May 8, 2015
Dear Intrepid Readers,
Last week, we talked a lot about binary thinking, the dangers it poses to true artistic expression, and the obstacles it presents to human connections. We also talked about the power that narrative holds to bridge the divides between us. It allows us to take a step back from ourselves and our stories by listening to someone else, becoming engaged with someone else’s story. This engagement is just one of many ways that we learn compassion, empathy, and what it means to know ourselves better through the mirrors that other people’s stories provide. We challenged you, our literary community, to get up, dress up, and show up. Did you accept the challenge? Did you get out there to read, or to hear someone else read? Did you go to a literary event, or participate in an online community of writers? If you did—congratulations! We hope that you heard something, read something, or met someone that changed some part of you for the better, or revealed a truth that had been hidden. And you know what? Even if you didn’t make it out this week, the challenge is always there, and there’s no better time to get up, dress up and show up than right now.
Last week, we also closed down our submissions window for our The King in Yellow issue of NonBinary Review. We’ve begun to send out our decisions, and are beginning to see the issue take shape in our mind’s eye. One of the things we’re most excited about as we see the table of contents beginning to come together, is that our contributors have come out in full force to turn a couple of literature’s binaries upside down.
Sometimes the best pieces come in just under the wire!
One of those binaries is the idea of what genre fiction can and can’t be—in the modern literary conversation, genre fiction (such as horror, science fiction, fantasy, romance and crime) is generally dismissed as somehow “less than” traditional literary fiction (meaning the [Western] canon). While works of the canon are a good place to start reading, they’re not representative of the big picture—the key is to keep reading. Just as the canon doesn’t really make room for other voices and perspectives, it makes little room for flights of fancy, for dreams, for stories that allow us to expand our “real worlds” by exploring the worlds of fantasy. And those genres are also not without their own problems—just as the traditional canon doesn’t favor inclusivity, the world of genre fiction has been a patriarchal structure at best, with little room for multi-culturalism or gender diversity. So we are thrilled to see that for The King in Yellow, held up by many to be the seminal example of cosmic horror, that our contributors got up, dressed up and showed up to bring us an issue full of other voices? Every day, we’re seeing the world of this story expanding and doubling, full of stories that just a few short decades back, might never have made it past the slush pile.
This week also marked our third week for the blog of Zoetic Press, Rhizomatic Ideas, where we chip away at more of the binaries that we as writers, editors, poets, and literary citizens come up against. Here, we’ve taken on a varying degree of topics—everything from the ongoing debate of the importance (or not) of an MFA degree and the truth about fanfic, to something a little more fun, the “guilty secrets” we all hold—as writers, readers, editors, and yes…..even MFA students (the horror!) We’ve been truly excited to see some of the guest posts that have been coming in, and we invite you to send us more. Do you have a Writer Confession or a Guilty Secret? Tell us about it, and why you’re hanging on to it. Or give us a point of view on something that’s important to you—we’re open to all your ideas in the 300-500 word range: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to check in and read the weekly online content we post at Alphanumeric—every Monday, we’re bringing you exclusive companion content to our current NonBinary Review issue, and it’s always something that we’re excited to bring to our online readers as well as to our app readers. We’re also on Facebook (Zoetic Press,Lithomobilus), Twitter (@ZoeticPress and Litho) and Pinterest, and whenever possible, we post audio/video of our contributors’ work on our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in hearing more from us, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We’re serious about your privacy, and promise not to flood your inbox. If you haven’t already seen what we’re about, download the app and get to reading—it’s free, and available for your iPad and iPhone.
Until next week—
Allie Marini Batts, Managing Editor