Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday's Guest: Mathew Timmons

Hi Everyone,

On Tuesday, Mathew Timmons will be visiting our class. Mathew is a writer, curator and critic in Los Angeles. He is the General Director of General Projects at various locations including Outpost for Contemporary Art and The Ups & Downs, an installation series, at workspace. He also co-edits/curates Insert Press (w/ Stan Apps), LA-Lit (w/ Stephanie Rioux), Late Night Snack (w/ Harold Abramowitz) and he is the Los Angeles editor of Joyland. He is the author of Credit (Blanc Press) and Lip Service, a chapbook from Slack Buddha Press. His work may also be found in various journals, including: P-Queue, Holy Beep!, Flim Forum, The Physical Poets, NōD, PRECIPICe, Or, Moonlit, aslongasittakes, eohippus labs, Area Sneaks, Artweek and The Encyclopedia Project.

Before Tuesday, please read "Statement by the Editors" in Fold Appropriate Text. You can download this journal as a PDF for free on the Insert Press website. The first "Click Here" is the journal; the second "Click Here" is the literary supplement.

Also, choose one (1) LA-Lit interview and listen to it. These are all hosted at Penn Sound. Here's the link.

I'll also be looking for your responses to each others posts, posted here before Tuesday's class.

We'll be picking up this conversation on Thursday. Two additional readings for Thursday:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Response to Numbers Trouble

My first response to Numbers Trouble, is gratitude for someone bothering to check the assumptions and facts that were produced and recirculated through in Jennifer Ashton's piece that said that there is not need for feminism. From the research, fact checking, and survey information that we read in the piece by Spahr and Young, it is clear that feminism still has a place in poetry, in literature, and in society. It's clear that even artists who consider themselves educated and knowledgeable can make the huge mistake of underestimating the need for a consistent push for equal treatment and respectful consideration of "minority" groups. These sort of movements that are supported by a group or are done to secure rights for a group seem to me to exist in a sort of "watchdog" position for a lot of their existence. Just because a situation has been reconciled or is making progress toward fairness, doesn't mean that if that "policing" group were to retire or disband, that the fairness or progress would continue in its absence.

This is the connection that the authors were making when describing the function of feminist or female-author-centered anthologies or collections. it would be a fantastic idea to think that we may someday reach a point in a future society where these types of groups and themes in anthologies and other publications wouldn't be "needed," in a sense, to remind people of the existence of the work, but would be made in celebration and seen as just a collection around a certain topic, and not mostly as an artistically functional political statement, as has been the case for the last several decades.

Additionally, I think it is important to note that the area and the poets' experiences that are being discussed in this essay may differ from Ashton's focus in her article. The authors' desire here is to apply the findings in Ashton's piece to the experiences that they and other experimental/postmodern/avant-garde/innovative poets have witnessed and lived through. Here, I would like to propose that the same trend of male-dominance has been prevalent in similar or parallel movements in the other arts and in other experimental aspects of society. It seems that this may stem from the educational gap that has had such an impact on US society. just like any other instance of social under-representation, if younger generations of people don't see examples and role-models to look up to and high levels of capability, it takes longer for those talented, skilled, and capable individuals to rise to the top of their field and for others from that group to join them in noticeable amounts.

This has also been the case for other realms in education or occupational fields where education is necessary or preferred. The "shortage" of women in different fields of science and mathematics has been well addressed in US society through different programs in schools and universities. in my own personal experience, if I had been a student in another field of study there would have been more institutional support structures to guide me through to success in my selected industry if I had majored in engineering or been a pre-med student. Then again, this is also due to this specific university's undeniable overall focus on the sciences. If more of these types of institutional support systems were available for female writers from a younger age, we might see more accepting attitudes toward those that are present today since the problem would be more concrete and socially visible. As it stands today, the world of poetry, especially experimental/postmodern/avant-garde/innovative poetry is not easily accessed by the public, so problems within the genre are kept, whether purposefully or incidentally, from being detected or addressed within view of the rest of US literature and wider society.

Response to The Concept of the Canon

Before reading this article, I didn't realize that there were so many different views of what texts should be in the canon. There's the essentialist, traditionalist, pragmatist, instrumentalist, etc. It was hard to keep them all straight while I was reading the article. I think that was part of the point though. There are so many different views and there is no one correct view. He did seem to argue that part of determining whether a work of literature is a candidate for the canon is by examining its cohesiveness ("content") and the techniques the author uses to present the text ("form"). Krupat also mentions something I've never heard of: techné of delight. I'm assuming that this refers to a text's way of delighting/entertaining readers and being enjoyable to read.

