PDR Blog

Nontraditional Film

July 24, 2013

Lise Kat Evans as Erika ByrdNow in production, the film Nontraditional tells a story about how difficult returning to civilian life can be, especially for women warriors. Writer-director Brian Hauser, whose essay about the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival was featured in our Spring 2012 issue, is a U.S. Army veteran, a professor of film at Clarkson University and an award-winning screenwriter.

The movie tells the fictional story of a 26-year-old female combat veteran, Erika Byrd (played by Lise “Kat” Evans), embarking on her freshman year of college. Erika served as military police on multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she expects that college will be easy for her after what she has been through. However, she finds this transition very challenging, as do many of our returning veterans.

Hauser and his co-producer, Christina Xydias, are currently seeking backers for their Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $15,000 to fund editing, musical scoring, color correction, sound mix, and festival submissions. They’re close to their goal, but there are only a few days left to back the project.

Projective Verse

April 28, 2013

Charles Olson

The current issue of PDR features two critical essays that examine the theory and practice of the poet Charles Olson.

A piece by nonfiction editor David Taber introduces Olson’s influential essay “Projective Verse.” A critical essay by the poet Sam Cha, “‘Projective Verse’ and the ‘Open Text’ Considered as Practices of Body,” provides a personal reflection on Olson’s ideas, as well as those of language poet Lyn Hejinian. Finally, “The Poetics of Presence,” by PDR editor Thomas Dodson, draws on the critical resources of deconstruction to examine Olson’s claims about the nature of the connection between speech and being. 

30 under 30

April 17, 2013

Kendra DeColoCongratulations to PDR contributor Kendra DeColo on being selected by Muzzle Magazine as one of their thirty favorite poets under thirty. Take their advice and “let Kendra DeColo into your world! She will be here for a minute, and when she becomes one of your new favorites and eventually takes over the world with her poetry, I won’t even say ‘I told you so.’”

Read the full piece from Muzzle here. You’ll also find three of Kendra’s poems in our very first issue

Kendra DeColo is the founding poetry editor of Nashville Review and a book editor at Muzzle Magazine. Her poems have appeared in CALYX, Muzzle Magazine, Southern India Review, Vinyl Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of scholarships and residency awards from Vermont Studio for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She has taught poetry workshops in prisons, middle schools, homeless shelters, and hospitals. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Bearing Witness

April 7, 2013

At Buck Key, Chris Way

We’re excited to be featuring paintings by Chris Way in the Spring 2013 Issue of PDR.

Chris Way is a self-taught artist whose work in chalk and pastels seeks to join the straightforwardly autobiographical with the alien and unseen. He says of his work:

I paint to bear witness to what has happened — and is happening — around me and in me.  Whether that’s the rich, wild abundance of the sensual world or a passage of epiphany or spiritual struggle in my life. But the bearing witness is always quickened by the unseen forces beyond logic and reason that thread through all we do and feel, and that bind us all. My aim is to translate all this to form, color, texture, rhythm, and above all: presence.

Chris Way was born in Florida in 1977. He received his BA from the University of Florida in 1999. He works and makes various things (paintings, poetry, music) in New York City, where he lives with his partner Michelle and their daughter Cyrni.

Caleb Cole's Other People's Clothes

March 21, 2013

Other People's ClothesPhotographer Caleb Cole, whose series Odd One Out was featured in our Fall 2012 issue, has just come out with a monograph of his series Other People’s Clothes. Recalling the work of Cindy Sherman and Nikki S. Lee, each photograph in the series features Cole in a scene wearing an outfit or piece of clothing from some other person. The book contains fifty-nine of these photographs along that with an introduction and interview with the artist.

The book, printed in a limited edition of 250, is available for purchase online at calebcolephoto.com and in person at Gallery Kayafas in Boston. Gallery Kayafas will also be hosting a signing and gallery talk to celebrate the publication of the book on Friday, March 22, from 6–8 p.m.

Caleb Cole has received numerous awards for his work and exhibited at a variety of venues, including Gallery Kayafas (Boston), the Danforth Museum of Art (Framingham, MA), Photo Center Northwest (Seattle), Good Citizen Gallery (St. Louis), Childs Gallery (Boston), and Jenkins Johnson Gallery (NYC). He is represented in Boston, where he lives, by Gallery Kayafas.

Diary of a First-Timer: Does AWP Have a Heart?

March 15, 2013

Emily O'Neil notebook page from AWPAWP has an odd reputation. In the early months of this year, people on the websites of various lit mags (as well as on plenty of personal blogs) were griping about how the literary world has degenerated into a who’s-who contest of networking wills, with the focus shifted away from finding and promoting the best possible writing to finding and entrapping potential writers in mountains of debt from pursuing MFAs and attending conferences where there is little on offer beyond the false promise career advancement. I am ambivalent about the value of an MFA and generally angered by how much excellent writing goes unpaid these days, but all of the bitter talk only intrigued me. When I pre-registered for AWP just after Christmas, I was hopeful there might be more to it than the detractors would have me believe.

I’ve been out of school long enough to start craving seminars again. Nerdy, to say the least, but I was in excellent company. Hynes Convention Center was overrun with plenty of backpack-toting, glasses-wearing nerds like me who couldn’t wait to camp out in one of the many readings or discussion panels and take extensive notes. Wednesday night I attended the UMass kick off party at the Pour House, across the street from the convention center. The room was packed with people sporting lanyards and talking recent acceptances–to journals and graduate programs both. Lloyd Schwartz and Jill McDonagh talked shop with potential MFA candidates next to metal trays of chicken wings and a decimated crudite. Easing into the conference meant rubbing elbows with poets I’d heard on NPR and read in the Best American Poetry anthology, and I was wholly unprepared. I drank one-too-many of the massive draft beers and ended up discussing teaching poetry to children with Regie Gibson at great length. I had the blessing and curse of my home city hosting the event, which meant I didn’t have to pay for a flight or hotel, and also that I had a few familiar faces to fall back on during my moments of awestruck burnout. It also meant that I took heavy advantage of sleeping in my own bed and missed the morning panels every day.

