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Censorship :: WWJD?

Published August 20, 2007 Posted By

As noted in a previous blog, Jessica Powers, author of the young adult novel The Confessional (Random House, July 2007) had been disinvited to speak at Cathedral High School in El Paso because her book contained "language" and sexual innuendos. The principal of the private, Catholic school spoke with an El Paso reporter for Newspaper Tree saying he felt "compelled to protect our kids [who begin attending at 13 years old] and our school." Has this guy walked down his own hallways lately? Where does he think Jessica got the realistic teen behavior material for her book? Not only that, but didn't these people actually READ her book before inviting her to speak?

Even so, it hardly seems the point, since Powers says she wasn't going to speak about her book, but rather on the issues she writes about in the book: "immigration (illegal and legal); underlying racial tension in a border society like El Paso's; violence and pacifism; social divisions between different groups of people; and faith or doubts about faith." But, as Cathedral is a private rather than public school, its decision was regarded differently by Bobby Byrd, co-publisher and vice president of Cinco Puntos Press, who "said the decision for a private school to cancel a book event is a 'whole different situation' from public censorship. 'The parents are essentially hiring the school to make certain decisions,' he said. 'If a teacher were teaching that book, then it would be a whole different decision.' The decision to cancel the discussion may not have been the correct one, though, Byrd suggested. 'To me it speaks of timidity,' he added. 'Literature is literature.'"

It was Jessica's contention that her visit had been cancelled because of a coinciding visit to take place by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The cancellation itself was brought on, not by school members, but by Former Chief Justice Barajas – who I also doubt even read the book. Ironically enough, on August 12, Jessica made note in her blog that the superintendent of the schools actually gave her approval of the book: "Because of all the brouhaha, a teacher made sure the superintendent of Catholic schools in El Paso had a copy of the book. She read it and called the principal up and said she didn't see what all the fuss was about. She said, 'I don't want our boys to talk this way…but they do.' Former Chief Justice Barajas, the one who forced the cancellation of the event, had allegedly said this was an attack on the church and a threat. But a teacher who read it said, 'Every time the boys get in trouble, they return to what they were taught. They pray, they go to confession….What else can you ask for?'"

Only what's left to ask: WWJD?


In Memoriam :: Chauncey Bailey

Published August 20, 2007 Posted By
A crusading editor, gunned down for the story
by Tim Jones / Chicago Tribune (MCT)
17 August 2007
OAKLAND, Calif.—Until the sawed-off shotgun was raised and aimed at him, Chauncey Bailey, the tall, swashbuckling media celebrity who always walked and talked with a purpose, didn’t seem to worry that his reporting might put his life in danger.

He was the hard-charging and controversial advocate for the black community in this uncelebrated city by the bay. And that, Bailey’s friends say, led him to assume a cocoon of personal safety, if not immunity from the black-on-black violent crime afflicting Oakland. There had been death threats before, but nothing came of them...[Read the rest on Pop Matters]

New Lit Mag Reviews :: August 16

Published August 17, 2007 Posted By NewPages
A new batch of lit mag reviews has been posted. Go see: Literary Magazine Reviews.

Interview :: Abdul Ali with E. Ethelbert Miller

Published August 16, 2007 Posted By NewPages
From his first questions, Abdul Ali gets to the heart of the matter in his interview with E. Ethelber Miller: "Can you tell me what a literary activist is, and what kinds of work they take up? When did you become a literary activist, what events revealed this calling?" Miller's responses define as well as inspire readers to follow his actions to become leaders themselves. Read the interview on Ali's blog: Poetic Noise 1984.

