Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Consideration of Issue One

I seem to remember a failed attempt to startle some species of chapbook or journal into existence three years ago⎯Sweeney lived in squalor in a filthy tenement around East Williamsburg, and I imagine everyone involved became too sidetracked by drunken literary arguments to organize in any way (fortunately, since we were doubtlessly incapable of completing such a project then). I can’t precisely date the genesis of Correspondence, but we began meeting with an associate of Ugly Duckling Presse maybe nigh a year ago (she provided us with vital guidance and information we would have surely otherwise overlooked). I think we collected most of the material rather quickly, despite which the process was slow and punctuated by periods of waiting or preoccupation. Since we have all been writing steadily in the months since we submitted contributions to the journal, and since I was not personally very active in editorially handling the material in this issue, I risk a Proustian flashback reading everything after becoming separated from it. Holding the journal and perusing it altogether is also a novel experience. I suppose I should here embed the realization that the collection is editorially slightly rough (like if Joyce eloquently started a row with you in a bar and you drunkenly followed him outside to fight⎯only to find Hemingway waiting in the shadows to box your ears) but in occasional incidents, annoying but sort of endearing. The work collected in this first issue, I think, is as worthy as we’ve been proclaiming. I am amazed by the consistent intensity and earnestness of the contributions: the boring ironical tendencies and affectation that seem to define a lot of younger writers haven’t proper places in our various approaches to the word. If a reader is looking to be exposed to unfamiliar poets producing complex and exciting work, I shamelessly implore her to reference this issue. I believe my favorite line is from a piece by Matthew Daniel, “The book goes in the fire like an internet of seaweed round his cock,” and Sweeney provides poems that are intricately crafted and astoundingly effectual. Richard Loranger, our patron saint, comes at you somehow in all dimensions, filling you with inexplicable light, as he asks, “What poetry isn’t there?” Meanwhile Robert Snyderman’s “Soft Hell” is a violent tempest of language that wrestles vigorously with narrative and coheres into startling realizations, “I carried her body like a hell into disease.” The poetry is balanced by fiction, an aerial ballet from the archives of Joshua Furst, sinisterly illustrated contributions from Tallon, and two articulate critical essays. I think the inclusion of the essays is particularly important as it provides for a range of work representative of the corresponding community of writers behind this project (and both are engaging inclusions⎯Greg Afinogenov posits, “Apocalypse today has many of the same functions, even the same rhetoric, as revolution once did.”). The cover design by Matt Fox is stark and shiny, I should mention. As we learn to put things together in unfamiliar ways our process is perceptible on the pages we offer to a possible audience; this first issue is also an assemblage of material from a community of writers deeply engaged in their pursuits and in creative discourse.

⎯Lonely Christopher (Wed Editor)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Inaugural Arrival

The first issue of Correspondence (a journal of letters) exists and we possess it! The shiny paperback book, 170 pages in length and collecting new writing from twenty contributors, was printed in a limited edition of 300 and is available, quite cheaply, for eight bucks. Behold the artifact (featuring cover by artist Matthew Fox):

While it’s possible we might eventually figure out how to use Internet technology such as the so-called Pay-Pal system to make Correspondence conveniently available to consumers worldwide at one button’s touch, what interested parties ought to do in the interim is write us at with an expression of intent to purchase a copy⎯and somebody will respond with instructions re mailing a cheque, money order, or loose bill to the Corresponding Society in exchange for our valuable product. Also, copies will be on hand at our celebratory reading at the KGB Bar on Tuesday (see previous announcement for more details)⎯and will be available sporadically from transient poetry salesmen in Tompkins Square, Union Square, and Central Parks as well. This inaugural issue is the result of uncommon attempts at organization and diligent labor from a congregation of disorderly but resolute writers and we pray to our absent god that there are those around who will accept this gesture of publication with interest.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Entry in Three Parts

There is a development re our email address: we have one. It’s Most of us are deeply afraid of technology, but we’ll try to manage in the event somebody finds it necessary to write us. I would like to editorialize now by insinuating that our editor-in-chief hates technology so much he threw his cellular telephone into a lake, but that’s not entirely relevant.

Internet Miscellany
Poem Shop, a project several contributors to Correspondence participate in, has an Internet presence. Those unfamiliar with the enterprise might visit that website to learn more. Incidentally, last month a photograph of Mr. Robert Snyderman (on the job with his typewriter) was described, in a blog entry re poet Max Bodenheim by Al Filreis, as capturing “the early-summer post-communist post-modernist Bodenheimian sensibility perfectly.” Also on the Internet, Jason Tallon reports on Kenneth Anger at the Anthology Film Archives here (Anger didn’t materialize, but half of the program was by Amy Greenfield and she was there and said a few words).

Do not forget: The Corresponding Society will be at the KGB Bar on the 15th at 7pm. See below. The journal is finally arriving this week and details will be forthcoming.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reading at the KGB Bar

To celebrate the release of the first issue of Correspondence⎯the journal of letters full of sexy lakes of substantial work from emerging writers everywhere⎯we are hosting a drunken reading at the illustrious (and literary) KGB Bar of New York City. You are enthusiastically invited to join us to revel in alcohol and poetry. Copies of Correspondence No. 1 will be available for purchase at an inadvisably low cost.

The Corresponding Society at the KGB Bar
Location: 85 East 4th St.
Date: 15 July
Time: 7pm

The line-up will include:

Christopher Sweeney
Lonely Christopher
David Swenson
Chanelle Bergeron
Matthew Daniel
Zachary German
Adrian Shirk

(with some sort of introduction from Joshua Furst)