Another issue that Krupat goes into is the underrepresentation of minority writers in the literary canon. He says that "the cultural expression of red, white, and black people seems to me to have a historically urgent claim to primary attention" (54). I was a little unnerved by the fact that he used the terms "red," "white," and "black" to describe ethnicities, but I suppose his intention was not to offend. This section confused me somewhat because he calls for more representation of minority writers in the canon (or at least as candidates for the canon), but doesn't propose to create a proportionate representation for these groups. He simply wants the texts of minority writers to be read and studied as much as "Euramerican" literature. It seems fair enough to me, and makes sense since the groups he mentioned are a large part of the "Western" history and literature. I'm not sure exactly how one would go about making the recognition of these texts happen, though.

The concept of the canon is so abstract (at least to me), and so is the idea of including more minorities into the canon. It requires a lot of questions to be answered concretely: Which texts are in the current canon(s)? Who decides on what goes in a canon? How do readers (serious and casual ones) know what is in the canon? How does one decide which non-Euramerican texts are worth including in the canon? Are they chosen because of their merit/"greatness" or just because they are from a minority perspective? It seems to me that for quite a long time the canon has been considered a body of "classic" texts that have been representative of particular cultures and histories, but has been excluding certain groups, either intentionally or unintentionally. From what I've gathered in Krupat's article, though, the traditional view of having "classics" (typically written by white males) in the canon is constantly being challenged by other views.

Value of Sulfur

Bernstein points out that he corresponds to a poetry committed to composition, than opposition. A sort of composing that values inquiry above representation. I agree with Berstein that poetics, good poetics that leave a lasting impression, adheres to these principles. Berstein explains, so often, especially with new poetry, he feels as though "poetry" needs to be defended. He compares such defense to be like selling a kitchenette product.
The idea that there are perhaps guided procedures, or approaches to poetry is criticized by Bernstein. Bernstein calls poetry a wilderness, one that is unconquerable. Just admitting to this, means a surrender of the ability to conquer it. He offers the opinion that preference for the most part is inarguable, people will gravitate to their own taste. However, this does result in repetitive same production. How would we ever get something new? He offers the idea that projects-in-language are not limited to those who can, who have or who will. That it is not a matter of Proper Names but of Works.
It's been over 20 years since this article. Though I agree with Bernstein that poetics is something that can not be contained or pinned down, most new poets are still having to find ways to defend or legitimize it. It's not poetry that usually finds publishing. The Bernstein of that article wouldn't be too happy today; it's still more of the same being published.

Sulfuric Acid

Needless to say, based on the article's title, I had no real assumptions or expectations of its content before beginning to read, which made it all the more fascinating to me. I find this concept of characterizing language as a wild, open and unexplored space within our world of solids and materials, language exists on its own plane, above and below general frames of existence or reality. This train of thought offers a new perspective on language, words as part of speech, some encompassing whole or far from whole being. This being is stronger than many other, as language, with its never ending combinations, orders, tricks of punctuation and of writerly tact, may be manipulated into so many interpretations and argumentation, crossing perceptions and views or searching for something newer, honest from a specific frame of sight. Language is tricky. It may be so personal, with the words scrawled in frazzled cursive on the pages of your tired diary, or tapped out madly on your facebook walls but language may be presented on such a grand scale, with horrifying amounts of influence. Take the bibles, our declaration of independence, Magna Carta, Oprah's Book Club, countless magazines and newspapers. Words and language contain in them a power, when used and arranged properly (or improperly whatever the intent may be), that is quite difficult to compare to. I find this to be the angle of perception which words leave out and open to their readers, left to us to interpret using our unique world views, morals, beliefs, hatred, passions, desires, etc. It's an open-ended armada, with limitless ammunition. Poetry is no mere pitiful blood sucking mosquito, it is more of a force which divides. Divides all readers and critics bytheir perceived notions and understandings of the text, whether they believe it and live by it or hate it and rise up against it- poetry and the words cause action, if only in thought. When the author touches on the fact that if we admit there is a wilderness that stands separate from our orderly governed world, and if poetry exists on a similar level of wilderness and wonder, then admitting its apartness in this battle to conquer it as a force to be reckoned with the battle is already lost.

