MARGIN: Exploring Modern Magical Realism
MARGIN: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

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27 April 2005
Topic: April 2005
Other Margin contributors in the news:

Poet Lorraine Healy will perform on the Main Stage at the Burning Word Poetry Festival in Whidbey Island, WA on Saturday, April 30.

Folks in Seattle can also catch Margin editor Tamara Kaye Sellman, children's author Anjali Banerjee and Chicano magical realist author Kathleen Alcala at the Rainbow Bookfest on Saturday, April 30 (Community Center International District/Chinatown, 719 8th Ave S, Seattle, 9:30am - 6pm). Kathleen will be presenting for the "Selling Out: Selling Your Soul or Selling Your Books?" workshop at 2pm in Multi-purpose Room B, and Anjali is participating in the workshop, "Educators By Default: Why Children's Authors Do What They Do, What Do They Teach, What Have They Learned" at 4pm, also in Multi-purpose Room B. Their books will be on sale at the University Bookstore but you might also find either author hanging around the Margin table, ready to sign copies or chat with readers.

The weekend ain't over yet! Seattle Poetry Fest will feature Magical Realist Poetry from Erin Fristad, Marjorie Manwaring, Marjorie Rommel and Tamara Kaye Sellman on Sunday, May 1 at 1:15pm at the Richard Hugo House. Work from Margin poets Hermine Meinhard and Mary Elizabeth Parker is also slated to be read at that time.

Posted by at 11:37 AM PDT
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Topic: April 2005
Margin's sometimes consulting editor Wyatt Bonikowski recently posted an interesting discussion about Kathy Acker and Realism at his new blog "The Nature of Too Bad."

Here's a great quote Wyatt posted from Acker: "The desire to play, to make literary structures that play into and in unknown or unknowable realms, those of chance and death and the lack of language, is the desire to live in a world that is open and dangerous, that is limitless. To play, then, both in structure and in content, is to desire to live in wonder."

And speaking of Kathy Acker, look for a newly unearthed piece of hers in the summer 2005 edition of Gargoyle, along with a short story from Margin editrice Tamara Kaye Sellman and work from some of her favorite contemporary authors and poets, including Martha Silano, J.P. Dancing Bear, Kate Braverman, Denise Duhamel, Michael Martone, C.M. Mayo, Molly McQuade, Rick Moody, Naomi Shihab Nye, D. Harlan Wilson and others.

Posted by at 11:11 AM PDT
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20 April 2005
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: April 2005
Consultant-at-large Bruce Taylor reminded me that today is a significant anniversary for MARGIN:

One year ago today, Oprah Winfrey unveiled the magical realism pages Susan and I prepared for their popular and well-received Book Club spotlight on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE.

Oh Happy Day! A lot of traffic was redirected our way thanks to that exposure, and a lot of folks who would never have visited Margin otherwise spent time at our site and even became subscribers.

We often think of the book-loving world as a pie in thirds: the fans, teachers and writers of "literature;" the fans, teachers and writers of "genre;" and the denizens of mainstream bibliophiles who we all exist to please. My background has largely been spawned from the literary side, though I grew up in a household of science fiction and fantasy lovers. Bruce's background took a separate path along the banks of the "genre" stream. As more people came to be involved at MARGIN, these two distinctions continued to be made. But what of the mainstream?

This entree into the mainstream, via Oprah, was a welcomed surprise assignment last February. To reach readers whose only investment is, in fact, The Book, means we are an active part of that third distinction. For this, we are proud.

Please join us in celebrating a small, but significant, anniversary.

Tamara Kaye Sellman
Editor and Publisher

Posted by at 4:04 PM PDT
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11 April 2005
Topic: April 2005
Many thanks to the contributors to MARGIN's fifth anniversary reading event, "A Night of Magic (Realism)" on Thursday March 31 in Vancouver BC. The event was a wonderful success, with lovely works read by Pauline Holdstock, Karen McelMurray, Paulo da Costa, Ewing Campbell, John Briggs, and Bruce Holland Rogers. Stay tuned to MARGIN's main pages: we'll be posting our Report from AWP in a few days!

Magical realist poets, here's a strong critical review and close reading of Sue Kwock Kim's Notes from the Divided Country: Poems by David Koehn, who spends some quality time deconstructing the poet's magical realist techniques. A great study tool for those still trying to wrap their minds around magical realism as a narrative form for poets.

FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK is in hot water again for her book, Dangerous Angels, which is one of several award-winning titles that comprise the popular young adult alternative series better known as Weetzie Bat. The series, described by Block as "postmodern, magic-realist tales for all ages" and "contemporary fairy tales with an edge," has come under fire again for complaints that the book "has sexual themes, at least one gay character, and nontraditional families."

TONI MORRISON fans who also appreciate opera are in for a real treat: the 74-year-old author of such acclaimed novels as Sula and Song of Solomon has written the libretto for the opera "Margaret Garner," composed by Richard Danielpour, which will premiere in May at the Detroit Opera House in May and will star Denyce Graves, mezzo-sopramo, in the title role. Morrison based her text on the same slave story context which was the focus of Beloved, which won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Steve Weinstein of New York Blade gives raves to one of the latest gay independent films to be released on DVD: Cowboys and Angels. The film, set in Ireland in what Weinstein characterizes as a "post-gay" perspective, is a sensitive magical realist undertaking with a classic plot: gay man helps confused small-town boy find himself. Writes Weinstein: "The whole thing has the good-natured air of a modern, grown-up fairy tale (take that however you want). In the end, the princes end up with their princesses, the queens with their ? queens, the sky is blue, and all?s right with the world. ?But there?s not a word of this film that doesn?t ring true."

Here's a thoughtful essay on prodigious literary celebrity which focuses on Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, written by Vivian Gornick of The Nation. Writes Gornick: "If Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is as popular with readers as Everything Is Illuminated, it will be because Foer is indeed the wunderkind the country needs and therefore deserves: a writer of talent who exploits holocaust to mythicize the most aggressive self-pity in modern American history, the kind that feeds relentlessly on a nostalgia that seriously reduces whatever chance we have of understanding what we are living through."

Posted by at 10:21 AM PDT
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