It's Not Dead Yet...Parnassus Lives

Published August 15, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Parnassus Lives
August 12th, 2007 by Jeremy Axelrod for the Kenyon Review
Parnassus: Poetry in Review will not be closing shop with Volume 30, after all. Until recently, financial woes made that round, impressive number seem like a sensible finale for the journal’s magnificent run. As Meg Galipault noted on KR Blog [Kenyon Review Blog], Willard Spiegelman wrote in the Wall Street Journal about its “commitment to intelligence and beautiful writing” — an achievement that’s sadly not enough to fill the till. But sometimes poetry does make things happen, or at least poetry critics do. A very generous reader of the Wall Street Journal saw Spiegelman’s article and offered to fully fund Parnassus for two more years. In the last few months, many magazines and newspapers have lamented the end of Parnassus and praised its decades of excellence. Nobody spoke too soon. When the donation materialized, it was an utter surprise for everyone. [Read the rest on KR Blog]

Photography :: Larry Schwarm

Published August 15, 2007 Posted By NewPages
One of Larry Schwarm's photographs adorns the cover of the most recent issue of New Letters. At first I thought it was an image from Katrina, but there was something more colorful about it than those now, all too familiar waterlogged and mildewed landscapes. Schwarm's subject is the Greensburg Tornado that swept through and destroyed his home town on May 4, 2007. Schwarm was out the next day documenting the devastation. It's odd to say there's something beautiful about the images he captures, but then, maybe it's an odd kind of beauty - to be awed by the end result of an F5 tornado, to see an ordered world turned upside down, to be witness to death and chaos that comes to rest under sunny blue skies. Had Schwarm shot this photo essay in black and white, my feelings might be different, more somber perhaps, less mesmerized by the intricacies of these ruins. As it is, it's like looking at the pages of a children's seek and find book, trying to pick out and make sense of the pieces and how they should have fit together. And being stunned to see a single green plate, whole and intact at the top of a heap of brick and mortar rubble, or a closet full of clothes and personal items left completely intact while the entire structure around it is obliterated. This issue of New Letters is worth picking up just for Schwarm's photos alone, though the images are also on his web site. Also on his site, the one black and white photos he shares is 7.5x36.5 inches and is composed of nine negatives. Prints are available for $100 each, with 100% above printing costs donated to the Kiowa County (Greensburg, Kansas) Historical Society. In print or online, well worth the look.

Poem of the Hour :: Donovan Chase

Published August 15, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Untitled, for a Good Reason
by Donovan Chase

What follows will make no sense.
I intend for this to happen,
And so it will.
I want my poem to be considered deep, so I’ll have it make no sense.
I’ll use random bits of
pretentious nonsense,
To make a point
That doesn’t exist...

[Read the rest on 24:7 Magazine.]
[Or don't.]
[But then you'll miss this part:

I’ll use “vague but disturbing imagery”
Like the idea of someone taking a cat
and putting it in a cheese taco
to make the poem seem to have meaning...]

[And other funny bits.]

Job :: Shippensburg University

Published August 14, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Department of English and Shippensburg
University

Tenure-track assistant professor in Creative Writing (Poetry), full-time appointment beginning August 2008. MFA or PhD required by time of appointment. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to teaching, service, and professional activity including published poetry (preferably a book). Twelve-hour course load each semester will include creative writing, other courses in the English major, and general education courses, with course reduction available for advising the student literary magazine. Additional teaching expertise in creative nonfiction and/or literary study desirable. The committee will request writing samples from selected candidates and may meet with these candidates at MLA. On-campus interviews will include a demonstration of teaching effectiveness and a brief poetry reading. Review of applications begins November 2, 2007, and will continue until the position is filled. View posting here.

Submissions and Positions :: 63 Channels

Published August 14, 2007 Posted By NewPages
63 Channels, an online literary/art magazine, is accepting submission for a Fall/Winter 2007 print issue as well as looking for writers and artists to be matched for their 2008 calendar project. Also looking at least two columnists and two or three book & music reviewers.

Film Got Lit?