Poetry is considered special because it challenges this notion of preferential taste, condemns those who choose one specific preference, one side of the mirror, strives for a rattling against these constant and unchanging same views. What is the fun in staying the same? Why be stubborn readers and members of this scattered society when we can afford to be a little more welcoming, a little more free formed. To hold out and stand so rooted in meaning that is mundane, already heard, already argued for and against, fixed and unchanging is what bears politics, minutia already authorized and approved by some other body and school of thought. Old and tired meanings lead to nothing new. Meaning should not be seen as normalized and gentrified, but as an investigation of this normalization, a refuting the notion of possible perfection, looking for some sense of interpreted real truth of mind, thought, ideals.

love, Ben

My Response to Whining Women

John Schell

I'm tired of being told how men get "threatened and aggressive" (Spahr and Young, 99) when we respond to feminists, as if any counter-discussion is automatically chauvinist and wrong. Maybe we're just filtering information through a non-feminist lens. That doesn't make it anti-feminist. But nooo, I'm the asshole just because I think we should re-institutionalize slavery and take back suffrage.

According to Spahr and Young, "anthologies and publication and prizes do matter. They lead to more jobs and money, and women need these things." But do they? I mean proportionally, and I also mean to question the concept of need. After all, historically a woman's "needs" have been met by men. And the "need" to break free from male domination is only felt by feminists. There are a number of "traditional" women out there, who don't need to burn bras to feel empowered. So do women "need" to work and make money? No, only the women that feel the need to work and make money need to work and make money. And yes I'm focusing on one sentence; this observation really has nothing to do with equal representation of MFAs in tenured positions or equal wages; I get it, women don't get paid fairly. Boo hoo. My point is that it's feminist values that are corrupt, not the practices of the publishers.

The Market has spoken, people. Deal with it.

Here's something that I take issue with: saying that orthodox teaching is fundamentally degrading, or that traditional (Christian in our American context) beliefs lead to suffering or maintain the current suffering level of the world, is pessimistic. Who's to say that conservation doesn't create the best of all possible worlds? Yes, there are problems, and yes conservative mentalities fight against anything that would seek to change our position in the world, but one might understand that dramatic, unchecked changes could be more disastrous than the status quo.

American Women just aren't ready to be treated like those commie broads in the podunk nation of Scandanavia.

An irony with the feminist critique is that 'women being oppressed and underrepresented' is a theme that drives the feminist movement. Should women become equally represented then there's nothing left to argue about. Spahr and Young should be thanking those mean 'ol numbers for giving them a job to do.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My response to the Canon Concept

Well that Canon reading was very heavy indeed. Although I was familiar with some of the writers he mentioned in the reading (Foucault, Molina, etc...), and even as an ethnic studies student the theme was very familiar too. However there were some very confusing where I wasn’t sure what I needed to get out this reading and how it will help me as a writer. But, after our little chat in class, I can completely digest the importance of this reading. One thing I absorbed was the idea of how this Canon concept is predominantly manipulated by specific peoples for a specific reason, and unconsciously denying or excluding the thoughts, writings, bodies and experiences of other writers in the span of American history. the canon or canons need to expand they’re trajectory to view a broader horizon where the, child, student, average person or graduate student can have access to an expanded array of thought. This, I feel is how the canon can be efficiently utilized as a culturally, morally, and progressively competent tool for the projection of human thought-. Jorge Narvaez

My response to SULFUR!

I thought “The Value of Sulfur” was an interesting and confusingly heavy read. It’s basically a critique of what the value of writing was and now is. One of the most interesting parts of the reading was Bernstein says: “Language is a wilderness that, unlike others, can never be conquered, or exhausted; but it can be made to accommodate: to submit, assimilate, compromise, deny.” This reminds me of how powerful language can be sometimes, especially when a dominant language is attempting to submerge smaller languages from underrepresented voices across the world, (or in political terms “assimilation”). Also, there was a part in the reading where he says: “this legacy will be hard to reverse”. That whole paragraph was difficult to understand because I wasn’t sure what he meant by poets of value. I’d like to flesh this out a little more. I also thought it was interesting how he describes a poet’s life can be so sporadic, meaning very quiet desperation and then very noisy. This can be true sometimes for me as a writers since I mostly attract an unexpected writing lifestyle.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guest: Amina Cain

Amina Cain will be a guest speaker to our class on Thursday, October 29. She is the author of I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues Press <> , 2009), a collection of stories that revolve quietly around human relationality, landscape, and emptiness. She is also a curator (most recently for When Does It or You Begin? Memory as Innovation <> , a month long festival of writing, performance, and video) and a teacher of writing/literature. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as 3rd Bed, Action Yes, Denver Quarterly, Dewclaw, The Encyclopedia Project, La Petite Zine, and Sidebrow, and was recently translated into Polish on MINIMALBOOKS. She lives in Los Angeles.