On Thursday morning, “Writing Masculinities” flew by while I was brushing my teeth in Somerville, as did “The State of Literary Publishing,” but I managed to slog downtown in time for the panel on autobiography and experiement, as worthy an official start to my conference experience as any. Though I rolled my eyes heavily when the intro to the discussion began with some hubbub about “rejecting false dichotomies,” the time was well spent. One panelist, A Public Space’s poetry editor Brett Fletcher Lauer, talked about how online dating lead him to construct a fake Craigslist Missed Connection using text from the profiles of fellow lonelies. A single line in the post, “putting the ‘ass’ in ‘Cassie’ since 1982” had PDR contributor, Cassandra de Alba, and I in hysterics. The central question of the panel, at least as I recorded it in my notebook, was “What is your heart?”

With heart and the construction of self still heavily in mind, I moved on to my next panel on Plath and Craft. This subject is a pet obsession of mine, one I argued about all through college poetry courses when I felt my classmates were focusing too heavily on biogrpahical details when explicating Ariel. (I even have an embarassingly empassioned paper about it sitting on my laptop desktop, begging to be expanded to Madwoman In The Attic proportions and self-published for the Kindle.)  Besides demarcating the difference between confessional poetry and Plath’s uncanny talent for self-mythology, the panelists showcased Plath’s excellent craftsmanship.  C. Dale Young removed all adjectives from “Poppies in July” and even stripped down, the word choice was so precise the poem could not be mistaken as the work of any other author.  Tara Betts implored the audience to treat Plath as a craftsman worth apprenticing ourselves to as poets, asking us to consider, “where does the image snap open long enough us to capture it?” as Plath might have when arranging her stark imagery into the verses we now know as hers.

If I had to declare the heart of AWP, I would say it is in the small clusters of writers sitting, heads together, before a panel or reading.  So many of us were misfits as children, buried in our notebook pages during recess.  In a convention center full of other misfits, there is an air of instant kinship.  Everyone is afraid to speak first, so words explode out of people’s mouths in nervous monosyllables.  Entire sentences pass breathless, because there is simply too much to say.  There are plenty of people there for the pissing contest of who has published where and with whom, but the bulk of the people I encountered were simply delighted to skip out on work for a long weekend and get deeply entrenched in some friendly word play.

Come meet PDR in the flesh!

The internet is a strange, nebulous place to make friends.  Which isn’t to say that we don’t love talking to you here.  But aren’t you just a tiny bit curious as to what we look like in real life?  If you happen to be in Boston for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference this week–you’re in luck!  You can come shake hands with us, talk about the latest issue of Printer’s Devil Review,  and pick up a copy of the just-published anthology, Best Indie Lit New England.  The collection is home to work by PDR contributors, as well as contributors from our friends at Amethyst Arsenic, Radius, and others.

You can find us at table W5 in the AWP bookfair March 6th-9th at Hynes Convention Center representing Black Key Press, publisher of both BILiNE and Printer’s Devil Review.  This bookfair is the largest marketplace for independent literary presses and journals in the country.  Registration for the conference means you’re free to wander all day every day if you want.  And if you aren’t registered for the convention but still dying to meet us, take heart!  The bookfair is open to the public on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 6 PM.  

See you there!

Best Indie Lit New England

February 18, 2013

Best Indie Lit New England

PDR would like to congratulate Kendra DeColo, Edward Porter, Gabrielle Reeve, and Franz Wright for their inclusion in Best Indie Lit New England.
BILiNE is a new print anthology series showcasing the best fiction and poetry published by independent journals in New England. The first volume features work from forty writers and twenty magazines; it’s a great way to find out what indie magazines are publishing (and to find new places to submit). 

The editors are selling copies of the first print run at literary events like the AWP Book Fair and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. If you have a Kindle device, you can purchase the ebook from Amazon. You can buy the ebook for your Nook from Barnes & Noble.

The collection includes four pieces that were originally publishing in the first three issues of Printer’s Devil Revew:

Kendra DeColo, “The Dream in Which You Are
Edward Porter, “A Proposal
Gabrielle Reeve, “How to Sex Yourself
Franz Wright, “Autoventriloquism

Point & Shoot

February 12, 2013

Ballistic Map, Jordon Kessler

We’re excited to be featuring photos by Jordan Kessler in the Spring 2013 Issue of PDR.

Kessler’s photographs capture the patterns of light and dark punched by bullets into metal, paper, and plastic. Other works in the series display the impressions of pistols pressed into velvet or brightly-colored styrofoam.  

Jordan Kessler has worked for the past decade at the Palm Press Photographic Atelier in Concord Massachusetts as a fine art printer. He has a bachelors degree in filmmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art where he is currently in the process of completing his masters in photography. He is represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston.  

Spring Issue Submission Deadline Extended

What better way to start the new year than with a second chance?

We know we said January 1st, but we’re hungry for more.  More poetry, more fiction, more art, and especially more essays!  If you didn’t get us your best by the time the ball dropped on Monday night, you now have until February 1st to submit.

Check the SUBMIT tab at the top of the page for our guidelines and requirements, and if you’re still not sure, take a look at past issues to see what we’re about.  (They’re all free!)  But to be perfectly honest, we just want to be wowed, no matter what it is you send us.

Happy New Year, and Happy Writing!