Picture This

I think it’s kind of weird how places become more than just physical landmarks once people have touched them. That probably sounds weird but I’m not sure how else to say it: a place becomes more than itself once we start associating things with it, like people we’ve met and grown close to, and memories we’ve had in those places. Of course, this is an ongoing process where some random house a few doors down may not have much meaning to you until you go there, but it means something to the person already there.

… Anyway, I was really struck by this feeling while I was reading through AD 26/27. I’ve already talked a little bit about place so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much, but I was part comforted and part distraught when I was reading James Reidel’s translation from the German of Thomas Bernhard’s poem “My Parents’ House,” and I wanted to share that here. I was comforted by the familiarity of the feeling of being at home, but caught off guard with Reidel’s care towards the complexities of being home that are often over-looked: Reidel’s image of the home wasn’t just some pastoral dreamscape. The more I read, the more I realize how integral a sense of place is to our experiences, and the more I realize how well Artful Dodge integrates literature that has such a strong sense of place in its pages.

 

Safe travels,

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.
This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.
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Posted in Poetry, Summer, Translations | 1 Comment

By Way of Explanation

A lot of literary magazines that I’ve come across have a strong inclusion of writers in the way of interviews. Artful Dodge is no exception: we’ve included authorial interviews ever since the budding days of our pages. I think this dedication to getting to know authors is really important because it invites readers in to what the writers’ lives are actually like. I know I am no stranger to romanticizing other people’s lives, a great flaw of mine, so it is always a nice reminder when I get to hear people talk about their struggles and triumphs, as well as some of the interesting asides that makes each of our lives stand out in some little way.

Most of all, I find it exciting to see that a writer has had a similar experience to my own: it’s comforting to find out that someone so far away from me has somehow shared some incident with me, even if that incidence happened at two different times and in two different places.

I had this kind of experience when reading Sharon Olds’ interview in the newest issue of Artful Dodge (52/53). So, I guess that’s my hit for today. I’ve already talked a bit about Olds’ interview in the announcement for AD 52/53, and I don’t like to unnecessarily repeat myself, so I’ll just direct you to the announcement instead:

 

https://artfuldodgewooster.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/new-and-ready-for-reading-its-artful-dodge-5253/

 

Happy reading!

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Summer, Translations | Leave a comment

The Ghost in the Attic

As I was reading through Artful Dodge 44/45, I found a couple of prose-poems by Nin Andrews. I remembered the first of the set, “Calling the Snakes,” because I had read it sometime before, without actually remembering who had written it and where it was from. But it stuck with me, and I get the feeling that now that I’ve read the others, they too will stick around, bumping up against the walls of my brain. You see, although they are short, they elevate everyday experience to the mythic. Straightforward experiences become suddenly complex and some characters inexplicably arrive to their destinations with the aid of some unknown force or intuition. I find this especially true in “Calling the Snakes” where Jimmy becomes the master of the snakes by not only calling them, but asserting his dominance over them as a human. Jimmy is thus an angry god and the snakes are reduced to nothing more than a ritual sacrifice meant only for the sake of appeasing the tyrannical deity’s boredom.

It’s these kind of surprises that create tension between the reader and the text, and, further creates the need to continue reading.

 

On that note… Have a lovely weekend,

autumn, Editorial Asst.

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Poetry, Prose, Summer | Leave a comment

Between the Lines

One of the poems that I’ve been waiting to write about is “The First Tampon” by Karen Wolbach in AD 36/37. By now, I’ve read through this piece quite a few times, and every time I get something new out of it, or I get to think more deeply about what I’ve already found. Having that kind of a relationship with a poem is refreshing because I don’t always read things that have layers of meaning.

You can’t really get the whole effect without reading the entire poem, but here are a few lines that I find especially potent:

Like a price tag, the cut end of a sausage,
a tail of spittle hanging from an old woman’s chin,
or the loose thread inevitably
dangling from your hem,
then your mother coming after you
with scissors. This little white thing,

            There’s an open conversation here about what we, as a society, believes should be kept hidden. In some ways I read this poem as a plea of guilt or shame, but the very writing of this poem makes me feel like there is another layer of pride for having to ‘just deal with it.’ The first tampon becomes both something to hide and a necessary rite of passage.

