New Pop Lit’s Summer Reading Festival!

Announcement, Pop Lit Fiction

The summer people choked the road, filled up the taverns, trashed the beachfront, and parked everywhere and anywhere, even in places they shouldn’t.

So begins the feature story kicking off our impromptu Summer Reading Festival 2021, “People Ruin Everything,” by Anne Leigh Parrish, one of the best short story writers going. I don’t know if a story could better capture how everyone feels right now after eighteen months of pandemic, of interruption in our lives we naively thought would be over after three weeks or at most three months, but goes on. The story captures the mood: frustration that may seem illogical, but it’s there, in all of us, as undercurrent to the resumption of our lives.

Anyway, it’s a short story which should be in The New Yorker, but we’re fortunate and grateful to have it at New Pop Lit, and trust you’ll agree with our opinion of it.

She thought about the note they left. She didn’t like being lied to. Some people lived on lies, made a career of them, in some cases. Just look at any politician. She hated people who thought they were smarter than everyone else, who made getting over a full-time job. They’d laughed as they walked up to the car, and they were probably still laughing wherever they were now and wherever they were going.

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What about the rest of our Festival? In coming weeks we’ll be featuring more great new fiction, as well as re-announcing selected readings– fiction and poetry– previously featured at this site. Is that all? NO!

OUR OPEN MIC RETURNS

We’re also restarting our Open Mic feature with a reading of a terrific poem by the UK’s Alisha J. Prince, “Heaven Bound.” Click the link and take a listen.

NEW YORK MEDIA NEWS

We ALSO have at our NPL News Blog a short article about curious doings at iconic Newsweek magazine. Is this the direction in which other New York publications will be headed? What do you think?

POP LIT PRINT READING

FINALLY, check out the print publications we now offer at our POP SHOP— where we’re free to be somewhat more experimental, in attitude, words, and design, than what we present here, as we attempt to cut new paths toward the literary future.

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Anyway, we hope everyone has a glorious summer– and does a lot of reading!

(Featured art: “Two Girls Reading” by Pablo Picasso.)

New Pop Lit Reinvents the Literary Journal

Announcement

CREATING THE NEW

We’re reinventing literary publications with innovations in writing and design, as seen in our latest print publication–

–the first genuine step toward a fully cubist/three-dimensional literary presentation combining words and art into a kaleidoscope of creation of a kind never before seen. Neo-modernism? Or: Neo-Pop?

Available at our POP SHOP.

Bold and readable, the future is upon us, NOW.

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ZEENS!

Announcement

A NEW KIND OF PUBLICATION

The book is dead. Or at least, the word itself turns off more than half of the potential audience, because they associate it with word-clotted unexciting tomes packaged in volumes reeking of dust and stodginess.

Time to rethink the package– and the product itself. Which is what we do in our latest “zeen” journal/fanzine hybrid, Extreme Zeen 2. Worth a look for the adventurous. Buy it here. Try out the New– soon to be the NOW. (We’ll be surprised if upon receiving it you don’t say, “Wow!”)

Until then, read the story behind the publication, “The Story of Extreme Zeen.”

Extreme Zeen Two

Announcement

AN EXCITING NEW PUBLICATION

Our collective lives on this planet are defined by what we create. By the legacy we leave. What will that legacy be? Mediocrity?

At New Pop Lit we’re planting a marker in the culture saying, “No! Beauty and intelligence did not die in the decade of the 2020s. We know 1920s writers and artists were amazing. But so are we!”

Our newest publication, Extreme Zeen 2, is a demonstration of what future literary excitement can look like. A print lit journal whose words and colors jump off the page. Like nothing before seen.

Extreme Zeen– TWO! Available NOW at our POP SHOP.

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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 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.)