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Digital Music Revolution: Cacophony, Sound, and (the Bestowal and Withholding of) Pleasure

by Virginia Konchan

One must soberly ask, in light of the enthusiastic rhetoric that surrounds new forms of postmodern audience participation: are these forms of “agency” designed to empower the listener, creatively or critically, or merely offer the simulated (“technical”) illusion thereof? The mimetic replication of urban and post-industrial noises reinscribes the very determinisms that all art forms both inherit and strive to overcome, and while on a neurological level the ear enjoys assimilating unfamiliar sounds, and harsh noises generated from dissonance, punk, heavy metal or electronic music, can induce an “unpleasing” cerebral pleasure, the sustained withholding of aural pleasure from the listener may be the last insidiously lingering form of 21st century authoritarian “control” of all.

On “Paradise Hunger”: An Interview with Henry W. Leung

“A lot of poetry today gets by with flairs of language, or superficial risks. But it’s about sincerity – it’s the same for fiction. I always hope that writing better means living better. I think the genre distinctions between poetry and fiction have more to do with marketing than anything else.”

The Promised End

by Greg Schutz

According to the Weekly World News, I am writing on the verge of apocalypse and this blog post will never be read. The nineteenth of December: two days until we reach the terminus of the ancient Mayan calendar and find ourselves ushered into a future better left to the imagination of Roland Emmerich. Or Nancy Lieder. Or John of Patmos. Or whomever. Apocalypses come and go, and if some prophets, like the Revelator or Nostradamus, achieve a more lasting fame than others, it seems to have little to do with their accuracy as doomsayers. What’s worth noting about our latest onrushing apocalypse, however, is just how timely it seems.

Fun: A Manifesto

by Claire Skinner

Above all else, a poem must be fun. Even poems that deal with decidedly not-fun topics (death, disaster, cruelty) must have elements of joy.

Fun. Not exactly a word thrown about in academic circles or in serious reviews of serious poetry. But, if a poem’s not fun, the likelihood of me finishing it (or enjoying it) are slim to none.

Call for Manuscripts

For a special issue on translation—in the broadest sense of the word—we welcome stories, poems, and essays that either exemplify translation as practice or meditate on translation as phenomenon.