This Week in Words – May 19

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Check it, everybody. In just two short days, Treehouse will be hosting a 20th anniversary retrospective in honor of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. All next week we’ll be posting new essays from several great writers like Matt Bell, Patrick Somerville, Matthew Specktor AND MORE! Get ready to have your mind blown.

I found a new lit website! And since we little guys have to look out for each other, I’m giving them a shout-out. They’re called but.if.and.that and they are “dedicated to visual literature, words, text, design, typography, writing, and the gaps in between that constitute the beauty and pulchritudinous delights of the English language.” Aside from their web content, they feature free e-publications under their “passages” tab. Right now their first issue, “Decomposing Summer,” is available for download. What sealed the deal for me is the e-pub for which they are still accepting submissions (until Halloween of this year). It’s called “An Abundance of Porn in Your Trash” and the theme is the whole “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” idea, only they mean online trash/treasure. There’s a whole wild variety of content on this site. Take a look.

While I’m on the subject of new discoveries, I came across a blog on The New Inquiry site that offers “an experiment with flash interviews” called “Five Questions with _______”. I like this idea because the interviews are brief, and the questions are not your average interview questions. Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, the blog’s author, most recently interviewed poet and essayist Eileen Myles. She asked her about “bad” genres, but her last question was my favorite. She asked Myles if she were ever prosecuted in a trial by jury, what expression would she want to see on their faces? Myles answered, “Delight. I’d like to know that my oppressors were out of their minds.”

This week’s interview was conducted over at The Review Review. Sandra Allen is the editor of three-year-old Wag’s Revue, an exclusively online literary quarterly. Allen talks about her journal’s name, founding, philosophy and dedication to the traditional design of print literary journals. She also gives some advice on submitting work, offers her take on MFA programs, and talks about the future of Wag’s Revue. In response to The Review Review’s usual request for writing advice, she simply offers: “Never use the word strange.”

Finally, I give you a piece of advice from, of all people, Bobcat Goldthwait.