Monday, November 16, 2015

Up and Coming: More Reviews and a New E-zine

It's been quiet on this blog, but busy in the background.

Up and coming:

 -- Reviews of three poetry collections procured at the Appalachian Writers Workshop at Hindman Settlement School.

-- Launch of new e-Zine for the most groundbreaking avant garde in Appalachia and the world.

I've been working on this one since the middle of September 2015 when the idea fully crystalised. My involvement with Wurm im Apfel Press in Ireland since 2010 has demonstrated to me how valuable, even vital, experimentation and the avant garde are to any healthy, living literary scene. The Wurm poets infuse Ireland with a dose of much needed excitement and energy, challenging the established modes of expression and pushing poetry into entirely new territories (Christodoulos Makris' Twitter poem "Chances Are...", anyone?). Then in July 2015 I had the opportunity to attend the prestigious Appalachian Writers Workshop at Hindman Settlement School. There I found a good reception to my work, but generally a resistance to avant garde and indy publishing. Although the literary landscape of Central Appalachia is maturing once again into a more united, supportive community than it was 20 years ago, with a much more contemporary pulse, there do still tend to be certain conventions and traditions too "sacred" to be challenged. As far as I know, there is no publication that directly supports and encourages full experimentation, where rules exist to be broken and made new. Many editors of literary journals and presses told me at the Workshop that "there is a lot of work (they) must reject because it is too avant garde." I determined to create a home for that avant garde.

Introducing: "AvantAppal(achia)"

As you will see, the website has not launched yet. Web design is nearly complete. I may soon have a co-editor to help me with sorting submissions. We meet next week, hopefully, to hammer out the last few details before launch can take place. But it is coming soon! The Kin-folk - Ed(itor)s - at AvantAppal(achia) are proud to fill this gap in the literary scene of Central Appalachia, bring you earth-shattering new work by Appalachia's finest and around the world, and welcome you as Kin. Watch this space for more information!