Published August 13, 2007 Posted By NewPages
From the June/July/August 2007 issue of Bookforum, and all available online, are three articles of use for those who teach film, for students of film study, and for literature lovers/film afficiandos:

Adapt This: Fiction Into Film
By Phillip Lopate

Reflections (on the topic of fiction into film)
By James Ivory, Elmore Leonard, Tracy Chevalier, Patrick McGrath, Jerry Stahl, Michael Tolkin, Susanna Moore, Time Krabbe, Irvine Welsh, Barry Gifford, Alexander Payne, Myla Goldberg, and Frederic Raphael

Best Adaptations (short lists from each with brief highlight notes)
By Francine Prose, Joy Press, Geoffrey O’Brien, Robert Polito, Luc Sante, Stephanie Zacharek, Steve Erickson, Molly Haskell, Armond White, J. Hoberman, Bilge Ebiri, and Drake Stutesman

New Issue Online :: 27 rue de fleures

Published August 13, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Now online: 27 rue del fleures - poetries by women. Featured in Issue Three, Summer 2007 are works by Kristin Abraham, Marcia Arrieta, Juliet Cook, Hildred Crill, Melissa DeGezelle, Karen Heywood, A.S. Morgan, Jess Neiweem, Rhonda Robison, Carly Sachs, Amanda Silbernagel, and Yvette Thomas.

Submissions :: Gay Poetry Anthologies

Published August 13, 2007 Posted By NewPages
A Midsummer Night's Press announces two new annual anthologies: BEST GAY POETRY edited by Lawrence Schimel and BEST LESBIAN POETRY edited by Linda Alvarez. For the 2008 editions of this exciting new series celebrating the best in gay/lesbian poetry, A Midsummer Night's Press invites submissions of poems published during 2007. Submission information here.

Censorship for the Next Generation

Published August 10, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Jessica Powers, author of The Confessional (previously blogged herein), wrote August 8 to inform us of a speaking engagement of hers having been cancelled.

She wrote: "This morning, I received news that my event at Cathedral High School here in El Paso (scheduled this coming Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.), where I was going to discuss issues of immigration and border security and racism with students, has been canceled. I understand that the person behind canceling the event is Chief Justice Richard Barajas, who thought that doing an event with a book that discusses these issues, with profanity, would be a public relations disaster for Cathedral High School and that parents would be in an uproar. Ironically, the event was scheduled on the same day that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is to be the keynote speaker at the Border Security Conference at UTEP here in town. As you know, THE CONFESSIONAL looks at the issues he will be speaking about from the teen perspective. That event has now been canceled and the discussion silenced."

Coming only four weeks after the publication of this exceptional young adult novel, my response to Jessica: I'm surprised it took them so long.

The book is hard-hitting and more real than some adults may want to believe is possible among our nation's "children." And Jessica's dis-invitation is over what? Supposedly because of the fact that characters in her book swear? Uh, did anybody notice Harry Potter in book seven is a minor drinking whiskey and making comparisons with its euphoric feelings throughout the book? But, I guess the issue of ethnic cleansing is just better masked therein so that is overlooked... Fortunately, we can hope, as with most censorship, cancelled invitations and bannings, this will encourage even more young adults to read her work and want to hear what she has to say on the issues reflected so humanly and humanely through the characters in her book. It's just too bad these select "adults" won't hear her out, and that they are in positions of power to silence her.

Read more from Jessica herself on her blog: J.L. Powers

Remember Your First Book?

Published August 10, 2007 Posted By NewPages
First Book is a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. We provide an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs.

Over the summer, First Book asked the question: What book got you hooked? On the site now are the results, including responses from Joyce Carol Oates, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Rebecca Romijn, John Lithgow, Eric Carle, Judy Woodruff, Marlee Matlin, Rick Reilly, John Krasinski, Lisa Loeb, Joshua Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert and many more.

The Nation :: Free Copies for Students

Published August 10, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Students can request free copies of The Nation to pass out at campus events, meetings or protests. Go to their website to fill out the request form: Student Nation

New Journal :: Projections

Published August 09, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that explores the ways in which recent advancements in fields such as psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, genetics and evolution help to increase our understanding of film, and how film itself facilitates investigations into the nature and function of the mind. The journal will also incorporate articles on the visual arts and new technologies related to film. The aims of the journal are to explore these subjects, facilitate a dialogue between people in the sciences and the humanities, and bring the study of film to the forefront of contemporary intellectual debate. Published on behalf of The Forum for Movies and the Mind.

