Burning House Press are excited to welcome JAMES KNIGHT as our AUGUST 2019 guest editor! As of today JAMES will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of AUGUST.
Submissions are open from today – 1st AUGUST and will remain open until 24TH AUGUST.
JAMES’ theme/s for the month are as follows
“He do the police in different voices” – Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
The bourgeois cult of the individual has not lost its seductive power. Neither has the legacy of the Romantic movement. Writers and artists are told to find their own voices, their true voices, the voices that represent them and only them, heroically, uniquely them, as if such a thing is possible. Be yourself. Be true to yourself. There’s only one you.
We are all ventriloquists’ dummies. The world speaks through us. We are not in command of our words, and our words are not our own. We constantly, involuntarily absorb the vocabulary and turns of phrase that are popular in our circles, replicating them to give our thoughts currency. We adopt language that identifies us, our backgrounds and values, unconsciously pigeonholing ourselves, grouping ourselves. So we strive for an ivory-tower individualism that is unattainable. Originality tends to be accidental, and occurs when an artist synthesises several influences in a way no one else has done. In other words, uniqueness is a consequence of polyphony.
“I was the conduit through which The Rite of Spring passed” – Igor Stravinsky
Let’s break free from the tyranny of the single voice. Let’s make art that sings, shouts, whispers, cries, with many voices. Art whose cohesion is subverted and reconfigured by polyphony.
Send me writing that teems with a variety of distinct voices. Send me visual work alive with clashing perspectives, heterogeneous materials. Adopt a voice that feels syrupy and strange in your mouth; leave behind who you think you are. Channel the voices of your ancestors (familial and artistic), our corporate overlords, politicians, the collective unconscious, that bloke who swore at you in the playground when you were seven. Appropriate styles and idiolects. Mix them, let them play.
Feel free to employ traditional forms and processes such as pastiche, parody, satire, found poetry, collage, photomontage, automatic writing, cut-up, and détournement. Equally, if the voice demands its own new form, be guided by it. Let it dictate. Stop being THE ARTIST. Learn some humility.
Collaboration is another way to dilute your ego and surrender some control. Approach someone whose work you admire. Make something together. New voices will emerge from the unfamiliar artefact you create together.
“… and the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” – William Golding, The Lord of the Flies
Forget your audience and their expectations. Put on a mask. Put on a voice. Perform your new self or selves.
James Knight is an experimental poet and digital artist, whose work has appeared recently in Fur Lined Ghettos, The Interpreter’s House, Déraciné, and (in Spanish), in Luvina, the literary magazine of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. Void Voices, his polyphonic reimagining of Dante’s Inferno, was published by Hesterglock Press in 2018. Website: thebirdking.com. Twitter: @badbadpoet.
For submissions, JAMES is looking for your poetry, short stories, flash fiction, prose poems, art, collage, painting, photography – as well as non-fiction submissions: essays, reviews, commentary, features, interviews – and all hybrids, fragments and cross-forms.
All submissions should be sent as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please state the theme and form of your submission in the subject of the email. For example: VOICES/POETRY
Poetry and FictionFor poetry submissions, submit no more than three of your best poems. Short stories should be limited to 1,500 words or (preferably) less. We encourage flash fiction submissions, no more than three at a time. Send these in as a .doc or .docx file, along with a short third-person bio, and (optional) photograph of yourself.
Submit hi-res images of your works (drawings, paintings, illustrations, collages, photography, etc) with descriptions of the work (Title, Year, Medium, etc) in the body of the email. Files should be in .JPEG unless they are GIFs or videos, and should not exceed 2MB in size for each work. File names should correspond with the work titles. Video submissions can be uploaded onto Youtube or Vimeo for feature on our website. Send these submissions along with a short third-person bio, and (optional) photograph of yourself.
Non-fiction submissions (essays, reviews, commentary, interviews, etc) should be no more than 1, 500 words and sent as a .doc or .docx file along with your third-person bio/and optional photograph.
Submissions are open from 1st till 24TH AUGUST – and will reopen again on 1st SEPTEMBER/for new theme/new editor/s.
BHP online is now in the capable hands of the amazing JAMES KNIGHT – friends, arsonistas, send our AUGUST editor JAMES KNIGHT your magic!