Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the Studio with Michael Brennan

Today I visited Michael Brennan who shared with me his latest group of paintings, tentatively titled "Emanations." These new works are extraordinarily detailed, and offer delight to followers of both the abstract and the surreal. At once pure form, they also call to mind the work of Yves Tanguy: central to the compositions are "actors" occupying clearly established spaces that we ourselves should wish to occupy; we might easily call them "sanctuaries for the imagination." Whether this space is surreal, metaphysical, illusory, geometric, or simply "abstract", its presence is as undeniable as it is intriguing. The figures ("actors" is Brennan's very clever word) move and exercise within these spaces in intriguing ways. While we are wont to identify hallucinatory figures from nature and dreams in the delicately "sculpted" pigments (as ever, Brennan is keen to add lots of wax to his oils), the works themselves remain dedicated to the "essentials" of painting--abstract exercises in form, light play, exquisitely subtle variations of color, and the exuberant "revelation" of strangely startling patterns. We might think we recognize them, but they in fact remain less than illusions. Like the impression of three (or four) dimensions, our examinations at last resolve into the inspection of meaningless form, as if the arena of volume itself must ultimately revert to something that amounts to little more than suggestion... and yet something more than mere principles of spatial ordering, or (if we want to say something grandiose) something more than mere elements of psychological recognition.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Call for Submissions: Emanations III

International Authors and the editors of Emanations are happy to announce a Call for Submissions:

Emanations III
Emanations is an anthology series featuring fiction, poetry, essays, manifestos and reviews. The emphasis is on alternative narrative structures, new epistemologies, peculiar settings, esoteric themes, sharp breaks from reality, ecstatic revelations, and vivid and abundant hallucinations.

The editors are interested in recognizable genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism--but the idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as important. If a story or poem makes someone say, "Yes, but what is it?" then it's right for Emanations. Essays should be exuberant, daring, and free of pedantry. Length is a consideration in making publication decisions, but in keeping with the spirit of the project contributors should consider length to be “open.”

Our editorial vision is evolving. Contributors should see themselves as actively shaping the "vision" of Emanations.

Send files with brief cover note to Carter Kaplan:

Deadline: April 15, 2013

Emanations is a not-for-profit literary project and contributors cannot be compensated at this time. All proceeds from the sale of Emanations will support the efforts of International Authors to publish new voices from around the world. Contributors receive a copy upon publication.

Please post questions, suggestions and ideas. The project is a collaborative effort, and as we share ideas the "vision" transforms, evolves, and grows. When we write stories and poems we hope to bring to bear the entire battery of modern and postmodern literary devices. More simply: we like good, strong writing. Our essays are incisive, precise, keen, challenging, and driven by the writer's desire to advance an intelligent audience's understanding of important subjects.

The Fine Print:

1) Submit files as follows: double space, Microsoft Word, Times New Roman 12 pt. The book will be formatted by the editors before publication.

2) No simultaneous submissions (contributors should get fairly quick feedback anyway, especially if their submission meets our needs). Material that is obviously pulled from a file and has nothing to do with the goals of the anthology won't get any feedback beyond the initial acknowledgement.

3) Word count/line count? See details above. We're flexible, but contributors should be sensible when considering what they send in. A novella? Well, maybe, and so on.... Rules of thumb: a) Stories: very short to 20-30 pages. b) Poems: send in 5-10 pages. c) Essays: 5-10-30 pages.

4) Published as hard copy only—Emanations will be available on Amazon. Participants who make a substantial contribution of material, editorial work, or art will get a copy. It can take some time to get copies to contributors outside of North America. In the case of our first anthology, for example, it took forty-five days to get a copy to a contributor in to Nepal.

5) In the past, International Authors has made it possible for contributors to purchases copies “at cost” using coupon codes, and so on. International Authors is a consortium, and as such every contributor is a “member” or our community, and contributors are encouraged to help promote the anthology by sending review copies to newspapers, journals and relevant Web sites.

6) Copyright "reverts" to contributors upon publication. That is, after a piece appears in Emanations, the contributor can seek to publish their piece elsewhere. Contributors should understand that Emanations will remain for sale on Amazon indefinitely. All materials appearing in Emanations are under the exclusive copyright of the cntributing writers and artists.

7) Note to poets: Please do not send poems as individual files. All poetry submissions should be sent as a SINGLE MircosoftWord file formatted in Times New Roman, size 12.  Please submit three to ten pages.
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Teaching Emanations

Below is a description for a course Professor Donald Hassler is teaching this Spring at Kent State University. Emanations: Second Sight is one of the texts on the reading list.


Course Description
The course is about how method in literary work and even writing strategies can come clear in the use of the three texts below rather than in a reiteration of the canon. Canonical ideas will be introduced but not relied upon solely. We will open with the notion of collaborative pooling in our work, move to the notion of digging out from the underground of literature, and end with the sense of flying “high” and losing our minds in order to write. All of this work will be done by working with solid text in the three collections. These collections are available in paper but also in electronic versions, at least the first two may be seen online.

Political Science Fiction, edited by Donald M. Hassler and Clyde Wilcox (South Carolina Press)
Sense of Wonder, edited by Leigh Grossman (Wildside Press)
Emanations: Second Sight, edited by Carter Kaplan (International Authors)
Examinations, papers, and reports
Collaborative reports, short papers and one long paper, periodic quz work