'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.
'WE ARE THEM.
-- Editors: Jos Charles, Jae Cornick, Emerson Whitney, Rebecca Overkill
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.”
Joy Ladin @ awp
Lucas Scheelk @ Lowry Lab
Stephen Ira 'WeHappyTrans Project's 7 Questions'
Jos Charles 'POEM WITH A DOUBLE ENTENDRE IN IT'
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
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.