Portraits: Lit Overview Part II

Feature

WHY the photo of the Tesla Motors vehicle which has been breaking speed records? Because THAT’S what we at New Pop Lit are about. We started this project to reinvent the literary art. To find or produce literary products faster, cleaner, more efficient and more exciting than the norm.

We believe the literary art has to change and will change. We see contemporary American literature trapped in a “salon” mentality– centered on one east coast island, within five monster conglomerates housed in overpriced skyscrapers, publishing only strictly correct and approved writers.

Things already are changing! 2017 marks the existence of scores of upstart literary outfits such as ours– and many thousands of DIY authors who don’t apply the “rules” because they never heard of the rules. Yes, much of the work is mediocre or worse– but at the same time, room is created for the new. For the arrival of the VanGogh-Gaugin self-motivated genius who’ll go so far outside the bounds, art will be overturned. A writer who’ll break all artistic speed records– or maybe, go into untrod areas in the creation of meaning and emotion.

This has begun to happen, in small ways. The purpose of our series, “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age,” is to showcase writers who’ve pushed right up to the bounds of literary creation, and in so doing, point the way to truly revamped and renewed stories and poems.

Among the writers we discuss is Anne Leigh Parrish, who’s appeared here before. We’re privileged to present her latest story, “Picture This.” Clarity? Simplicity? Emotion? Anne Leigh touches the right chords.

We discuss Ms. Parrish and those right artistic chords at our News blog in Part II of our Overview. Enter the literary future. Read both story and overview now.

He’d grown up with three brothers and two sisters, a house full of noise and misery, hatred and resentment, never able to have his own space. That’s why he became an artist—the lure of escape.

 

Storytellers

Feature

NEW LITERARY TALENTS PART I

Today we start an ambitious series examining a new wave of talented writers. Our plan is to combine literary criticism, reviews, and new fiction for a multi-faceted look at American literature NOW; utilizing as many aspects of the New Pop Lit website as possible.

First up: The opening installment of a far-reaching overview, “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age.”

AT THE SAME TIME we present for readers a new short story, “Yacht Party,” from Scott Cannon, one of two narrative writers profiled in our essay, along with Tom Ray.

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Does Scott’s story support the words expressed in the essay? You decide!

The scene froze at its climax; a spotlight haloed the head of the actor playing Lucas on the screen, then swept to the back of the room to light up the incandescent entrance of The Man himself, flanked by two beautiful women and followed by a small cadre of security. The thunder of the ovation in the packed ballroom as he ascended to the podium still rang in Lucas’ ears.

 

Elusive Instinct

Pop Lit Fiction

TODAY we present a short but striking tale by brilliant new talent Ana Prundaru, whose poems, stories, and art have begun appearing across the globe. Which causes us to facetiously ask: Who is Ana Prundaru? Is this a cover name for an entire team of writers and artists able to produce, on whim, work notable for its sense of immediacy; of now? It’s the sense captured, we feel, in  “Elusive Instinct.” Read it and find out!

We danced through the fluorescence, edging somewhere between snaking seductively toward the bartender and giving each other crap for almost falling over. All this time I could feel his eyes on me. The tall guy who had interrupted me seemed to follow my every move and there was heaviness in the room. . . .

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Speaking of new talents, in one week we begin an ambitious series focused on the sudden rise in our post-literate age of individuals whose work screams, “Not yet! Writing still matters! Literature has not yet lost its importance.”

We’re here to announce that importance. The series is tentatively, ambitiously, hyperbolically titled “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age.” It’ll start at sixty miles-per-hour then really kick into gear as we present what’s happening beneath the narrowed gaze of establishment gatekeepers. Stay tuned.

Who We Are

Announcement

As we prepare a couple big new features, and simultaneously wade through increasing numbers of submissions to the New Pop Lit “In” box, it might be time to again give readers information on ourselves and what we’re about.

Our roots are in the DIY print-zine movement. We believe in  art that’s organic, from the ground, the people, up, not imposed by inflexible institutions from on high. We support the democratization of literature. We are not status quo. We’re a new forum of literary opinion.

We believe in the importance of art. That fulfillment can be found through art.

We believe in literature and we believe in the uniqueness of American literature.

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At present New Pop Lit is run by a long-time promoter of underground “zine” writing gone legitimate, combined with a Detroit-area writer, Chicago-trained, who’s been involved in the worlds of design and fashion. We combine style, sense, and attitude.

