Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Yes(ABLED) Is(sue) is Live!

Dear Kinfolk,

The Yes(ABLED) Special Is(sue) is live! It can be found here: https://www.avantappalachia.com/special-issues.html 

There are 4 countries featured, including 4 states in the U.S. You will find a poem by Volodymyr Bilyk of Ukraine written in a precursor of Braille called Moon Type, some thought-provoking poetry from Ricky Ray in Connecticut, and a fascinating essay regarding mental illness by Brandy Renee McCann from Virginia. We hope that this is(sue) highlights the unique perspective and creativity of the disabled population worldwide. 

The submission period for the 9th regular is(sue) is still wide open. The deadline for it is now set at May 31, 2021. Please read the guidelines under “Sub(missions)” in the menu on the website as there have been some changes. 

Thank you so much – all of you – for making this ezine every incredible thing that is! We couldn’t do it without each and every one of you. 

We would like to take a moment to express condolences for the deaths of regular contributors Philip Kent Church and Linda Regula earlier this year. 

Please stay safe during this unusual year. We are sending you calmness and best wishes! 

Sincerely, 

 Sabne Raznik 
 Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Final Notice of Yes(Abled) Is(sue) Deadline and Event Info

Dear Kinfolk, 

This is your last notice of the deadline for the special Yes(ABLED) Is(sue). That is September 30, 2020 with a go live date of October 15, 2020. We still need poetry, art, and short prose. If you are disabled (interpreted broadly), you may submit on any topic. If you are ablebodied, please keep your subjects limited to disability or caregiver issues and approach these sensitively. 

 Also, we would like to inform you of AvantAppal(achia)’s first event: a virtual poetry reading on Zoom featuring Pauletta Hansel, Lorie Zientara, Ellyn Maybe, and myself with a limited open mic depending on how many join us. I will be attempting to record this event to place it on Youtube later if tech allows. Here is the Zoom info to attend: 

Topic: AvantAppal(achia) Virtual Poetry Reading Time: Sep 25, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74220823627... Meeting ID: 742 2082 3627 Passcode: 862055 One tap mobile +17207072699,,74220823627#,,,,,,0#,,862055# US (Denver) +12532158782,,74220823627#,,,,,,0#,,862055# US (Tacoma) Dial by your location +1 720 707 2699 US (Denver) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) Meeting ID: 742 2082 3627 Passcode: 862055 Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fd7MorRSMr 

 We are very excited about what’s going on at AvantAppal(achia) currently. Thank you so much for making this astounding and important ezine everything that it is!  

https://www.avantappalachia.com/ 

Sincerely, 

Sabne Raznik 
Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Review of "'Every Man His Specialty': Beckett, Disability, and Dependence" by Michael Davidson

 Michael Davidson, "Every Man His Specialty: Beckett, Disability, and Dependence (2007) 14 pages. On The Free Library.



Originally, I struggled with Beckett and his (obviously important) portrayal of the disabled. Was Beckett ableist or was he satirizing the (at that time, popular) pseudo-science of eugenics (which includes all the disgraceful, harmful, hateful -isms). Was he for eugenics or against it? My initial reaction to Beckett was simply that I was triggered. In the real PTSD sense. Reading his work caused me to have chills, break out in a sweat, and become physically nauseous. It seemed on the surface to be the most blatantly ableist material I've ever come across. After reading this I have made peace with Beckett. I still have issues with his methods, but I no longer question his intentions and end game (pun intended). This also includes an interesting and much-needed discussion of the ableist worldview that independence and accomplishment are what make people worthy of life and participation in society to the exclusion of disabled people who require external assistance to survive, whether that be from assistive technology or other more able people. This view of what makes a human worthy to participate in society and to have life seriously needs loudly challenged and changed. This paper argues that Beckett is highlighting these so-called "codependent" and dependent relationships to do just that. Okay then. I can definitely live with that, Beckett, and on behalf of the disabled people trying to survive and even be (a different but equally important kind of) productive within the ableist worldview - thank you!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Book Review: E D Bird's "Bitter Sweet"

 

E D Bird, Bitter Sweet (Createspace, 2015) 358 pages, fiction, $13.00. On Amazon.


This is the sequel to E D Bird's Goldenviron which is also reviewed on this blog. As expected, it is another entertaining, rollicking "dude flick" of a book.

Better written than its predecessor, more gritty and graphic, this installment takes us from South Africa to Barbados as the lead character seeks revenge for the events of Goldenviron. Again we have an action-packed plot and the added complication of aliases to keep up with.

