Monday, September 26, 2016

Pop Poetry Today

Check out the report at the New Pop Lit News page about happenings in the world of pop poetry:

https://newpoplitnews.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/tarzana-joe-at-new-pop-lit/

While we give Tarzana Joe pride of place in our pop poet run-down, you might just find the poetry of some of his challengers more challenging. Is our goal to knock him from his top spot?

Stay tuned as the genre advances.

Friday, September 16, 2016

“Hip-Hop Pop”

Mo-fo poems blasting off the page

Kind of rhymin’ that is all the rage

Other kind of poems, put you to sleep

Tryin’ hard to be cute, tryin’ to be deep

Go for the good shit, go for the best

If it make you smile is the only test

New Pop Lit is the place to be

When you reading Fun Pop Poetry!

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Hey, at least it’s better than the anti-poetry coming out of the academy Smile

Join the fun: Fun Pop Poetry

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

New Literary Modernism?

For literary modernism to work with the reader, the writing itself needs to be clear, objective, and “pop.”

Ernest Hemingway was a modernist, but the only work in which he played with structure, with montage, was In Our Time. Afterward he wrote everything in strict linear fashion: “straight.”

What’s artistic modernism? Think of Picasso’s “Guernica.” It’s a fragmented view of the world—an attempt to portray the chaos of the actual world.

The most modernistic art form is cinema, because it consists of fragments of reality artfully put together. It’s fitting that motion pictures would be a modernist art—it was created during, sprung from, and reached popularity during the era of modernist artistic ideas—roughly from 1900 to 1930. All its techniques were learned during that period—the most important of which was the theory and practice of montage.

I attempted to use literary montage in my ebook novella, Assassination of X. Not really successfully, because I made the fragments too short; the pace too quick. I overdid it. (As with current fast-paced big budget movies, which are so hyperedited they become meaningless blurs.)

Which simply means more experimentation needs to be done. The writer can’t lose sight of the importance of the continuous narrative line—hooking the reader and keeping the reader hooked.

Are the two elements—montage and narrative line—contradictory?

They aren’t when used together properly in the movies.

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Poetry Ideas

ON FLARF, FLUFF AND OTHER THINGS

In looking into new trends in poetry, I encountered the so-called flarf poetry movement, much of it centered around the Philadelphia-based website www.jacket2.org. While I applaud the idea behind flarf poetry—attempting to shake up a dead poetry scene—the execution is flawed. If anything, flarf doubles down on the failings of academy-based poetry.

That is, poetry which is wordy, pretentious, a pose—and dull. Their supposedly new techniques are little more than William Burroughs’ “cut-up” methods applied to poetry.

Or: it’s not just that it’s awful poetry as poetry. It’s poetry that no one outside their insular flarf-poetry academy clique would enjoy reading. Their chief idea is: being a bad poet merely for the sake of being a bad poet.

We’re going in the opposite direction. We start with simplicity and entertainment. FIRST. To achieve this we’re willing to go back to past formulas (cadence; rhyme), tweaking them, reviving them, reinventing them. Structure works. Form is essential to art. Formulas are fine. Sonnets are a formula. 1960’s Motown music was a formula. The question isn’t using a formula, but what you do with it. There is no end to the amount of meaning and art which can be added to simple, memorable, easily recited verse.

As we intend to show.

Read our efforts at www.newpoplitinteractive.wordpress.com. We invite any and all poets including flarf poets to drop their serious facades and give Fun Pop Poetry a go. (Submissions to funpoppoetry@gmail.com.)

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

This Is Poetry?

Recently the arts/news site Buzzfeed published three poems by Nick Flynn.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/nickflynn/three-new-poems-by-nick-flynn?utm_term=.dt4DPp3Pl#.aqanQOjQP

What’s noteworthy about the poems isn’t their utter mediocrity—I receive better submissions nearly every day for the New Pop Lit website (www.newpoplit.com)— but the way their author has been rewarded for his modest talent by the literary establishment. Simply scroll down from the poems to Nick Flynn’s biographical information. Read the list of plaudits and prizes.

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This tells me the world of establishment poetry is in bad shape. Little is risked by approved poets—and little is achieved.

Why do I care? Not just because I co-edit a literary site, but also because I love to recite poetry. Today there’s little worth reciting.

I can’t help thinking that poetry has been trapped of late on two poles.  One is hip-hop based street poetry dependent on sing-song rhythmn and rhyming. It’s made to be read aloud. More, to be performed in front of the audience. The style has become predictable and is seldom artistically challenging.

The other pole is academic poetry. I can’t claim to understand the thinking behind it—I just know it reads like bad prose, looks bland on the page and puts audiences who dare listen to it read aloud to sleep. Contemporary academic poetry is sure proof of how institutionalizing an art form kills it.

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The above thoughts are the reason for this post at New Pop Lit.

We’re looking for visually and aurally striking poetry which stands between the poles. A splash of color combined with a sense of music. The equivalent of a punchy pop song or a fun pop painting-- with a large dollop of wit and intelligence thrown into the mix.

Can anyone write that?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tribute to Hemingway

Much “Hemingway Day” activity taking place as I type this.

First, our continuing celebration at the New Pop Lit home page.

Second, a truly fantastic discussion of the man and his work, in which we enlisted the aid of leading critics and writers. The result is a three-dimensional view of the state of his reputation today, with opinions given from all sides.

We think you’ll find it stimulating.

(See also the many tweets on Ernest Hemingway at our main twitter account, @NewPopLit.)

Thanks!

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Friday, July 01, 2016

Who’s Afraid of Ernest Hemingway?

WHERE ARE THE FEMINIST WRITERS?

We’re asking ourselves that question as we look for diverse replies to NEW POP LIT’s current Big Lit Question:

“What’s your opinion of Ernest Hemingway circa 2016? Is he still relevant?”

Hemingway is the white whale of white male writers. Of dead white males, period. Aggressively macho; hunter; gun nut. Patriarchal, sexist, racist, misogynist, homophobic, etc. etc.; all the current politically correct designations readily apply. Ernest Hemingway embodies everything the academy hates.

Yet when it comes to getting a frank comment on the Hem from a feminist perspective, it’s not easily come by. The editors of NEW POP LIT have sent out requests for answers to our question, one word to 150, to a score of leading feminist writers. To date we’ve heard nary a peep.

We HAVE received excellent answers to our question. None, however, from a full-blown anti-Hemingway viewpoint. While we’re big Hemingway fans—we love his attitude and his writing—we also seek true diversity of ideas. So we ask again: Where are the feminist writers?

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Two dynamics may be at play.

1.) After the many revisionist biographies and critical essays, the embarrassing posthumous “books” of wastebasket writings, academics may feel that Hemingway has been properly tamed. After all, he was actually and secretly gay and feminist himself—wasn’t he?

2.) More likely, the god of political correctness has bumped against the built-in institutional intellectual inertia of the intelligentsia. Once designated a great writer, always a great writer. In the pantheon. Beyond criticism. (I have no desire to throw rocks at this particular iconic statue myself—but come on, people! Will anybody? How timid ARE the nation’s approved literary writers, anyway?)

A related question: Could a young Hemingway with the Hemingway mindset be published today?

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Send your Answers to our Big Lit Question to newpoplit2@gmail.com. They’ll be posted at a NEW POP LIT blog in three weeks!