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Currently we’re looking for parodists willing to do short takeoffs on famous American writers, for a feature due to run this March. Already taken: Norman Mailer; Emily Dickinson; Jack Kerouac. We have a half-assed version of Hemingway. Every version of Hemingway is a half-assed version 🙂

For more information email us at newpoplit@gmail.com

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Read our review of Alex Bernstein’s Plrknib at our News blog.

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A new short story from an exciting writer runs this Friday. Don’t miss it!

(Image: “The Painter on the Road to Tarascon” by Vincent van Gogh.)

Ballyhoo Nation

Opinion

We haven’t posted an Op-Ed in a while. Is there a better day for it than one of the more contentious days in American history?

We contend this commentary from New Pop Lit editor Karl Wenclas is an objective look at events, in the context of a realistic view of American history. Feel free to disagree!

Making noise and screaming for the benefit of television cameras is who we are.

 

January 2017: Month of Protest?

Essay

Protests! Everywhere we turn, everywhere we look we find protests layered upon protests.

It’s nothing new. The imperative, the incentive, the energy for demonstrating in the streets and elsewhere has occurred before, notably in the 1960’s and 70’s. To present perspective and insight to this month’s events, we present an excerpt, “Hit the Road Mac,” from a memoir by Detroit-area writer Gary McDonald. The excerpt covers Gary’s involvement in protests more than forty years ago, when society seemed in even more upheaval than it does now. His narrative only begins with anti-war protests– moving on to cover other aspects of that era’s revolutionary changes; changes which surprise him. You’ll find this personal history fascinating. Perhaps revealing.

“What’s that all about,” I asked, scooting close enough to smell the lemon oil in her blonde streaked hair.

There was a tall scruffy guy with a megaphone drumming up a crowd in the plaza in front of her.

“Nixon’s bombing Cambodia now and that guy’s right, that’s total bullshit,” she said looking back and proved the rest of the theorem; she was an absolute doll. A bit young but still more woman than girl and so good looking she could have started another Trojan War.

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For words by Bruce Dale Wise which look at political turmoil circa 2017– or, circa NOW– read this poem at our Fun Pop Poetry feature, part of our ever-morphing Interactive blog.

Dry Bones

Pop Lit Fiction

WE KICK OFF 2017 with new fiction by Sonia Christensen, “Dry Bones.”The story is accompanied by an interview with Sonia at our News blog, in which she tells us whether or not there’s a back story to this unusual tale.

Sonia Christensen is part of a wave of terrific new short story writers. We’ve been privileged to showcase some of the best of  them. These are exciting times to be involved with the literary game– best of all for those who enjoy reading stories.

He’s told her that he would help her bury the cat if she wanted him to. He said that the first time they walked by and she pointed it out and said, oh god it’s still there. But there’s a traumatic cat incident in her past so instead what they do is cross the road whenever they’re nearing the cat, so they don’t have to get too close and they don’t have to look. But Luke always looks.

(Painting by Theodore Gericault.)

Year-End Wrap-Up

Announcement

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The first task of any upstart literary outfit is to survive. We’ve accomplished this for another year– but we want more. In 2017 we plan to give you more. A lot more.

In the meantime, read our year-end  review News Report of our 2016 activities at our News blog.

Also be sure to read our final Fun Pop Poem of 2016, “Exploitation of Subtlety” by multi-talented artist/writer Dan Nielsen.

Thanks to one and all!

 

Suffering, Suicide, and Immortality

Pop Lit Fiction

THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN a strong connection between madness and genius. Between “mental illness” and art, exemplified in the careers of talented-but-troubled individuals from painter Vincent van Gogh to poet Sylvia Plath to rock musician Kurt Cobain. Could it be that the sensitivity which attunes them closer to the mind of the universe than other people– that allows them to “see” and express things the rest of us can’t see, also makes it too painful for them to live? Does their genius itself push them toward thoughts of suicide?

These thoughts are occasioned by our newest feature story, “Suffering, Suicide, and Immortality,”by Jess Mize. Ms. Mize writes fiction and poetry as edgy as any we’ve seen, anyplace. It doesn’t always make for comfortable reading, so be forewarned on what’s coming. We can’t ignore, however, that it’s particularly at this time of year, a time of bleak weather combined with the expectations of the holiday season, that the thoughts of many turn to suicide. Many have been there on one occasion or other, and so, perhaps, can identify with the troubled character in this powerful story.

My second attempt at suicide happened two years later. I had just quit my job at the dry cleaners. I had no ambitions, no motives, only a red and black despair that clouded over my every thought and action, a red and black despair like the closing of Joyland at night.