Friday, December 27, 2013

Spotlight on ... THEM, a trans* lit journal


'THEM is a body.

'THEM is a body of writers, of writing that does not conform.

'Whether we lie outside, between, reject, or move freely between gender identities, our bodies are a site of disruption, confusion, and instability for those around us.

'THEM is disassembly.

'Like gender, writing has failed us. Gender has never been simple because our bodies have never been simple. Caught in an assembling of violences distributed by race, ability, capital, our genders bare mistrust unequally.

'THEM is unashamed to speak “I” or to address “you” in all it's multiplicity; THEM is unashamed to bare an “us” in all it’s difference. We accept we have been constructed as many, so we reject the fiction we share a common identity to call home; we come from below. We admit we were never singular.


-- Editors: Jos Charles, Jae Cornick, Emerson Whitney, Rebecca Overkill

Extras 1

Codi Suzanne Oliver 'Re: Hannah, Theo, Paul, Walter, Jellyfish, SMM, IAA, Unworshipediety, Mothbits, Moon Temple'

Boston Davis Bostian 'Genderpedia How to Edit'

Brody Wood and Bethany Louisos 'I HAD A NIGHTMARE'

Willow Healey 'a friend's smile looped into a 6-minute tape that you listen to whenever you miss them'

H. Melt 'Fear of a Gay Planet'

Janani Balasubramanian 'Because You're Brown Honey Gurl'

Finally! The Nation's First Trans* Literary Journal Debuts
by Arielle Yarwood, Bitch Magazine

The literary world gained a valuable new addition last week with the launch of new literary journal THEM, which focuses on the work of transgender writers.

Debuting on December 13, THEM proclaims itself to be the nation's first literary journal to specifically focus on trans* voices. While there are numerous literary journals that highlight LGBT issues and writers, and a couple trans*-focused anthologies, THEM is the first American journal that publishes only the work of people who identify as "within the trans* umbrella" (using the term "trans*" with the asterisk to include who have non-binary transgender identities). The volunteer-run biannual journal features writers from around the country, seeking to create a space that amplifies trans* voices.

Founding editor Jos Charles sees the magazine as a form of resistance, with its publication aiming to create a space where trans* folks can interact and speak their minds—even when what they have to say is complicated and controversial. "Television, porn, literary journals, personal blogs, all propagate narratives and symbols about who trans* folks are," says Charles. "Typically, folks like to conflate our differences and squeeze us all into one discernible narrative... Cis readers seem to really like seeing us [either] happy or dead. I would like THEM to be a place where that narrative can be upset—whether by exploring other stories or contextualizing the familiar ones."

Charles also thinks that it’s crucial to keep the journal as accessible as possible while expanding its reach. “Ideally, this would mean always having the whole issue be free online. I'm hoping for us to be able to have hard copies of forthcoming issues, if not this issue. That way folks who have money and would like to support us could buy hard copies if they could.”

Extras 2

Joy Ladin @ awp

Lucas Scheelk @ Lowry Lab

Rex Leonowicz

Stephen Ira 'WeHappyTrans Project's 7 Questions'


Get Ready for THEM: Stephen Michael McDowell Reports

Stephen Michael McDowell, a writer loosely associated with the Alt Lit scene (as is Jos Charles), gives a 25-point report on Jos Charles’s new project THEM, Issue One, which was published online today:

1. I have a very low tolerance for cold, and often cite any setting below 75 degrees Fahrenheit as potential “jacket weather”.

2. Despite widespread public knowledge of racially polar male and female authors and poets [something about me not being able to think of any openly queer or racially unspecific authors and poets, especially given] my experience.

3. Something about how modern dress does not preclude a person from being a person but can prevent a person from being informed of different genitals which can prevent a person being aware that different genitals exist.

4. Focusing on queer or trans* identity as a central theme in literature vs. focusing on economics as a central theme in literature vs. focusing on writing about writing as a central theme in literature vs. focusing on nothing in general as a central theme in literature.

5. In THEM Issue One the assigned gender of each contributor in this journal is shrouded in a way that, regardless of the piece’s overall focus, seems to render every character, voice, feeling, and basis for confusion “human” in a way that I like.

6. I developed pneumonia the week my junior high school P.E. class started practicing lacrosse. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to compete against people in lacrosse, but practiced at home in my bedroom because I liked the mechanics of the instruments that were used in the game. I felt profound disappointment when I got back two weeks later and they had moved on to volleyball.

