the_fate_of_the_animals-franz-marc

Cooler Writers?

Pop Lit Fiction

–in which we continue Part III, “The Young Writers,” of our overview of today’s literary scene, “Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age.” Continue reading the essay here, as we’ve added commentary about the second of four young writers to be profiled, Eli Cranor. THEN read Eli’s excellent short story about the teaching profession, “Five Minutes.”

As you’ll see, the question posed during this part of the essay is, “Can writers become cultural stars?” Our answer to the question is a resounding “YES!”– but we acknowledge it won’t be easy. Every cultural force has its beginnings. With the Beatles it was dive clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg. With revived literature, it might be right here. . . .

Mr. Koontz first few weeks at school had involved very little details. Instead there were a lot of situations like this: a large blonde woman sits down in front of you and she has a daughter, they look nice enough, but you can’t remember the girl’s name, not even a detail like her name.

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(Painting: “The Fate of the Animals” by Franz Marc.)

 

tesla-2

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.

 

van-gogh-painter-on-road-to-tarascon

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.)

Year-End Wrap-Up

Announcement

happy-new-year-page-001

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!

 

blood-moon

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.

sylvia-plath

Poetry Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Announcement

We’re serious about moving in a strong way into the genre of poetry. The classic art has been marginalized by the academy; kept alive by hip-hop and open mics. As always, we aim for a fusion of the two types.

POETRY YESTERDAY

October 17 is the birthday of Sylvia Plath, whose dark vision in its mix of craft and passion in the last years of her life was a high point of American poetry. After her death, the form abandoned its sense of music and euphony.

An exception to this abandonment happened in Liverpool, England in the early 1960’s. We’ve discovered a pop poetry movement centered in that industrial city– at the same time a group of moptop musicians began making waves with a unique brand of pop music. We’ll have a report on this, upcoming.

POETRY TODAY

At our News blog, we take an entertaining glance at the five poets named last week as finalists for the National Book Award for Poetry. In fact, we grade them.

What’s our reaction to the Nobel Prize for Literature award to Bob Dylan? To us, it shows the failure of today’s poets to connect meaningfully with the general public– creating a vacuum which has been filled the past fifty years by popular troubadors like Bob Dylan. We say, give us not Bob Dylan but another Dylan Thomas!

POETRY TOMORROW

Our fledgling Fun Pop Poetry feature is a beginning, only that, to a true poetry revival– making the art accessible to everybody.

For a more serious version of pop poetry, in one week we’ll feature several poems from one of the best young poets we’ve seen– proving to us the future of poetry is very bright. Stay tuned to this literary station!

 

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Four Poems and an Interview

Interview, Poetry

OCTOBER, which ends with Halloween, is a crazy month– and we’re going crazy about poetry. Toward that end, we feature Four Poems from intellectual poet Bruce Dale Wise. As you’ll see, he’s known for his topicality.

Are his poems traditional? Postmodern? Both? Neither? Read them and judge for yourself.

The coup in Turkey has been stopped; the purges now begin.
It’s time to cleanse state institutions shouts out Erdoĝan.

So who is being targeted in this his counter-coup?
All those who do not totally support his point of view:

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We also have a dynamite interview with Bruce up at our New Pop Lit News blog. Check it out!

I lean to our time, the New Millennial period; the Internet has opened up the possibilities of American poetry, and I think it is exciting to be writing right now.

 

 

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“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.

 

colapinto novel

Review of Undone

book review

OUR CHIEF INTEREST is in finding writing which pushes against the acceptable boundaries of the establishment literary/publishing world– and which blurs the lines between the “literary” and “pop.” Toward that end we’ve published work by new writers like Andrea Gregovich, and interviewed more established authors like John Colapinto, if their artistic interests in some way converge with ours.

With our new feature we bring both tracks together, as Andrea Gregovich reviews  John Colapinto’s controversial novel Undone. Offbeat personality reviewing a different kind of offbeat personality? It’s a feature not to be missed.

Here’s the thing about the much-maligned male gaze, though: every now and again it hits upon something real.

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(Remember to stay current with our Fun Pop Poetry feature.)

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.