But, alas, what about when there is NO response? What about the silence of a Facebook post? "Writers have always known that theirs is a lonely art," Kuebler comments, "but after spending time on Facebook it’s as if we have to learn this all over again. We have to remember that the audience for literature is largely silent; it takes its time."
Read the full editorial here, and Kuebler's closing comment of appreciation for writers, even if it is only ever offered in silence.
Issue 43 of New Orleans Review is themed "The African Literary Hustle" and opens with the editorial by Mukoma Wa Ngugi and Laura T. Murphy, "This Hustle is Not Your Grandpa's African Lit." The two issue editors examine the historical 'presentation' of African literature published in Western culture as "all too often realist, in English, and in the spirit of Chinua Achebe. But romance, science fiction, fantasy, epic, experimental poetry, satire, and political allegory all find expression in Africa, though not necessarily publication." The editors confront this disparity, "Those who are called to write often have to hustle to get recognition by writing a coming-of-age colonial encounter tale or hustle even harder to have their unique voices heard. So the post-Achebe generation writer faces all sorts of firewalls."
Thus, the call went out for this issue, and writers responded with the editors hoping "to provoke some interesting and unpredictable writing and thinking that would reflect and respond to the spirit of the hustle." Oddly enough, the editors note, "eighty percent of the submissions were from white non-African-identifying writers who thought they could hustle their way into a volume of African literature and had no qualms about it." Seriously.
The editors close on the comment, "But what is African literature? Is there, can there be, was there ever and African literature? In asking you have answered your question. African literature is a question. It is an open question that invites, and has to keep on inviting, different geographies, languages and forms."
Thus, this issue of New Orleans Review: The African Literary Hustle.
Elizabeth Girdharry writes of math and sciences with "Filling Empty Spaces," including the lines "Mathematical formulas, / on how to stay tangent to the line, / somehow slipped my mind," and "There Was Geometry" begins: "There is geometry in my junk drawer." And comes back around to, "More importantly, / there is geometry in my junk drawer. / Angles and tangents twist out of circles / the same way you smooth back flyaway wisps of baby hair / when you're pondering a hard science theory."
Elise Wing crafts strong imagery to draw her readers in. "The Microscope" begins "Dead diatom / Crisp as a leaf skeleton," and "The Living That Terrifies" begins with the amusing but poignant, "Your ears are the trees for egrets to nest in," and "Tomorrow, the Seagulls" starts, "The future is as frightening as a three-headed hyena."
NewPages includes Hanging Loose in our Young Writers Guide where we list publications written by and for young writers and readers as well as a vetted, ad-free list of contests for young writers.
You have to take a close look at this detail from "Iron Horse" by Kent Monkman on the cover of Brick #99 to get the full effect of the kind of cultural/historical mishmash that makes up this image and a great many of his works.
"Myth" by Eiko Ojala is a papercut illustration for the cover of the May 2017 issue of Hermeneutic Chaos Journal, an online bi-monthly publishing poetry and prose.
Self-Portrait as Girl Being Led On
By Clare Paniccia
I watched them do it,
their small, fat fingers taking
to the swell of chest a blunt scalpel
and peeling, no, sawing into stomach
their fitful curiosity, the frog’s
glass eye staring outward and empty,
staring toward the very mouths of schoolboys
who entered so brutally the crevice, the abdomen’s
silenced bell. . . .
Read the rest and hear the poem read by the author on TriQuarterly.
Translation Review is a forum for the discussion of the art, practice and theory of literary translation published by UT Dallas Center for Translation Studies and available online via Routledge Taylor & Francis Online. The full issue can be accessed here for individuals/institutions with logins. Without a login, the full preface can be accessed as well as beginning excerpts from each work published.
Artists have tremendous courage, a necessary quality when it comes to expressing personal dreams and emotions so all can see them.
Artists break down barriers of thought, time, custom, and expectation.
Artists make the intangible tangible.
Artists see the trees and the forest.
Artists challenge us to see and understand our world differently than we do now.
Artists are born with open hands and open hearts, courageously willing to accept whatever is given.
Imagine our world without artists, without their ability to see, dream, express, break down barriers, and challenge the rest of us to imagine our world differently.
Excerpted from Christine Brooks Cote, "Imagine Our World Without Artists," from Still Point Arts Quarterly, Summer 2017.