To prepare for her visit, please read the piece below, plus the following links and info:

Links Hall Artistic Associates program info: and

When Does It or You Begin? festival web pages:

Reports from festival on Les Figues blog:

When Does It or You Begin? (Memory as Innovation)


Amina: I am made up of everything I remember, and of everything I don't. My memories don't make up the truth, but they make something. Last January I was in the audience for Method to Madness (curated by Kate Sheehy), another month long festival at Links Hall. I sat with my friend Rachel Tredon, who I will be performing with later this month, and watched the performances. Outside it was snowing, and inside Links it felt warm. For Twinkle by Nance Klehm, a starry night was made, and then inhabited, one oil lamp at a time. Spell Launcher and Love Has Brought Me to Despair by Rebecca Tennison and Aviva Steigmeyer brought me to...something...what was it? I felt so warm when I left. Couldn't writing events be like this too? This warm? This close to habitation?

Jen: Nine and a half years ago, I moved to Chicago. I didn’t think that I would stay here or anywhere. Time escapes. Waking up in the middle of a vivid dream and imagining the ending. It’s hard to remember exactly how I felt that first winter. My brother came to visit and painted the walls of my apartment red, blue, purple, yellow. The same building where I continue to live and create. Structures contain memory. For thirty years, art has been made at Links Hall. Something new and unexplainable. Sitting in the dark with groups of friends and strangers, we have experienced performance, readings, dance. Collective breathing that repeats.


Amina: It is a new year; this is a new festival; we are about to welcome a new president; I hope these are new times. For almost one year, Jen and I have been preparing for When Does It or You Begin? and it is almost upon us. I have started having anxiety dreams about the festival. In the first one, Jen and I quite awkwardly welcomed the audience. Tisa Bryant, who will be featured at the very end of the festival, came onstage at the beginning. What is a beginning? What is an end? Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night I think about the festival, go through lists in my mind of what still needs to be done. Anxiety. And also excitement. The truth is that I think the festival is going to be wonderful. I am grateful to have the chance to work on it.

Jen: I believe in beginnings. Through art, our ideas evolve. At this time and place, I wanted to bring together all of my creative communities. Writers, artists, performers, and activists. We are designing a version of the world we want to live in – everyone in the festival, who supports it and attends. This is a gift. The opportunity is equally overwhelming and phenomenal.


Amina: I don't want to forget to acknowledge the things I can't see or perceive, and, therefore, remember. What is a memory? Teresa Carmody, week three festival particpant writes, "A memory is a lying truth felt true." Do our memories make a place for us to inhabit? Can we inhabit truth? Can we inhabit lying? In the months ahead, Jen and I hope to collect writing from the participants of When Does It or You Begin? so that we can make a book. We hope to know where we are when we remember.

Jen: My memory feels part of me yet I can't control it. I often remember things I wish I had forgotten and forget things I wish I could remember. So, how will this festival be remembered? We have invited a team of video artists to produce creative documentation. Utilizing a variety of approaches, the end result will be to represent the diverse and complex concepts of memory through video. All completed video pieces will be screened at art spaces in Chicago and Los Angeles during 2009, ideally becoming part of a DVD project. Video artists include: Carrie Olivia Adams, Wonjung Bae, Ania Greiner, Jason Guthartz, Jeff Harms, Gretchen Hasse, Kurt Heintz, Todd Mattei, Amarnath Ravva, Bryan Saner, and Casey Smallwood.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Questions / Logistics

Here are some discussion questions for tomorrow's class (I've emailed this to everyone, but just in case...)

1. In Part I of “The Concept of the Canon,” Arnold Krupat outlines two opposing views of the canon—How does he delineate these two views and what are some broad characteristics included within their perspectives?

2. Krupat argues that “An American literary canon […] is worth fighting for"; he also argues for a revision of the canon. How does he define such a canon and why does he believe it is important? How would he revise it?

3. In writing workshops, we’ll often talk about the relationship between form and content in an individual text. Krupat extends these terms by stating, “It is the image of individual wholeness and collective cohesiveness (“content”) we approve as presented by means of those techniques (“form”) we enjoy that determines our choices for the literary canon.” (44) How does he illustrate this point? What are the implications of his argument?

