by the office romances and two long-term girlfriends. She’d been there, like a buried treasure, unlocked and waiting for him to free it from beneath the sands, to simply open it and look.

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(REMINDER: Our Fun Pop Poetry feature is underway at our New Pop Lit Interactive blog. We need fun poems!)

Anne Leigh Parrish

Interview with Anne Leigh Parrish

Interview

Literary change is coming!

New genres, new styles, and most important, a wave of newly-prominent writers pumping talent, energy, and emotion into a previously moribund art form.

Among the best of them is Anne Leigh Parrish, who’s published terrific work with us  and with other upstart literary outfits. As well as penned one novel and two short story collections. Read our Interview with her, also linked at our “Hype” page. (Anne also participated in our recent can’t miss Hemingway discussion.)

Motivation is something I’m very curious about. I’m also fascinated with the stories people tell themselves to get themselves off the hook, or to process a traumatic event.

 

kandinskybluered

We Want Pop Poetry!

Announcement

As readers know, we’ve published some but not a lot of poetry. Some of the poetry we’ve run has been good underground-style writing. Some of it has been semi-pop. We now seek to go into full pop poetry mode.

What’s pop poetry?

We’re not certain, because it largely doesn’t exist yet! We can imagine what true pop poetry would look like.

Pop poetry would be:

.-Readable.

-Colorful.

-Sometimes witty.

-Fun.

-Not banal.

-As visible and “there” as a painting.

-Have rhythm and rhyme someplace. Maybe standard AA BB or AB AB etc. work. Maybe off beat. Maybe in the middle of lines. Think innovatively!

Or: We’ll know pop poetry when we see it. If we present just what everyone else is presenting– what’s the point?

Start writing!

hem w family

Hemingway Wrap-Up

Feature

We end our July-long celebration with an apocryphal(?) little tale about young Ernest Hemingway’s days in northern Michigan, at our Detroit Literary blog. It’s not much of a feature, admittedly– but does give us the opportunity to catch up on reading submissions and planning future happenings.

If you haven’t already, be sure to read our big Hemingway discussion, which features commentary about Ernest Hemingway’s reputation today by a wide variety of noteworthy writers and critics. We’ve received nothing but positive feedback about this feature. Well worth rereading.

Upcoming are profiles about, and new writing by, many of America’s most exciting writers. Our chief mission is to discover the next Hemingway; i.e., the next important American literary icon. THIS is the place where new ideas about literature are happening.

champagne

Happy Hemingway Day!

Feature

Today is July 21, birthday of the person who remains America’s most famous writer (counter-arguments invited): Ernest Hemingway. The man was born in 1899– he was a millennial of a different kind. If alive today he’d be 117 years old. His words remain very alive, so we hope you’ll join us in celebration.

First, read the Answers to our big Hemingway Question. Respondents include a few literary critics and a score of outstanding writers.

Next, scroll down the New Pop Lit home page and see what else we’ve done to honor the big guy the last few weeks. If you’re a fan of reading and literature, you’ll enjoy all of it.

Keep up on the day’s activities via our twitter account, @NewPopLit

(Go easy on the absinthe. Don’t overdo the partying!)

birthday cake

premonition artwork

Diminutives

Pop Lit Fiction

(“Premonition” by Walter Nessler copyright Royal Air Force Museum.)

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Our month-long Hemingway celebration continues with a striking new story by Samuel Stevens, “Diminutives,” whose setting of Paris is a nod to Ernest Hemingway and the Lost Generation. But so is its style. Few writers understand what Ernest Hemingway was fully up to when he revolutionized writing. Stevens is one of them.

Note how Stevens’ story is like a Modernist painting– a collage of parts expressing the fragmentation of our time. As if helplessly riding a bus about to crash, we’re replaying– reliving– that broken insane world Hemingway experienced. Around us is a sense of foreboding. Imminence. Chaos.

Stevens’ story is simple but at the same time it’s a mix of impressions and ideas. A splash of confusion, or a slap in the face. The story is there in front of us, like a painting. Right there. It’s very short, but there’s enough in it to like or dislike. Or hate.

Provocative and topical.

But what do you think?

There were no subjects to write about any more, either in America or here; the world was too mixed up to really stop and look at it.

bullfighting

Inspired by Death in the Afternoon

Poetry

Our month-long tribute to Hemingway continues with five short pieces by Jess Mize– a very talented young American writer, as Ernest Hemingway was once a very talented young American writer. Let the celebration continue!

I thought about death in the afternoon and how once, over half a century ago I was gored in the groin performing a sarcastic veronica and confident with the knowledge of money to come and the scent of arrogant Spanish wine by the pool in San Sebastian.

 

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Searching for Hemingway

Feature

BECAUSE of his giant persona, Ernest Hemingway remains to us a mystery. Who was he? What was the impetus behind his writing– and his need to be a writer?

New Pop Lit’s editors recently journeyed to northern Michigan in search of answers. . . .

(Or, today we kick off our month-long Hemingway celebration! Read our write-up.)

Ernest Hemingway spent much time in Petoskey when he returned from his service in World War I. His story “Soldier’s Home” indicates that he felt out-of-sorts with his family and Oak Park neighborhood. So he escaped– fleeing to where the air was clean. In northern Michigan. He could refresh his thoughts. He could also write.

 

subway tunnel 2

Tunnel Vision

Pop Fiction

What happens when you mix homeless veterans, a subway system, and a shady-but-not-all-bad lawyer?

Our new tale, “Tunnel Vision.” Summer reading from Steve Slavin. American reality with a heart.

I ain’t no Robin Hood. Yeah, I do take from the rich and give to the poor, but I’m really in this just for myself. And let me level with you: I make out OK. In fact, more than OK.

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(Photos c/o Marie Curie via Untapped Cities.)