Literature and the Underground

Feature

THIS WEEK we briefly explore the subculture of literature with our long-overdue final installment of Hyper-Talents of the New Literary Age, in which we examine a diverse array of personalities from Bob Dylan to Aaron Cometbus, on up to underground writers of now– who create work just a tad rougher, wilder, and real than standard refined “literary” writing.

Accompanying the essay is a new story by one of our favorite zine writers, fishspit. The story is titled, “I Was a Juvenile Delinquent– Now I’m Just a Delinquent.”

Even the title wouldn’t make it through an MFA program!

Them teachers weren’t the sharpest set of educators. You had to be pretty doltish to wind up down there . . . nobody with an ounce of spirit, a dram of intelligence, would put up with that kind of horror-show. We were a regular freak show . . . the teachers were about as intelligent as carnies.

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(ONGOING at one of our blogs is the All-Time American Writers Tournament. The latest news there is an appreciation of a prominent American author by Samuel Stevens. Don’t miss a post!)

The Cutest Cat That Ever Lived!

Pop Fiction

We’re authentic. Our roots are in the DIY zine scene. It’s why we occasionally publish stories from one of the best underground zine writers in America, “Fishspit.”

Also, we’re shameless. We enjoy promoting this site. We can’t help noticing the love for cats across the Internet. Cats are a pop phenomenon. We want in on it.

What happens when you cross a tough underground writer with a cat?

You get “The Cutest Cat That Ever Lived.”

Is it “Literature” with a capital L? We don’t know! But it is entertaining. And authentic. And heartwarming. Especially if you like cats!

I’ve seen thousands of kittens. I’ve volunteered at countless cat rescue shelters . . . so you know I’ve seen cats in my life. I grew up on a farm where at any given time there were 17-23 cats. I have seen cats! I guarantee you Pip was the cutest kitten that ever existed. Don’t you even try to tell me your kitten is cuter.

I Was a Drunken Clifford the Big Red Dog

Populist Fiction

Underground writing? Have you ever read underground writing? Did you even know there was such an animal as underground writing?

We’re very high on zine/underground writing, because that’s where our roots lie. More than that, zines are authentic roots literature. They present writing that’s unprocessed and unfiltered– NOT strained through banks of editors and agents and committees and workshops full of politically correct, go-along thinking. They’re also throwbacks in their commitment to print, and to the U.S. Postal Service, in the way they present their art. Creating a zine, where you do literally everything yourself, from editing to formatting to designing to marketing and selling, is an arduous endeavor– but also fulfilling.

Today we have a story from one of the best, most politically-incorrect zine writers, who goes by the name of Fishspit. Read his story here, and see if it’s a more uninhibited story than the status quo variety!

Two things to note about Fishspit’s tale. 1.) it’s told in a folksy vernacular. 2.) in its voice but also its underlying theme it’s very populist– the reality of today’s economic situation is not broadly stated but everpresent.

(We have to ask: How many other struggling writers have donned the Clifford costume at some point?)

But we like the story because it’s entertaining!

I looked in the paper and the goddamned Smackover Library was hiring someone to shelve books. It was only a r a week gig . . . and it paid abysmally. Yet it somehow seemed prestigious . . . to work in a library . . . a far cry from all those fucking factories. To go from a factory grunt to a library employee seemed a step up, even though it was a step down in pay.

(Clifford photo courtesy of renowned children’s author Kathy Ellen Davis. Thanks!)

Interview with Allied Media Conference!

Events

allied media con

We at NEW POP LIT are furiously readying our first print issue– which will contain words and art from a dozen talented writers. We also have a dynamite cover by Detroit artist Alyssa Klash. A Sneak Preview of the issue takes place in less than a week, beginning June 19th at our table at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, at Wayne State University.

Though she’s extremely busy, AMC Program Director Morgan Willis was able to give us and our readers information about the nationally renowned conference, and answer a few general questions.

NPL: Where can our readers learn about the history of the AMC event?

https://www.alliedmedia.org/amc/background

NPL: What inspired organizers to choose Detroit for the venue this year?

MORGAN: The AMC has been in Detroit since 2007. The move facilitated more young people, queer people, people of color and low-income communities to participate in the conference. More artists and organizers from Detroit were participating, and people from other places were excited to learn from Detroit’s legacy as a Black Power and Labor Movement city. Detroit offered many examples of visionary organizing models emerging in the midst of post-industrial crisis; at the same time, out-of-town visitors to the AMC brought with them skills and experiences from their home communities that were valuable to Detroiters.

NPL: The AMC has so many events, meetings, dialogues and expositions… what are your favorites and are there any you’d recommend especially for modern short fiction writers?

MORGAN: My favorites are often in the Intergalactic Intergenerational Justice Practice Space (https://www.alliedmedia.org/amc/tpsng). There are tons of storytelling sessions, and as a short fiction writer myself I find various perspectives on what it even means to tell a story a tremendously helpful lens. The entire schedule can be found at http://www.amc2015.alliedmedia.org. Other content areas that may interest “modern short fiction writers” could be the Spoken Movement Track as well as the brilliant exhibition area that features recently published books, zines, magazines, etc.

NPL: Are there new features for participants to look out for this year?

MORGAN: Yes, check out this blog post: https://www.alliedmedia.org/news/2015/06/09/10-reasons-why-amc2015-will-be-best-amc-ever

Thanks Morgan! We’ll see you at the AMC.

(Read more about NEW POP LIT’s new journal at our house blog, http://www.newpoplitinteractive.wordpress.com)