4. Krupat advocates for a canon formation governed by principles of “unity-in-difference” and “secular heterodoxy.” What does he mean? How is this different from “some kind of proportional representation”?

5. While Krupat focuses on ideology (or orthodoxy) in the academy, Robert McLaughlin in “Oppositional Aesthetic/Positional Ideologies: A Brief Cultural History of Alternative Publishing,” discusses the ideologies of commercial publishers. Do these ideologies overlap, and if so, how? Is McLaughlin arguing for an “art-for-art’s-sake” kind of publishing?

6. In “Numbers Trouble,” Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young focus specifically on “experimental/postmodern/avant-garde/innovative” writing communities; how does their argument support or contradict McLaughlin’s notion of “alternative” publishing? Are they arguing for “proportional representation”? How do their research methods contribute, or detract, from their thesis?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Readings for Tuesday, Oct 27

Hi everyone,

On Tuesday, we'll be discussing issues of culture and literary canon—how gender, diversity, and aesthetics contribute to editorial perspectives. Here are links to the readings:

  • Krupat, Arnold. “The Concept of Cannon.The Voice in the Margin: Native American Literature and theCanon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
  • Spahr, Juliana and Stephanie Young, "Numbers Trouble," Chicago Review 53:2/3 (Autumn 2007) [for this article, google "numbers trouble chicago review" and you should find a link to a downloadable PDF]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Becky's Links for Journals/Magazines


"Relief: The amazing truth in life–there is a place outside of desperate pain, anxiety, and self-loathing. “Peace that passes understanding” has become cliché, but we can’t deny the truth of it."

"For authors who cry out for a venue and readers who long for stories that don’t make them gag, we present Relief."


"STYLE, STANCE: Commonweal publishes editorials, columns, essays, poetry, reviews of book's, movies, plays, the media, a selection of apposite and/or funny cartoons, & lots of letters to the editors. Liberal? Conservative? Depends on the issue & the writer. From its founding in 1924(!), the journal has held that America has much to learn from Catholicism, and vice versa-a core belief that has survived severe testing in disputes over the Spanish Civil War, civil rights, Vietnam, Humanae vitae.... "


"Over the years, we made our own line of high-quality children’s audio programs that presented classics like ‘Snow White’ and ‘Puss In Boots’ with voice characterizations, music and sound effects. Much of that audio is still on the site and we will be making the rest of it available for free over the next year. In fact, we still produce audio podcasts of literary works for different age groups.
We are looking for authors with novels, short stories, poems, eerie tales, horror, and children’s stories who want to get their work online for a wide audience to enjoy."

Five Journalz

BUTT magazine:
queer quarterly publication featuring honest explorative commentary of the American gay experience.
Black Warrior Review:
Established in 1974 by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama, Black Warrior Review publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners alongside up-and-coming writers. Stories and poems appearing in Black Warrior Reviewhave been reprinted in the Pushcart Prize series, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, New Stories from the South, and other anthologies. Each issue features a chapbook from a nationally known poet.


International perspective. Focuses on the literary non-fiction essay, and also publishes interviews, memoir, letters, poetry, fiction, and other strange and wonderful literary matter.

Carve Magazine:
Carve Magazine, an online journal, is honest fiction. We publish the kind of stories that linger long after they are read—stories that are honest, that are willing to reveal the flaws and the beauty hidden in each of us.

Cold Mountain Review:
A forum for well-told stories. We publish the narrative poetry and lyrical prose, and we are interested in the way contemporary literature is testing the boundaries of genre.

We publish high-quality poetry and short fiction from well-known as well as previously unpublished authors.

love, Ben

Magazine Summaries

The Christian Century is a Christian Magazine that seeks to adapt the content of the magazine to make it relevant to the time period. when I observed the submission guidelines, i saw that there wasn't much room for creative writing. The magazine is more focused on articles that dealt with the news and how it affects modern day Christians. However they do allow creativity in the poems that they accept.

Image Journal is also a Christian magazine. The focus of this magazine is to cultivate art within Christianity instead of stifling it with cliches and over dramatic themes. This magazine seeks to reconcile contemporary culture and Christianity. The magazine has more freedom and less structure than Christian Century. It accepts fiction, essays, articles, and poetry. I feel as if this magazine is one of the two that best suits my focus and vision of my writing. Although it seeks to be creative, it doesn't compromise the core beliefs of Christianity.

