Thursday, July 23, 2015

Interview with a New Yorker Writer

How are things in the world of New York City “Big Five” conglomerate publishing?

We at NEW POP LIT took a break from creating an alternative long enough to interview John Colapinto, staff writer at The New Yorker. What he has to say about his own difficulties is revealing. You’ll not read a stronger interview anywhere.


Read the story and interview—then let us know what you think.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Celebrate Baseball!

Yes, at the various NEW POP LIT entities we’re running an entire week of baseball celebration.

We begin with the new lead story at our main site, by Tom Tolnay, "Baseball Is Truth, Truth Is Baseball"

Next, we’re running a poll at our Detroit Literary blog, asking which was the best Detroit Tigers baseball team of all time? The choices given are the city’s four world championship campaigns. See

Finally, for hard-core baseball readers, here’s a link to info about an essay about the great American game which I wrote for North American Review way back in 1994, during the infamous baseball strike. The essay is titled, “The Last Day of Baseball.”

Not the last day of baseball after all, it turned out—which allows us to engage in this 2015 celebration.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Enter Jessie Lynn McMains

Here’s a photo of then-underground writer Jessie Lynn McMains reading at an event I staged in Philadelphia way back in 2007. No longer underground? We’ll see. Jessie is a phenomenally talented writer, and has what may be the best story in the upcoming NEW POP LIT Issue One, aka The Print Version. This, in a collection of good stories.

Sneak Preview copies of NEW POP LIT Issue One WILL be available at NPL’s table at the big Allied Media Conference starting in Detroit in one week! (Register for the AMC today!)
(Also see NEW POP LIT's kickass interview with Jessie at NPL's house blog:

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Wred Fright Is IN New Pop Lit!

At least, he'll be in our first print issue. Or rather, a story of his will be. The famed zine novelist will be featured with a tale entitled, "30 Women in 30 Days: A Harold Grumblebunny Adventure." If that title doesn't grab you-- then maybe a few of our more "serious" entries will! NEW POP LIT means reading for everyone!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

New Pop Lit The Print Version IS Coming!

Back Cover page-001

(Depicted: back cover of New Pop Lit Issue One.)

Here’s some info from NEW POP LIT’s house blog about the progress of the first issue of our print version:

A limited number of sneak-preview copies WILL be available at our table at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, starting June 19!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Octopus by Frank Norris


(Here’s the text of a short review I posted today at Goodreads of the 1901 Frank Norris classic, The Octopus. I could say much more about the novel—have elsewhere, and possibly will do so at this blog.)

Not just a great American novel-- this book is THE great American novel, in its scope, its understanding of the American character and of the forces which have shaped the American civilization. The leading figures of the narrative, on both sides of the dispute, are risk-takers. Most of them are quite ruthless-- Presley the poet and Vanamee the mystic the chief exceptions. It's Frank Norris's genius that he makes us care about a man like Annixter despite his hardness and ruthlessness. Annixter and the other members of the League become heroic because they stand up for their work, their land and their principles, against what turn out to be irresistible forces.

I see that some reviewers have a problem getting past Norris's style of writing. His "purple prose." Frank Norris was a naturalist and wrote in that mode-- which means the narrative is heavily detailed. It means that the author makes his points again and again-- he hammers them into you-- which is admittedly a different style from what most readers today are used to, but it also gives the book its unusual power. When conflict comes, it has reverberations beyond the incidents themselves, because Norris makes the conflicts part of his larger themes.

Norris overstates his descriptions because he wants the reader to SEE the setting and the characters; really see them. Few novels are so closely tied to the land and nature. (Tolstoy's Anna Karenina comes to mind.) No novel I've read has so well conveyed the special qualities of California; its landscape and sunlit beauty. Norris emphasizes the wheat as a force of nature because he wants us to see the railroad, and the people of the novel, as natural forces as well.

For all the care Norris put into the novel's construction, few novels carry as much excitement. The shooting at the barn dance; the chase of Dyke; and finally, the sudden showdown between ranchers and railroad men are as tense and exciting-- and ultimately as tragic-- as any scenes ever written.

Scope, power, love, tragedy, compassion, meaning-- no American novel puts every aspect of a great novel together as well as this one. Indeed, it remains topical, in that monopolies, corruption, and cronyism are with us today-- and there remain people who fight against these forces, whether their vehicle to do so be the Tea Party or Occupy. Since 1901, when The Octopus was first published, has all that much really changed?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Still Out There


(Photo: Dirty Franks in Philadelphia.)

Yes, I’m still around, still writing. Still In Detroit—despite a recent visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

I’ve been busy setting up the appearance of NEW POP LIT at the big Allied Media Conference in Detroit June 19-21. We may even debut the print version of our publication there, if all goes well. The journal will include fantastic work from amazing writers and artists.

Stay tuned!