“Make It New!”

Announcement

A RANT

One of our discoveries in reading Lesley M.M. Blume’s book about Ernest Hemingway, Everybody Behaves Badly, is that Ezra Pound’s favorite expression was “Make it new.” Which has been our philosophy from the beginning of this ambitious project.

(We’ve labeled ourselves “The New New.”)

Being new involves connecting with the best new writers in America– particularly those unconnected to the embalmed established lit game, or who reject most of the moldy doctrines of institutional writing factories. Let’s face it, New York and its appendages produces not the New, but the Same-Old Same-Old.

Examination of last weekend’s establishment flagship the New York Times Book Review shows the editors still mired in postmodernism– which is a fine game to play in the obsolete academy but generates ZERO interest among the general population. Mainly because pomo literary works are often posturing nonsense and are almost always unreadable. (See Infinite Jest, which NYTBR was caught raving about for the 5,005th time. Showing their cred, I guess, among the hopelessly pretentious.)

We offer credibility of a different sort, as our editors come not from an ivory tower or the conglomerate machine– but from the gritty factories and clubs of Detroit.

We’ve lived in a tough world of intense energy far removed from faculty lounges and teacups. We know literature at its best is a visceral emotional experience for the reader. We aim to present new writing which connects emotionally to YOU every bit as much as any pop/punk/rock/rap song ever conceived.

This week we focus on our search, our quest– and on our backlog of necessary reading. We’re busy putting together a foundation to go new places as a literary experience. If you also seek to change literature, and thereby change the world: join us.

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By the way, we’ve asked one of our favorite young writers to review the Blume book. Why? Because we’re out to recapture the Fitzgerald/Hemingway literary excitement of 1925/26 which sustained American literature for decades, until the rise of pomo fakirs.

We’ll create that excitement in a 2016 way.

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Be sure to check out our new Fun Pop Poetry feature. Due to arrive next week– a nationally-renowned rhyming-and-witty poet.

 

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Breaking into Publishing

Essay

Ideas! New Pop Lit is first and foremost a project of ideas. In a period when the public is demanding populist change, we advertise ourselves as literary change agents.

Toward that end we’re offering an essay by Samuel Stevens about publishing, outlining how writers who seek to change the literary art– who offer new aesthetic ideas– have often faced difficulties.

The critics of the day repudiated authors with mountains of literary criticism about them now. Names like Hemingway, Pound, Joyce, Eliot were at one time the enemy. Hemingway’s friend, the memory-holed author Robert McAlmon, published Three Stories and Ten Poems; the New York world wasn’t interested in the young Hemingway’s work. 

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Sam Stevens is included in our first “Lit Question of the Month” feature at our Extras!/Interactive blog, along with twenty-three other writers. The response was such– the answers uniformly terrific– that we’re likely to try the feature again. The list includes DIYers– bloggers, self-publishers, zinesters; those changing the literary product– but also status quo reps, from university professors and creative writing instructors, to long-time award-winning story writers Kelly Cherry, T.C. Boyle, and Madison Smartt Bell, to best-selling novelist Scott Turow. Among their number is possibly even a member of the dreaded literary establishment!– if that animal can be credibly identified. We thank them all for the generosity of their time and their minds. Read the answers here.

We ask readers to join the conversation. What’s your favorite answer? Your least favorite? Take a minute and tell us in the Comments section.