The Importance of Being Unique

Announcement

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
-Martha Graham

MUCH TALK is taking place in the art world about so-called NFTs– Non-Fungible Tokens. A kind of cyberspace gimmick which is in fact a rebellion against the proliferation and profusion of Sameness.

In literature and publishing we’re bombarded with the generic. This is widely advertised– via categories (“Young Adult”) and genres. Authors intentionally imitating other authors– normal up to a point; excusable when they differentiate themselves within the genre, emphasizing original style, ideas, viewpoint, or voice. The problem is the differentiation has dwindled into non-existence. “Literary” stories produced daily in writing programs by the truckload. Fantasy/sci-fi/crime/confessional novels multiplying upon Amazon as if a computer program were generating them. Free verse poetry without craft so it becomes impossible to distinguish voice or personality within the works, which play on minute subtleties. Infinitesimal nuances of sensitivity enlivened, if ever, by political signalings to say, “Hey, maybe I can’t write, but I care.” The only way one can know, maybe, that the work wasn’t produced by an algorithm.

Sameness upon sameness.

The purpose of this project is to create original literary art. Which means working toward reinvention of literary forms, but also presenting those forms in unique packages we’re calling zeens, which are available here.

The only way to stand out from the mass crowd is by being unique. NFTs are kind of a con artist’s solution to the problem– a gimmicked fix where the “owner” is “handed” a metaphorical certificate (even the certificate is online) but it’s all really smoke and mirrors behind glass, you’re a spectator in a museum. Illusion. A Houdini magic trick.

WE at New Pop Lit have a better idea. NFZs– Non-Fungible Zeens. Objects which are certifiably unique but which you actually hold and feel, and can turn the pages, and wonder at the images inside. Available to you alone. This is the direction in which we’ve been headed anyway. In our next zeen, due late spring, we will attempt to make each copy unique– not via a number or autograph, but ensuring each cover and perhaps a few of the pages are different– in color, arrangement, or font– from those of other copies. Until we run out of variables. Then we’ll create no more copies of that issue, and delete the files (many which will have taken many man hours to create).

IS THIS DOABLE?

We intend to find out!

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Literary Fan Is Here!

Announcement

DEBUT OF AN EXCITING NEW LITERARY PUBLICATION

We are hewing a path, with our new print publications– “zeens”– toward the future of literature and publishing. Which means, making everything about literature and its presentation way more exciting.

OUR LATEST demonstration model toward that end is Literary Fan Magazine, now on sale at our POP SHOP.

Everything about this offering is fun and unique. For example: For most literary publications, visuals are an afterthought. For us they’re an essential part of the whole. In designing this modest magazine we worked to achieve synergy between words and images. To have each page complement the one next to it, when the journal is opened and you’re reading it.

WHY POP LIT?
a story

In 2012, after the television show “Mad Men” made reference to the movie “Bye Bye Birdie,” a Philadelphia theater on Broad Street showed the 1963 film on a giant screen. In attendance were many students from the nearby University of the Arts. Also in one of the seats was the future editor of New Pop Lit.

The film– hardly a classic; much of it is ridiculous– is a profusion of well-designed images. Presented in wide-screen Panavision, the movie’s day-glo colors and ceaseless energy popped off the screen. The experience was one of pure fun.

This is the kind of well-designed effect we want to give with our new print publication, Literary Fan Magazine.

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Literary Fan Is Coming

Announcement

LITERARY FAN MAGAZINE IS COMING!

SOON SOON SOON SOON SOON SOON SOON

WHY a photograph of a car?

Maybe to signal that our newest publication, Literary Fan Magazine, is manufactured downriver from Detroit, in an area of closed shops and abandoned vehicles– but also of new life and fresh opportunity.

“Manufactured” might be the wrong word, because Lit Fan will be hand-crafted. Organic. Nothing processed about it.

The car is there also to signal we don’t take this project or this new “zeen” ultra seriously. We want it to be fun. We’ve imbued a carnival vibe into it.

INCLUDED in the publication will be at least a dozen new writers, some writing seriously, others, not.

Our chief goal with the printed publication is this: That it be unlike anything seen anywhere. The reader of it will judge whether we accomplished that or not.

Available March 3rd at our POP SHOP.

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Welcome 2021!

Announcement

FOR US and what we’re trying to accomplish with this project, 2020 was a learning year. Learning not only about paper, printing, and design– which will pay dividends (we hope) with our print publications this year, but also, further learning about what does and does not work with the short story regarding pace, viewpoint, momentum, the ending, and much else. Our philosophy is simple: Always Be Improving.

WE BELIEVE more than ever the short story can be much better than it is now, or has ever been. The trick is perfecting new techniques to prove this.