Some gimmicks are overused. There is an elephant, leopard, and lion attack. This is a bit much if the reader knows something about the actual behavior of wild animals and it all begins to feel like a cliched cop-out by the time it plays out.

Also, this is not a novel for the post-Me Too world. Again, here is your fair trigger warning. Sex is detailed and errs on the side of porn. The book is rather insensitive to the aftereffects of rape on a woman's psyche - especially that of multiple rapes. While there is an attempt to make the woman a strong character who rescues herself rather than waiting for her male partner to rescue her, it does fall short of real female understanding. Later in the book, a male character vomits after watching a bomb detonate and I at least couldn't help but think these two events juxtaposed against each other only served to highlight the lack of emotional depth regarding rape.

This is an easy read not meant for children. I sensed the author left things open for the possibility of a third installment.


Book Review: E D Bird's "Goldenviron"

 

E D Bird, Goldenviron (Createspace, 2016) 446 pages, fiction, £10.87. On Amazon.


E D Bird has written an entertaining, if clumsy, mystery novel set in South Africa. This is not the kind of mystery you read to exercise your powers of deduction, however. The reader isn't given the chance to solve the case. But we are along for a "dude flick" plot.

The title refers to a gold mining company at the heart of an alarming number of murders. The characters stumble through several adventures - a hot air balloon ride, an abandoned mine, a kidnapping, a hyena attack, and even an AIDS clinic straight out of Stephen King's imagination - in an attempt to unravel the knots. 

Those sensitive to themes of racism should avoid this book. The "good guys" do at times display a less than open mind and the "bad guys" are overt neo-nazis. There is even a smoking chimney. This is your fair trigger warning.

There are times when the author's clearly evident love of cars overshadows the story. But this is a somewhat fast-paced, action driven book that is sure to delight a readership that prefers an escape rather than a think. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Postponement


We are sad to have to announce that due to not yet having enough submissions, as well as the general internet overload as a result of the global quarantine causing massive tech issues on our end (indeed, those delayed this notice), we are forced to postpone the Special Yes(ABLED) Is(sue). At this time submissions are still open for it and the next regular is(sue), but the deadline is fluid. That means we will be keeping the submission period for the Yes(ABLED) is(sue) open until further notice. We hope this will encourage you to submit more poems, art, and stories. Quarantine will hopefully give you more time for writing and creating.
We send y’all our love. Please, take care of your mental as well as your physical health - and that of your loved ones and neighbors. We wish you safe passage through this unprecedented time!
Sincerely,

Sabne Raznik
Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

(YES)Abled Is(sue) Deadline



Dear Kinfolk,

This is a reminder that the deadline for our YES(Abled) Special Is(sue) is March 31, 2020. This is(sue) will feature the work of disabled poets, artists, and short fiction writers or work on disability themes. However, the subject need not be limited to disability. The subject is open. We ask that since we are taking submissions for the regular is(sue) at the same time that you please put “YES(Abled)” in the subject line of your email. www.avantappalachia.com. All our usual guidelines apply.

Also, as mentioned, we are taking submissions for our regular is(sue) at the same time. The deadline for it is May 30, 2020.

Thank you all for making our ezine a leader within its genre!

Sincerely,

Sabne Raznik
Poetry/Art Ed(itor)

Monday, January 13, 2020

(Yes)Abled Is(sue) and North/South Appalachia


Dear Kinfolk,



You heard about it in the email about the Is(sue) 8 release. Here are more details.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce AvantAppal(achia)'s 2nd Special Is(sue), titled (Yes)ABLED! This is(sue) will be dedicated to the work of disabled poets, artists, and short story writers. Subject need not be related to the experience of being disabled, but is open. The usual guidelines apply, with the exception that "(Yes)ABLED" must be included in the email subject line since the submission period for the regular Is(sue) 9 will be open at the same time. This Special Is(sue) will appear and remained archived under Special Is(sues) in the menu for as long as this website continues. The deadline for (Yes)ABLED is March 31, 2020. It will go live on April 15, 2020.

Please spread the word and help us make this Special Is(sue) a success!

Also, the North/South Collective, of which AvantAppal(achia) is a part, just had a reorganization. The new website is here at North/South Appalachia. Poems and art submitted to AvantAppal(achia) that we feel will be a good fit for North/South Appalachia may be included on the North/South blog. We will approach the poet and artist for permission to share work there first, of course.

Thank you so much for making these projects as spectacular as they are!

Sincerely,

Sabne Raznik
Poetry/Art Ed(itor)