Relief journal is the last of the Christian magazines that I related with. This journal seeks to cultivate art in the Christian sphere. Taking the basic principle of art, the Relief Journal seeks pieces of art that are masterfully made yet rings true with all those who read it with an obvious focus on Christian themes. It is a non-profit organization that gives out "honorariums" when it can but guarantees a special copy to the person who is being published. This magazine is the second magazine that I felt best complemented my vision for writing, especially with its modern and contemporary twist in a blend of focused passion inside of Christian themes.

The Cincinnati Review is a literary magazine based on a college campus. Their sweeping mission statement seeks to include anyone who has a piece of literature that is worth publishing. They accept all genres of writing. Since they are also backed by a s chool, payment per prose isn't as big of an issue as it would be for non-profit organizations. The interesting thing with this magazine is that it includes a portfolio of the perosn who is published. I feel as if this would be a great way for a writer not only to get his work published but also to attach a self-described reputation. As a college student I'd be curious to see how responsive my peers would be asl well.

The Iddie journal is a magazine that looks to promote discussions and challenge the mind of the readers. A lot of themes that I hope to explore if I don't go down the path of Christian Literature would be used to create conversation and debate. Especially the relevant themes such as current economic and social problems both at the global and local scope. Again this is a broad based magazine that accepts all genres of writing.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'll keep this short and to the point.

Opium Magazine

Short fiction (no more than 1,000 words online, 4,000 in print), non-profit.

Nice site: they offer you everything they've published along with an estimated reading time for each (ranging from thirty seconds to seventeen minutes).

The Dirty Goat

A biannual publication. World poetry, prose, literature, and visual art. Does not compensate contributors.

American Short Fiction

Conservative short fiction. Nice web site: read the current issue's featured story. Unsolicited submissions are accepted, but their standards are “extremely high”.

A Public Space

This publication cranks out a little bit of everything. Fiction, essay, op-ed, poetry, and so on. Nice web site: visually appealing.


A poetry journal.

In researching this I ran into this email correspondence posted on a would-be contributor's web page. You won't find too many people slamming poets for representing The Man, but this guy did:

( )

5 Literary Journals and Small Presses

Hi everyone!
Here are 5 literary journals or presses that I found that looked interesting to me:

This small press has been in business for just 25 years. They take in submissions of fiction, poetry, narrative comics, and travel books, mainly alternative works that aren’t accepted by other publishers. Manic D has a simple website; the only options are to buy their books (free shipping!), submit work, and contact the press. The first thing that got my attention was the newest published work, a poetry book called “Bang Ditto” by actress Amber Tamblyn. I had no idea she wrote anything, and what’s more interesting is that, even being famous, she published through a small press.

Wanderlust Review (a.k.a Wanderlust Literary Journal)

Wanderlust is an online literary journal that publishes pieces relating to travel, not just non-fiction accounts, but also fiction, poetry, and photography. The online journal, which is more of a blog, started earlier this year, so it looks like it's still a growing project. It seems look a good place to get published for the first time for writers who are interested in creative or alternative travel writing.

Art Times

This print and online literary journal debuted in 1984, providing articles about all art forms. On the website, there are links to art essays, art reviews, dance articles, fiction pieces, poetry, critiques, and many things related to the art world. There isn't much information on submission, but I like the general idea of a literary journal that encompasses such a large range of writings about art.

Narrative Magazine

Narrative Magazine is a non-profit print and online literary journal that publishes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The printed version is published only a few times a year and the online journal is published at least once a month. Both are free. The online magazine also features writing contests and public submission. It seems like a well-rounded literary journal that supports both new and established writers of many different genres.

Underground Voices

This journal accepts and publishes submissions of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and flash fiction. Submitters write about raw, personal, dark, and hard-hitting subjects such as alcoholism, mental illnesses, confessions, and psychiatric sessions. This journal appealed to me because of the writers' honesty and openness about troubled pasts (and present), disorders, and struggles. The subject matter is heavy, but the writing is edgy and engaging.

Thanks for reading! :)



please follow and stay tuned!

Hey everyone this is Jorge: Here are the ones i think are pretty cool enjoy

The San Diego Writers / Editors Guild

is a group of writers and editors dedicated to improving their skills and helping others do the same.

The objectives of the Guild are to:

Promote, support, and encourage writers;
Seek and provide information about publishing and the local writing scene;
Assist with the local writer’s needs for assignments (as well as editors who seek writers);
Endorse workshops and seminars for the benefit of writers;
Promote the writing arts for youth, adults and seniors alike.
Founded in 1979 as a non-profit, the Guild is believed to be the oldest writer organization in the region, and it has more than 100 active members.