Coming in the Summer of 2007
Volume 1, Number 1

Articles:
Ira Konigsberg, "Film Theory and the New Science"

Gilbert J. Rose, "On Affect, Motion and Nonverbal Art: A Case and a Theory"

Patrick Colm Hogan, "Sensorimotor Projection, Violations of Continuity, and Emotion in the Experience of Film"

Norman Holland, "The Neuroscience of Metafilm"

Torben Grodal, "Film Emotions, Valence, and Evolutionary Adaptations"

Silvia Bell, "Separation and Merger in Lovers of the Arctic Circle"

Reviews by:
Bonnie Kaufman, Jeff Zacks , Carl Plantinga and Cynthia Freeland

Forthcoming:
Adrienne Harris on Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation

An interview with Jonathan Caouette

Uri Hasson on what movies tell us about the mind

Submissions :: Indiana Review 5.08

Published August 09, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Indiana Review is planning to bring the funk in summer 2008. Issue 30.1 will feature a special "Focus on the Funk" section, with art, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that has a uniquely funky aesthetic. Funk has the power to move and re-move, and it also has the power to defy definition. So please don't ask what funk is (although the Godfather of Soul may be helpful). IR is looking for work that makes you want to jump back and kiss yourself. For more information, visit IR website.

Evangelical Video Games :: The Nation

Published August 09, 2007 Posted By NewPages
I'm not a video game fan, but I am interested in the shift in the attraction the younger generation has to symbols and visual graphics - the milennial literacy. It is this kind of reading/literacy that is being tapped into by Operation Straight Up (OSU), a government-sponsored (aka: You're paying for this), military support group.

Kill Or Convert, Brought To You By the Pentagon
By Max Blumenthal
The Nation
"The Pentagon endorses an End Times evangelical group that proselytizes among US troops, plans a 'crusade' to Iraq, and promotes a post-apocalyptic kill-or-convert video game."

And who's in the forefront of this promotional movement?

"Actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest member of the famous Baldwin brothers, is no longer playing Pauly Shore's sidekick in comedy masterpieces like Biodome. He has a much more serious calling these days...'In my position, I just don't think I'm supposed to keep my faith to myself,' Baldwin told a group of Texas Southern Baptists in 2004. 'I'm just doing what the Lord's telling me to do.'"

Read the rest: The Notion

Submissions :: Call for Art - MacGuffin

Published August 08, 2007 Posted By NewPages
The MacGuffin, established in 1984, is a national literary magazine from Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Our journal is a 160 page 6” x 9” perfect bound collection of the best poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction that we receive. We also have artwork including black and white photos, prints, and drawings. We publish three issues yearly.

The Book Of Hopes and Dreams

Published August 08, 2007 Posted By NewPages
From Dee Rimbauld, Editor: The Book Of Hopes And Dreams is a charity, poetry anthology, published to raise money for the Medical Aid (Afghanistan) appeal of the Glasgow-based charity Spirit Aid, which is an entirely volunteer run organisation, headed by Scottish actor and director, David Hayman. As a volunteer organisation, Spirit Aid are able to ensure that 90% of all the funds they raise go straight to the projects they are involved in (unlike most of the bigger charities whose admin and advertising budgets swallow huge percentages of all donations). The Book Of Hopes And Dreams, which is a celebration of the human spirit (even in times of great adversity) has captured the imagination and hearts of some of the greatest living poets of our times; all of whom have freely contributed work to this anthology. There are contributions from Margaret Atwood, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Heath-Stubbs, Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Tony Harrison, Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan, Penelope Shuttle, Anne Stevenson, Jon Stallworthy, Alan Brownjohn, Ruth Fainlight, David Constantine, Moniza Alvi, Cyril Dabydeen, Elaine Feinstein, Vicki Feaver, Michael Horovitz, Tom Leonard, Robert Mezey, Lawrence Sail, Jay Ramsay, Charles Ades Fishman, Geoffrey Godbert and Ian Duhig, amongst others.