I think that’s also a really wonderful part of poetry too: each line has the opportunity to completely shift the reading of that poem. So, a poem has a kaleidoscopic movement where each line can shift the reader’s perception.

 

I hope you’re finding something new!

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.
This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.
Posted in Poetry, Summer | Leave a comment

Nice to Meet You

Well, in some ways I’m back to translations. Kind of. I just wanted to take a moment to give light to all of the wonderful translations that have enriched the Artful Dodge through the years. One of the first things I do when I open up a copy of the Dodge is flip to one of the translation sections to read the stories of how those translations came to be. I find that the journey to the poetry is often just as captivating as the poems themselves. Not only does the introduction give cultural context to the poetry, it also provides a narrative to let all of us readers know how far these poems and stories have traveled.

For example, I thought Carolyne Wright’s introduction to her translations of three Bengali poets was pretty groovy. I was transported out of my own head and into the “Sealdah Station, [Kolkata’s] main commuter train depot” where “the driver made a turn into an alley across the way and then crept slowly, through the crowds of pedestrians, under a high brick archway into a sprawling market.” I don’t want to say it literally made me imagine being in the context that these poems were written, but the intro definitely gave me a segue into a place where I could really appreciate the poems. Wright’s narrative of first meeting Gita Chattopadhyay perfectly sets the scene for the poems as they are written by a woman living in a “house that had first been constructed in the 1830s” for her entire life despite the ongoing evolution and bustle going on outside her doors. But Chattopadhyay’s isolation from modern demands also influences her work as she explains that “Because of what has been left to me by my ancestors, there’s no pressure to earn a living from writing. I can write about social and political issues that may go outside the mainstream, not worrying about the need for sales” and that “If I were influenced by the idea of being popular, […] I couldn’t keep high standards.”

This set of translations, among others, was featured in AD 46/47.

Although Wright’s intro to the Bengali poets isn’t currently on the Dodge’s website, many other translation intros are, and are worth a read-through if you’re interested not only in physical place, but cultural landscape as well. You can find them here:

http://artfuldodge.sites.wooster.edu/content/making-introductions

 

Safe travels,

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Poetry, Summer, Translations | Leave a comment

In Code

Something that I think really makes the Artful Dodge one-of-a-kind is our special care with translations. Translating is a laborious effort, and can often prove unfruitful. However, there are many writers who are dedicated to re-creating the reading experience for literature across languages. Some poems that I recently came across are featured in AD 48/49 and were originally written in Chinese by Lady Huarui, a pseudonym given to a collective of poets who lived during the Tang Dynasty, and translated by Jeanne Larson. I was expecting to find some stiff collection of lines, robbed of melody and stripped of fluid movement, but I was pleasantly surprised by how naturally these poems flowed. They were easy to read and easy to want to read. Although I can’t speak to the exactness of the translations (I don’t speak Chinese, or read it, if you were wondering), I can tell right away that a translation is good if it seamlessly creates the world it portrayed in its original tongue.

There were a few other things in this issue of the Dodge that I found engaging, but I can’t give away all of my secrets in one go.

 

Until soon,

autumn, Editorial Asst.

 

 

As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.
This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.
Posted in Poetry, Summer, Translations | Leave a comment

Grilling Out

One of the things I’ve enjoyed so far this summer is reading and coming across things that I would have never expected to see. The blessing is this: I come across some pieces that I wouldn’t have written even if I were that monkey sitting at a typewriter indefinitely. My next hit is a poem like this, which I love partially for its abruptness and partially for its scathing self-awareness.

Besides, this poem’s title flows somewhere in the spirit of American summers. A feature from Artful Dodge 50/51: “Hotdog” by Nick Demske.

 

Wishing you some summer fun

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.

Posted in Poetry, Summer | Leave a comment