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COMING to this our main site early this year will be new work by talented writers such as Charles Shoultz, Chelsea Sieg, and Tom Preisler. Fiction, prose poetry, poetry– and much else. We’re very selective– we have our own unique standards– but the one thing we look for is talent. New talent wherever we can find it. Follow us or otherwise keep up with what we’re doing, because a lot is going to happen in 2021.

IN THE MEANTIME, check out the latest post at our NEWS blog. Thanks!

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Announcement

EASY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

Want an easy way to Christmas shop? Simply purchase our flagship publication, ZEENITH, at our Pop Shop, and in the Ship To part of the order enter the name and address of the person you wish to receive the gift.

Why ZEENITH?

Because everything about the issue is first rate– a literary publication unlike any that’s ever been created. Not a book. Instead: a work of art, featuring top-notch writing along with striking illustrations and graphics. Each page is an adventure unto itself.

Not only that, but we’re sending each copy this time of year in special silver envelopes, so the recipient knows they’re receiving something truly unique. We’ll include inside the package a holiday “From: To:” note, to be sure they know the gift was sent care of YOU. (We’ll also throw in a “pop” postcard or two.)

an order ready to go out

ZEENITH is the perfect gift for intelligent friends, for high school or college-age sons or daughter, nieces or nephews, or for artistically-curious aunts, uncles, even parents or grandparents. (Far better than a scarf or tie!)

Let’s do it! Order your copy now at our POP SHOP.

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A Pop-Lit Circus

Announcement

MUCH IS HAPPENING!

FIRST is our new feature story, “Just Another Silly Love Song” by Nick Gallup.

SECOND is our Reading Challenge! inviting any and all readers and writers to peruse the Nick Gallup story alongside one of the New Yorker magazine’s latest, by much-awarded author George Saunders, and compare them.

NEXT, our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize– a fantastic opportunity to reread the offerings.

WE ALSO have a new print zeen, Crime City USA, available now at our POP SHOP.

buy it now!

FINALLY, a big thank you to all those who’ve checked out our site or contributed to it. The goal has been to get through 2020 come hell or high water and we’re doing it.

(Art: “At the Circus” and “Dancers” by Pierre Bonnard.)

Defining the Future of Literature

Announcement

–of the story, the periodical, the book.

The way to do that is to transform the literary art and the presentation of that art. Which we’ve begun doing, including with our first released zeen, Extreme Zeen. Now available here to purchase. 

WHY is this publication an important step in the transformation process? 

Not everyone will “get” it, but the clues are in the publication itself– pointing the direction for us. And, we believe, for writing and for books themselves. Which in ten years won’t resemble what the mainstream publishes now.

ez cover on red - Edited

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(Art: “Woman with Birds” by Alexandra Ekster.)

Talent Search 2020

Announcement

WHO ARE THE BEST NEW WRITERS?

We are going on a more relaxed posting schedule in the next so-many weeks, so we can focus on our behind-the-scenes activities.

Which include:

-Creating a few print-zeen prototypes. The most ambitious aspect of the New Pop Lit project.

-Further development of our version of the “3-D” multidimensional story.

-Increased emphasis on locating striking new writing talent– with the proviso that talent isn’t enough. We seek ability to adapt to our artistic ideas of pop clarity and energy, as well as charismatic attributes.

Will we be staging an “NPL Combine” to access the best indie writers on today’s literary scene? Possibly!

We’re looking for the Billie Eilish of the literary world. Talent and pop attitude. If you’re that person, get in touch!

portrait-of-jean-metzinger-robert-delaunay 1906

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IN THE MEANTIME, we have much terrific writing upcoming– including a new fiction feature, more “Pop Quiz” Q & A’s, and for April, poetry and poetry-themed prose for this year’s Poetry Month. THEN, more excellent fiction. Not to miss.

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(Art: “The Bach Singer” by Johannes Itten; “Portrait of Jean Metzinger” by Robert Delaunay.)

Welcome 2020

Announcement

ANOTHER GOLDEN DECADE?

HAPPY 2020!-page-001 - Edited

THE LAST iteration of the Twenties became famous for its writers– who defined the times. The literary art reigned as the most important cultural happening.

The name of the era was popularized by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald as “The Jazz Age.” He and his talented and flamboyant wife Zelda embodied the era.

scott and zelda

The decade also saw the formidable debut of another literary star from the American Midwest, that unassuming individual Ernest Hemingway– who was to become the most renowned American author of all.

hem and friends

THE QUESTION is whether our decade, the 2020s, will see a revival of the art– so that literary fiction becomes once again glamorous and popular.

At New Pop Lit we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure this takes place.

Where_there's_smoke_there's_fire_by_Russell_Patterson

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(Art: “Cubist Composition” by Nadezhda Udaltsova; “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire” by Russell Patterson.)