(read the entirety)


'THEM is a literary journal of trans* writers. As such only authors that identify within the trans* umbrella will be considered (more here).

'THEM accepts poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, experimental writing, and pretty much anything. THEM is especially excited by writing that is particular, writing that doesn't appeal to "being trans*" as if it were one, complete narrative. We are not just trans*. Race, class, ability, size, and sexuality constitute and distribute the oppression of trans* folks. Addressing our bodies as they are engendered without addressing how they are racialized, sexualized, colonized, and/or colonizing is to default to normative and oppressive ways of naming and assembling our bodies. Writing as if there is one common trans* narrative is nothing more than writing a racist and ableist myth.

'For each issue of THEM we are also looking for cover art. Feel free to write outside convention: our bodies don't always pass, neither does our writing. Surprise us.

Upon publication, THEM retains one-time online and archival rights. Authors and artists retain all copyrights to their work. If your work is featured in a later publication (book, chapbook, ebook, etc) we politely ask that THEM is given publication credit.

'THEM will consider re-prints, but they are discouraged. If you choose to submit previously published materials please provide initial publication information in your submission. Previously published material to a blog, personal website, etc., is not a problem.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, just let us know if you get accepted elsewhere.

'Please keep prose submissions under 2,000 words; keep poetry submissions to 3-7 poems. If you have something longer you are set on, THEM trusts you; however, be warned: we will probably read your submission hastily.

'Create an account with Green Submissions here. Submission title should read: ARTIST NAME; GENRE (short story, poetry, non-fiction, cover art, etc). In the body of the email include preferred contact information. Please attach all work submitted as one document (docx preferred, but if not we'll work with what you have access to) and a brief bio if you'd like.

'THEM will try to respond to you within about three months but we make no promises. Sometimes THEM is busy.' -- The Editors

Issue #1

Contributors: Boston Davis Bostian / Brody Wood / Calvin Gimpelevich / Cassady Bee / Codi Suzanne Oliver & Willow Healey / Gr Keer / Grey Vild / H. Melt / Janani Balasubramanian / j/j hastain / Joy Ladin / Levi Sable / Lucas Scheelk / Mx Glass / reba overkill / Rex Leonowicz / Stephen Ira / Van Binfa


