Franny Choi is a queer, Korean-American poet, playwright, teacher, and organizer. She is the author of two poetry collections, Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019) and Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), as well as a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has received awards from the Poetry
Anne Carson writes that prose is a house and poetry is the man on fire running through it. I think we managed to convince ourselves that movies can be that house, when really it’s more of an Airbnb. Checking into an Airbnb for the weekend is not the same as living in a house. While you are physically inside of a home, it is temporary, it is free of obligation aside from the implicit agreement that you will effectively not be the man on fire running through it. But owning a home requires sustained and incremental effort: you need to pay the bills, you need to maintain your property. And with that dedication comes intimacy: it’s your house. It’s the place you return to again and again.
Vulgar and prurient and dumb. They’re the sort of adjectives we not only often ascribe to young adult fiction, but to teenaged girls, who are overwhelmingly the protagonists of young adult fiction. It’s no surprise that culture dismisses the interests of this demographic before co-opting them. Just think about The Beatles, whose legacy now seems preserved by middle-aged men who dismiss the same population that catapulted the band to success, teenaged girls, as tasteless and frivolous. It could be my own internalized misogyny that prevents me from taking these stories seriously at first glance. When literary fiction still struggles to write women without the same invisible hand of misogyny, I’m excited to see the world of YA allows women to be heads of armies, political leaders and general badasses.
This essay discusses contemporary genre-bending texts on the occasion of Miranda July’s new book The First Bad Man, which includes an online auction of objects mentioned in the book.
* Oksana Lutsyshyna *
We are reading “Bartleby, the Scrivener” with my composition class. I have reasons to suspect that the students hate the entire experience: Melville, Bartleby, and me, but with the perseverance, worthy, perhaps, of a more effective application, I stay the course. And what to do?