Calaca Mission
Calaca Press is a Chicano family-owned small publishing house dedicated to publishing and producing unknown, emerging, and established progressive Chicano and Latino voices. With a commitment to social justice and human rights Calaca Press strives to bring about change through the literary arts. From poetry and the spoken word to fiction and creative non-fiction Calaca Press is determined to showcase authors from a community that has been marginalized and pushed to the side in literary circles, and in the real world, for far too long. Recognizing the need for more publishers of Chicano and Latino literature Calaca Press also actively encourages and assists individuals to self publish and/or start their own presses. Understanding the need for historical continuation Calaca Press is committed to continuing the tradition of the Chicano and Latino presses and publishing houses of the 1960's and 1970's that flourished due to community support and the need to have our stories told. ¡Calacadelante!

Chusma House Publications

has been publishing the works of Chicano and Chicana writers for over a decade. From its inception, Chusma House has decided to eschew commercial and mainstream literature, and instead concentrate on works of worth and significance. We are committed to the publication of high-quality writing by both established and emerging writers. Chusma House has also begun to publish select multi-cultural literature.
Chusma House was started in 1990 by Charley Trujillo with his first, groundbreaking narrative, Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam. Due to the book's unprecedented success, Charley forewent his college teaching career to devote full attention to publishing and writing.

La Prensa San Diego

It is a local newpaper that publishes articles in differents genres mainl invoking the current events of San Diego. Everynow and then i read this magazine and very interesting stories come up


- these guys are intesting they got some very intense fictional stories

An outgrowth of the Black Ice Books series and literary magazine, Alt-X's Black Ice: Fiction For A Wired Nation section continues to develop an editorial vision firmly rooted in The Rival Tradition. The work showcased here is modeled after the great avant-garde literary writing of past. Alt-X has often been compared to important presses of the print world like The Evergreen Review, City Lights, Olympia Press and New Directions. In response to the Multi-National Corporate Publishing Industry's need to uniformally produce and promote lowest-common denominator info-tainment for a massive, yet passive, audience of book consumers, the editors of Black Ice have been publishing some of the most offensive, sexy, and formally adventurous writing of the last fifteen years, constituting what we believe is a Changing of The Garde.

Readings for Tuesday, Oct 27

Next week we'll be focusing on issues of culture, the literary canon and diversity. Here are links to the articles.

Krupat, Arnold. “The Concept of Cannon.” The Voice in the Margin: Native American Literature and the Canon.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.

McLaughlin, Robert L. “Oppositional Aesthetics/Oppositional Ideologies: A Brief Cultural History of Alternative Publishing in the U.S.” (link online)

Bernstein, Charles. “The Value of Sulfur.” Jacket 5 (1998).

Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young. "Numbers Trouble." Chicago Review 53:2/3 (Autumn 2007).

Note: Thank you to Dr. Philip Heldrich at the University of Washington. Several of these articles were culled from his cour
se: "Editing a Literary Arts Magazine."

Hello Class,

Here are my pick of 5.


The Alimentum claims to be the only Literary Review that focuses on the subject of food. The Alimentum includes works of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Non-Fiction. Readers can learn about new food trends and foreign authors.

Food and Literature, a delicious combination, don't you think?


The Aufgabe is a literay magazine that focuses on experimental and innovative poetry. It publishes works of establishes writers and emerging writers. It also includes poetry themed essays and reviews.

You can take a look at the table of contents for the latest Aufgabe issue

Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction is a literary magazine exclusive to creative nonfiction (as the name implies). Its issues include immersion journalism, memoir, and personal essays. You can check out the table of contents for its latest issue here. Sometimes the strangest fiction is reality.

Fairy Tale Review

Fairy tales are not just for children. The Fairy Tale Review is not devoted to any particular school of writing but rather to fairytales as an art form. The FTR is concerned with preserving one of the oldest literary traditions, and reviving old and contemporary fairy tales (for adults too!).
You can check out their blog
here or the list of contributors of their current issue here.


Swivel is the only nationally distributed literary journal devoted to smart, funny writing by smart, funny women. Swivel is published biannually and showcases the work of both established and emerging writers.Emphasizing artfully crafted stories to just carefully constructed jokes, Swivel encompasses an array of genres, including fiction, essay, memoir, poetry, and shorts, as well as comics and illustrations with a kick.
Sounds interesting? Take a look at the table of contents of their issues or a peek at the excerpts.