p.s. Hey. ** Rewritedept, Hi. Well, if I wasn't/am too old for The Muppets, I was/am too something or other for The Muppets. Yay you indeed re: Xmas. I don't know what my favorite post-SY member-created thing would be. Hm. I guess nothing has made a unimpeachable grab for ultimate hierarchical status yet. Oh, yeah, about 'Anchorman 2'? My intuition says it belongs on a long plane ride's menu. I had a very quiet Xmas. The slice I had of Gisele's/my buche with Zac's name in it was very good, hearty. Yeah, but I want to know what Steve Shelley would do if he was the boss of something. ** les mots dans le nom, Hi. That sounds like an appropriate fate for those motion stills yesterday. Yves Bonnefoy is swell in every regard. I don't know, I guess I think Celan is heavy in the perfect way, and I guess I think Kiefer is heavy like a bombastic ton of lead. But everything's objectively cool, Kiefer included, and we all get what we love from wherever is the right place. I liked MoT. It was a pleasure, surprising with gentle insinuations or something. Wow, thank you about the Ken Price book! That's so very kind of you. I like Ken Price's stuff as you know. I met him once very, very briefly. Yeah, gosh, thank you! ** Allesfliesst, Hi, Kai. I must admit that I do kind of like it when an animal's body makes a last fleeting defensive attack against humans by not being completely delicious. I'll look up Minae Mizumur to whatever degree I can. I don't know that work at all. Cool. Okay, onwards towards New Year's Eve/Day. Any festivities planned? ** Lee, Hi, man! Thanks a lot about my stack. Chuffed. Your Xmas was Xmas as fuck, yeah, at least in my book. Including the Chabrol and Carbonara aftermath. Happy first ... or, wait, second, I guess, day of Kwanzaa to you, buddy! ** David Ehrenstein, Ha ha, it was wasted, nice. Overlook what? Hold on. Oh, you can't overlook that at which you hadn't yet looked, I think. So now I'll look happily. As will this lot, perhaps. Everyone, if you click this, you'll get to read the mighty Mr. Ehrenstein's review of/thoughts on a new book containing the letters of Leonard Bernstein. An instructive and pleasurable read, certainly. Gay panic in Joyce? You could have fooled me. Sounds like interloping. ** Cooksappe, Hi there! Welcome to here, and thank you very much for visiting and for the heartwarming emoticon. ** Sypha, Hi, James. I guess I thought the word 'gig' would tip people off. But I guess gigs don't have to be musical, on second thought. You had a real old fashioned Xmas there with a loot pile and everything. So nice. ** Bill, Thanks, B. Yeah, I saw 'A Serious Man', and, yeah, the second you referenced that scene, it burst into life in my memory, so I guess I'm like you. The 24th, oh. I had this mistaken memory of his b'day being on the 26th, but I think I was mixing up Kevin with Bob Flanagan, the latter of whose b'day was on the 26th. Strange people to mix up with one another. Sounds fun. Now that Kitchell's off FB, I don't know what's up with him anymore. ** Kyler, Hi, K. Thanks, man. Phew, cool that the Florida visit was so smooth. Another victory for literature. Well, and I'm sure that your personal charms went a lot of the way as well, of course. ** Creative Massacre, Hi, Misty! I'm really good, thanks. My Xmas was low-key too. Lower than low-key. Any thoughts on what stellar place you'll go on your vacation? I guess it's a ways off. Oh, ouch, on the wisdom teeth thing. I'm one of those people whose jaws or whatever were very roomy, so my wisdom teeth grew in weird, but the rest of my teeth just kind of moved closer together in such a way that they ended up looking more normal afterwards than they had before. I know, lucky me, right? ** Etc etc etc, Hi, man! I've been well, yes, thank you. Mm, no, I never listened to NSYNC or Backstreet Boys other than when their stuff suddenly appeared in the air or airwaves near me. Although, wait, I think there was something about the BB's song 'I want It That Way' that I thought was kind of genius in some weird way. Something about the neutrality or blankness of them wanting it 'that way' and not specifying what 'that' was or something. Stories is a cool store, yeah, I like it, I miss it. I live(d) nearish there in Los Feliz. So it and Skylight are my LA regulars, bookstore-wise. And my high school was a 3 minute walk from JPL. Which might explain the Satanic quality of the school, perhaps. 'Black Clock' is cool. Never been published in it myself. It has this vibe of being kind of in-groupish, but maybe I'm wrong. Definitely worth a try. Steve Erickson seems like a nice guy, My only Xmas present was a box of American Macaroni & Cheese fixings. Which, when you live in Paris, is a cooler gift than it probably sounds to be. That was my only gift. So, no shrunken head unless the Mac & Cheese counts. What did you get gifted with? Positive vibes back to you from the French place. ** Misanthrope, Dandy? Cool. Outback ... never eaten at one. Steak and so on, right? Faux-Australian image, right? They don't have them over here, I don't think. That casserole sounds really tasty and meatless. What?! LPS has gotten that tall? Nah, you're joking, right? That's crazy. Does he want anything from Japan? I'm going there really soon, you know. ** Grant maierhofer, Hi, Grant! Oh, that's okay. I think it's the nature of this place that responses take whatever time they need. Gosh, thanks for what you wrote about my Cycle and all of that. You're very kind. Following up 'IJ' is a lot to ask. My pleasure, my honor on your book being on my list. I mean, where else would it be? I've been really good, thanks. I haven't checked out all the Death Grips videos. In fact, I don't think I knew they were there. My copy must be the bare bones one. Cool, I'll do that. 'The Weaklings (XL)' isn't actually out officially until, I think, next week (?), and I haven't even seen a copy of it yet. So I'm excited to get one too. Very best to you, G! ** Steevee, Was it a typo or a deliberation that you called them One Dimension, ha ha. In either case, nice call. ** Gary gray, You're still in Chicago? Oh, wow. Uh, if your comment on the 21st arrived after I launched the post that day, no, I didn't see it. I never look back. I probably should, but I never do. But now that I know it's there, I'll go find and read it, you bet. All is well with me, yes, and I certainly hope it's the same story for you. ** Right. I'm spotlighting 'Them' today, which I think is a great project and magazine, so do check it out, thank you. See you tomorrow, no doubt.


les mots dans le nom said...

Dear Dennis, young day, young, meaning very interesting and new. You perhaps know my interest in trans...It's a specific thing for me, whatever theory says. If that is lit relevant, even more so. I promise I will read it later this evening.