The book costs

Featured Online Magazine :: Words Without Borders

Published August 08, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Along with the myriad ancient virtues of storytelling-giving pleasure, passing time, stimulating thought, connecting strangers — literature is a passport to places both real and imagined. In an increasingly interdependent world, rife with ignorance and incomprehension of other cultures, literature in translation has an especially important role.

Few literatures have truly prospered in isolation from the world. English-speaking culture in general and American culture in particular has long benefited from cross-pollination with other worlds and languages. Thus it is an especially dangerous imbalance when, today, 50% of all the books in translation now published worldwide are translated from English, but only 6% are translated into English.

Words Without Borders opens doors to international exchange through translation of the world’s best writing — selected and translated by a distinguished group of writers, translators, and publishing professionals — and publishing and promoting these works (or excerpts) on the web. We also serve as an advocacy organization for literature in translation, producing events that feature the work of foreign writers and connecting these writers to universities and the media.

Our ultimate aim is to introduce exciting international writing to the general public — travelers, teachers, students, publishers, and a new generation of eclectic readers — by presenting international literature not as a static, elite phenomenon, but a portal through which to explore the world. In the richness of cultural information we present, we hope to help foster a “globalization” of cultural engagement and exchange, one that allows many voices in many languages to prosper.

Words Without Borders is a partner of PEN American Center and the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University, and is hosted by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Discussion Forums :: Brooklyn Book Talk

Published August 07, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Giving the residents of Brooklyn and elsewhere an opportunity to discuss books and literature, facilitated by staff of Brooklyn Public Library. Brooklyn Public Library's online book discussions encourage people to talk about books over the Internet. The discussion allows for debate and the sharing of ideas related to books. To participate in the discussion, simply click on the "comments" link at the bottom of a post and submit a comment. Currently under discussion: Grief by Andrew Holleran; upcoming for September: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri See more: Brooklyn Book Talk

Lit Mag Mailbag :: August 7, 2007

Published August 07, 2007 Posted By NewPages
Ascent
Volume 30 Number 3, Spring 2007
Triannual

Bellingham Review
Volume 30 Numbers 1 & 2, Spring/Fall 2007
Biannual

The Hudson Review
Volume 60 Number 2, Summer 2007
Quarterly

The Journal of Ordinary Thought
Spring 2007
Quarterly

Kaleidoscope
Number 55, Summer/Fall 2007
Biannual

The MacGuffin
Volume 23 Number 3, Spring/Summer 2007
Triannual

The Massachusetts Review
Volume 48 Number 2, Summer 2007
Quarterly

Michigan Quarterly Review
Volume 46 Number 3, Summer 2007
Quarterly

The Midwest Quarterly
Volume 48 Number 4, Summer 2007
Quarterly

The New Centennial Review
Volume 6 Number 2, Winter 2006
Triannual

One Story
Issue Number 91, 2007
Monthly

Parthenon West Review
Issue 5, 2007
Biannual

Rock and Sling
Volume 4 Issue 1, Summer 2007
Biannual

Skidrow Penthouse
Issue Number 8, 2007
Annual

Sou'wester
Volume 35 Number 2, Spring 2007
Biannual

The Drummstick

Published August 06, 2007 Posted By NewPages



Got Doc's CD in the mail and didn't think much of it until I took a closer look at what exactly this "drummstick" is that he plays. This is some incredible technology! You can check out more at his site: www.drummstick.com and see other YouTube clips of him performing with other musicians.

Online Lit Mag :: Storyglossia 21 is Complete!

Published August 06, 2007 Posted By NewPages
If you haven't been reading along as each story has been released, the full
Issue 21 is now available featuring stories by: Gretchen McCullough, Kay Sexton, JSun Howard, Amelia Gray, Dan Capriotti, Sung J. Woo, Terry White, Paula Bomer, Clifford Garstang, Emily M. Z. Carlyle, Joel Van Noord, Anthony Neil Smith, Laurie Seidler, and Josh Capps. Issue 22 will start in a week or so, with a new story released every 2-3 days.
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