Friday, July 25, 2014

Hype: Onstage or Off?

Howl Photo

The question is whether it’s easier to hype something when it’s not seen—or to use all current media tools and techniques which show the consumer everything?

Back in the day, promotion used to include an air of mystery.

Some say the basis of charisma is mystery.

A test case is the Underground Literary Alliance’s “Howl” reading/protest at Columbia University in 2006. Here’s an article about the event by establishment writer Rachel Aviv:

The article is fairly dismissive of the ULAers, yet captures some of the excitement of the affair.

Now, here’s video of the ULA that day, the first part of things anyway, our drinking from pitchers of margaritas and our own impromptu reading outside.

Which is more effective—the article or the video?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Needed: Artists and Writers

The editors of NEW POP LIT, Andrea Nolen and myself, are looking for good short stories to post at our upcoming site, as well as colorful artwork to illustrate the stories.

The theme: fun and excitement.

The site is under construction.

Email submissions or ideas to:

Stay posted as to the progress of this campaign via tweets @newpoplit

Please tell your friends. Target launch date is in about three weeks.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Where’s Lawrence Richette’s Writing?

Philadelphia writer Lawrence Richette died late last year. He was a competent novelist—a throwback to another time in that he wrote with clarity and intelligence about real-world issues, using no postmodern tricks. Larry died late last year. The question is: who are his heirs? Who managed his estate? What happened to his unpublished writing?

Larry Richette self-published much of his work, but not all of it. He’d told me he’d written many short stories. I’d love to publish the best of them on-line as part of a new literary project. Where are the stories? Who has them?

If anyone knows the answer to these questions, please let me know.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

“The Friends and Enemies of Pop Literature”

This is the name currently being used by a few writers interested in renewing literature through newer, clearer, more intelligent art. Several announcements about this campaign are forthcoming. Right now we’re looking for talent—talent of every variety.

If you’re interested in supporting, or becoming part of, this project, email me at Thanks.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The New New

I’ll soon announce my involvement in a new literary project with ambitious goals. It will be a campaign not of activism, but art. It will follow a principle of unilateral peace toward former antagonists. I’m prepared, in fact, to work with anyone and everybody.

Past is past.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How Does One Build a Better Literature?

WHAT KIND of team would be needed to credibly challenge status quo literature? What mix of talents? Strategy and tactics?

CAN the status quo be challenged? While their attitude is unchanging, unassailable, they’re standing on quicksand.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Short Story Ingredients


Any time I write a short story, I’m reminded that fiction is a careful mix of ingredients. For it to work, the mixture must achieve some kind of balance. In my new ebook I’ve created a complex structure in order to explain a complex plot. To be able to do this, and keep the tale moving, I’ve skimped in parts on description and characterization. 

There are two versions of my story. First the “Director’s Cut,” and then a reworking, the “Producer’s Cut.” In my reworking I removed some insight into the characters, but also any trace of self-indulgent “fine writing.” I’ve done this to maintain pace—but there’s the danger of having too much pace. I’ve had to add short bits when I needed to slow things down. Complexity and flow? Perfect balance? It may not be possible. “Modernist Pop” is almost an oxymoron—but I’m nothing if not ambitious.

What’s left in? What’s cut? That defines the art of the art. Not everything can be jammed into one work. There are only so many words in one story.

(“Assassination of X” is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store  Barnes and Noble’s Nook Books.)