You may be right about Kiefer. To be honest, looking at *traditionally (Kiefer included) visual works, I rarely check my liking or not. (Maybe, I love Courbet, only. Maybe, Degas, too.) I tend to find my interest point in that and create thoughts from it. And I read reference books to articulate it. With written works, however, I become self-overwhelmingly active-- many modes of perceptions almost automatically work in my approach to them, and if anything does not work for me, I don't delve into it. I sort out what I like or not pretty quick, which could be good or bad. Celan is perfect for me. I like his German a lot. However it's a different German anyway -- how many languages he learned and worked on, especially poetic works. Yves Bonnefoy, as a literary thinker, more than a poet, is probably my ideal writer. I haven't read any other literary critic much devoted with detailed knowledge beyond his national literature, scintillating poetic sensitivity in words and genuine pursuits in the mind, at every point of writing. Renaissance writer. His mind extremely uneasy and terrified, and tightly categorized, with what he knows, and very wishful for the dead (things and thoughts, and people, too) very well, while not disregarding living matters like history and justice, etc. He is my excitement savior, especially his literary studies.

Ken Price book. It's a small book. Paintings are a little smaller than I am hoping. But the printing on this inexpensive, light paperbound came out very nicely and writing in it is also good, I think. I thought you could archive it for looking, at times. It's my pleasure, but mailing is not my pleasure.

wow, another weekend. holiday & weekend. What a wasteful season, while winter itself is gentle and sober in its mind.

les mots dans le nom said...

comfy form of winter dwelling

les mots dans le nom said...

comfy form of dwelling -- sorry about the mistake linking above

allesfliesst said...

haha, then you totally should watch some muppets swedish chef episodes on yt -- they're full of animals acting up against being turned into food, and those animals are more successful at escaping from oven and pot than our miserable ducks. might that help to get you into the muppets? i wonder. no plans for new year's eve. i'm quite okay with christmas (maybe because i'm not a family guy at all i enjoy doing this family thing for a couple days, it feels almost exotic and kind of like reading a 19th century novel or watching bergman's "fanny and alexander"), but i can't seem to get enthusiastic about nye parties. i guess it's because you're supposed to be happy, whereas christmas, at least the german version, has something melancholic. i don't know what we'll do, probably watch "blue is the warmest color" in some late night show and then grab a glass of champagne at a bar on our way back, and that'll be it. what about you?

DavidEhrenstein said...

Trans is definitely the New Frontier. As I'm sure y'all know I love Stephen Ira as much as I do his father. Wish he hadn't given up on his blog "Supermattachine," but I gather he's a busy fellow these days.

Sypha said...

Dennis, I was really obsessed with the Muppets when I was a kid. There was one episode where Vincent Price was the guest star, and that was my favorite one: in one musical number he did a cover of the song "You've Got a Friend," accompanied by a number of the more grotesque and monstrous Muppets. I always liked that one. Hey, thanks to the wonders of Youtube, here it is:

So recently I heard the new Burial EP and the new Beyoncé album, both of which I've added to my favorite music list for 2013. Man, it was a pretty good year for music, I think.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Latest FaBlog: “Nobody Cared”

_Black_Acrylic said...

My own fave Muppets sketch is this with Steve Martin on the Dueling Banjos. There's even some Swedish chef action early on in the clip!

Today I finished the ART101 scripts and am happy enough with them. I'm still hoping there's plenty of room for improvisation there. Filming is due to start on January 6th, so it can all still be changed about if needed. Tomorrow I'm getting the train back to Dundee, and I hope it's an exciting new chapter.

steevee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steevee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steevee said...

Fuck it - I'm having a really hard time getting blogger to post my top 10 list as a link. Here's the plain text:

Alas, One Dimension was a typo.

DavidEhrenstein said...

NYT on Moz

grant maierhofer said...