Zahir is a literary journal of fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism. They print tri-annually. It's one of the places I'm looking to submit. Here, they list their guidelines for submission. They also take artworks for covers.

So, this maybe a bit off topic. It's not a literary magazine or journal, but it is a point of interest if not a source of writing inspiration.
I think of it in a sense as applied literature, bending reality in our everyday life.

Improv Everywhere

Some of my favorite missions of theirs are the Surprise Wedding Reception and the MP3 Experiment.
Check out their missions here.

I hope you enjoy those.

-Giang Pham

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SDCC Book Fair Reading: Laurel Corona

Hello everyone,
I'd just like to share my reflections on the reading I went to at the San Diego City College Book fair. I listened to Laurel Corona read her historical novel, Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance. She also gave advice to aspiring writers by sharing her own writing process. Here are my reflections on the experience:

I attended the San Diego City College book fair on Saturday, October 3rd. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay more than an hour, but I was fortunate enough to attend Laurel Corona’s reading from her historical novel, “Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance.” She started out by reading a section on a man named Abba Kovner, a young activist in Lithuania. I realized how she chose the title of her book when she read Kovner’s statement, “We shall fight until our last breath.” From just that quote I could already tell how powerful the novel was in telling the story of the Jewish resistance against Nazis.

The most informative part of the reading for me was Corona’s advice and comments about the writing process and getting published. I had no idea that she wouldn’t only be reading but also telling us about her insight into the world of writing. I learned so much in that hour, about the decisions she makes as a writer, the frustration of getting horrible reviews, having to write multiple drafts (up to a dozen for many writers), and “coming to grips with” problems and difficulties. She had three factors that helped her decide whether to write a work: (1) Am I intellectually engaged with a subject?, (2) What am I latched onto and compelled to write? What is my heart saying?, (3) Will writing this make me a better writer? I could see how her deciding factors could help me with my own writing. Sometimes I don’t know if something I write is worth expanding on. Now I can use some of her ideas to help me decide.

Some of what Corona said was a bit discouraging, but it was good to have a reality check. A writer, she said, has to deal with the material she has and doesn’t have at hand. I often write about things that I already know and have information about, which I now realize is preventing me from writing something new and more engaging to me and to potential readers. One thing she said really stuck with me, and I hope it will motivate me to write about things I have never thought of writing about. Corona believed that, “Sometimes being scared is a far better reason to do it than not do it.” Writing can be a daunting and scary process for me, but knowing that her decisions as a writer, her struggles, and her perseverance through criticism and rejection eventually led her to publish many books gives me hope that I have the potential to do the same.

Upcoming: Links to 5 Lit Mags/Presses

A reminder: be sure to post brief article with links to 5 literary magazines or small presses by Tuesday, October 20.

See you all next week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

About Publishing: Basic Overview of Lit Mags

For next week: an article from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses:

"About Independent Literary Publishing: What Is an Independent Literary Magazine"

See you all later today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Readings: Thursday, October 8

First off, everyone should check out Poets & Writers, as they provide a number of articles, forums and other helpful tools. Several of the articles we'll be discussing on Thursday come from their archive. Also, The Practical Writer is actually a production of Poets & Writers; you can find many other Practical Writer articles on their website for free.

The MFA Guide: How to Decide Where to Apply
, by Tom Kealey, Poets & Writers. Nov/Dec 2006.

The Lowdown on Low-Residency Programs, by Erika Dreifus, Poets & Writers. March/April 2005.

Reading How You're Read: The Art of Evaluating Criticism, by Ann Pancake, May/June 2007

Also, here's some other links to articles ("The Best of the Best" in The Atlantic; "Confessions of an MFA Application Reader" in Poets and Writers) and a blog (MFA Weblog). Poets & Writers also provides a MFA Toolkit for researching and applying to graduate programs. We'll talk about what "best" might mean, as well as the nuts and bolts of MFA applications.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Residencies: An Informative Interview

More food for thought: an interview on Practicing Writing blog with writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest about writers' residences.

Literary San Diego

Check out this article on about literary San Diego, including classes & organizations, readings & open mics, independent presses, and annual events. Also, if for some reason you missed both book fairs this past weekend, you better get yourself to one of the open mics happening tonight.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Look to your right for links to organizations like LitLine and Poets & Writers. Take a minute to check out their lists/databases of literary magazines and independent presses.