Monday, May 19, 2008

Part Deuxes

Yes, I put a lot of highway between a Part 1 blog entry and a Part 2. They shall be released. Soon. Ish.

In Our Time

"When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work."
–Jean Cocteau, author & filmmaker

"No one is ahead of his time, it is only that the particular variety of creating his time is the one that his contemporaries who are also creating their own time refuse to accept."
–Gertrude Stein, author

"No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times."
–Martha Graham, dancer

Every writer interested in avant-garde literature must become familiar with Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle. I was lucky enough, smart enough to see the Guggenheim installation back in 2003, and, shortly thereafter, watched the entire film cycle. Though considered primarily a visual (perhaps also performance) artist, Barney is also a multimodal writer. Even if he doesn't hang that label around his neck. And, really, the lable just isn't important. The art is.


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Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Besides the benefits I spoke of in my last entry, more are coming down the pike (or as Jiri Cech says, "down the pipe"). At the 2008 &NOW Festival, Davis Schneiderman (author of the recently released work of innovative fiction, Abecedarium), announced two terrific con/in-ceptions:

1. &NOW Books (an imprint of Lake Forest College Press):
The newly formed Lake Forest College Press is pleased to announce the formation of its imprint, &NOW Books. Every two years, &NOW Books will publish THE &NOW AWARDS: THE BEST INNOVATIVE WRITING—a collection of the most provocative, hardest-hitting, deadly serious, patently absurd, cutting-edge, avant-everything-and-nothing work. Distribution of &NOW books will be through Northwestern University Press. Attendees at &NOW 2009 (Fall, SUNY Buffalo) will receive a complementary copy of the debut anthology, but writers need not attend &NOW to be included in the collection.

2. The Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize &NOW/Lake Forest College
Lake Forest College, in conjunction with the &NOW Festival of Innovative Writing and Art, invites applications for an emerging writer under forty years old, with no major book publication (chapbooks and the like excepted), to spend two months (February-March or March-April 2009) in residence at our campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are no formal teaching duties attached to the residency. Time is to be spent completing a manuscript, participating in the Lake Forest Literary Festival, and offering two public presentations.
After the residency, the completed manuscript will be published, upon approval, by the new Lake Forest College Press &NOW Books imprint. The stipend is $10,000, with a housing suite and campus meals provided by the college. The position will be offered on alternate years to writers of prose and poetry, with the 2009 residency going to a poet. Hybrid genre and non-classifiable applications are welcome during either year.

Get the full details on the Now What blog.



Chapman University, Orange, CA
Note to young, intelligent writers hoping to meet well-connected and 80% smarter writers, editors, and publishers: &NOW Festival of Innovative Writing & Art is an intimate gathering of great literary minds, relative to the unwieldy get-lost-in-the-crowd AWP Conference. The festival (note the celebratory implications of the word) has grown since its 2004 inception, but attendance is still no more than 200. Thus, over a period of 3 days, you have plenty of opportunities to talk, really talk, with writers in casual atmospheres, whether coffee or martinis, burritos or sea bass. The panels are insightful, the topics provocative, and the readings are gorgeous. Best of all, if you attend the Festival regularly, it eventually becomes a pleasant reunion with more and more people you actually like, not pretend to like. Oh, did I just confess to pretense? The next &NOW will be held six months early, in the fall of 2009 (Buffalo, New York) in order to shift it from spring, congested with the ever-date-shifting AWP.

Doubletree Hotel Annaheim/Orange CA