Hey Dennis,

Great to speak with you again. I'm also really excited to see this post on here, when Janey Smith posted on HTMLG it was kind of in the thick of all that discursive business so it didn't seem to get much attention, but I think this sort of thing is really fucking awesome and I'm glad you shared it. Anyway, umm, not much to report beyond what I said yesterday. Started rereading Closer last night and will finish sometime this afternoon hopefully to just keep going on all the way through the Cycle. I mentioned once that I only had a galley of The Marbled Swarm so for whatever reason I bought the book, I dunno, sometimes galleys can feel kinda flimsy or something and I just liked the idea of having a brand new copy, haha. Umm, I wanted to post some of those DG videos on here too just for your convenience. I'm sure you've seen some, i know Chris Dankland posted one on the Neato Mosquito Show awhile ago. The video for the first track gets me just as excited as the first image I saw associated with the band--the cover to Ex-Military, I think--and to me sort of proves the potential longevity of a group like this. I've been thinking of putting together some sort of thing for this blog at some point. If that new project being worked on comes together that would definitely be something I'd want to do. I dunno. You let me know if any waves of busy are coming down the road and I'd like to devote some energy to putting together posts or writing new shit for this. I hope you're having a great day, man. And in case we don't speak before then, I hope you have a great new year's eve and beginning of 2014.



Also, here are links to those videos.

DG Government Plates

DG You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for it's your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

gary gray said...

yeah, it's smart to not look back. it's not to bad here. i'm just in the wrong place to adapt with living. many wrong places. i feel like i'm more and more a room. it's like the room i was in where i isolated myself got smaller and smaller until the walls of the room start where my skin ends. it's bullshit as well. cause the more i feel like i'm just watching people existing in the world, less i want to be part of it. eh. really i just forgot things and places to do while in Chicago. there was a punk house i lived in called the mopery. it's no longer. but damn! it makes me feel old. i try to avoid being nostalgic for that very reason. in Chicago i'm very nostalgic. i resent being nostalgic. i'm too busy trying to get out of now. theres no time for that... i guess it's come full circle. yeah, it's smart to not look back

gary gray said...

Oh! and this is amazing. and i dont have many people to ask about these things. i'm trying to create a apparatus that makes a story write it's self. i'm trying to make a story that's chronological record of things the protagonist (or whatever the fuck you would call it) researches, views, and comments online. i dont know if it will work. but i'm trying and hoping that the end result is a story you can understand the protagonist's psychology. i'm hoping to throwing it in the Vaseline as a series of sorts. i have a extensive outline for the kid. but i dont know why since the kid exaggerated version of me. example: he has no friends. but what a friend is to him is someone who responds to him. the only person he communicates with is a author named Washington Cooper. cute right?

Creative Massacre said...

Dennis - Hi. Glad you're doing well.

I do know where I'm going. There's a tiny island on the Gulf of Mexico in the western part of Florida called Okaloosa Island. I went there back in April and fell in love with the place. Warm weather, white sugar sand beaches, clear water. It was amazing. I'm getting a condo for about a week or so from the 23rd to the 28th of June. So yeah, it's a ways off but it's going good to look forward to.

My wisdom teeth have screwed my jaw and stuff up. They're growing in sideways which, in my case, is bad. You are luck in that sense, once they start screwing up, they're a right bitch!

Here's a picture of what Okaloosa Island looks like. Okaloosa Island

Misanthrope said...

Sypha, Now that you've discovered the wonders of YouTube, you may want to look into how to create a link in a blogger comment. ;)

Dennis, Damn, you really know your Outback Steakhouse, mate! Hehe. But yeah, that's the chain. They do a few things right that we like, but yeah, you wouldn't like those particular things. It's the 'burbs, we don't really get the little mom and pop, fresh homecooking shops the big cities get. Though there's a new Persian restaurant that's supposed to be really good. It's very local, not a chain, run by...well, Persians! I'll try it some day soon.

Now in NYC, we didn't eat at any chains...unless they were chains native to NYC. None of those big national bastards that are the only things we have down here in the 'dorf.

Wow, really? Would you pick LPS up something while you're there? That'd mean so much to him. I mentioned it to him on the phone today, and he was all, "Oh, my God! Wow! Really?" That'd be awfully kind and sweet of you, and I'd hit you back eventually, of course. He said something small, of course, anything authentically Japanese. Like an authentic pack of Japanese Pokemon cards or an inexpensive little plush character made in Japan (the latter of which he mentioned a few times, hahaha). It would totally make his day. Thanks so much for that. (And I already know how I'll respond in kind. ;D )

And yeah, LPS has got to be about 5'8" now. Taller than his mom. As tall as or taller than my niece. He gets taller than me and he's not allowed in the house anymore, hehehe.

Dan said...

Dennis! Happy Holidays to you. Sent you an email and will check with Brian as well.

Wishing you a year of health, happiness and creative rewards!

Thanks as always,
Dan Faltz