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Creativity

Ash and Stardust x: Ashytober

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by energy worker and artist/writer DHIYANAH HASSAN explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. You can read the rest of the series here.

For October, I came up with a personalized tarot-inspired inktober challenge that I named after this column, #ashytober. I drew a card for each day and then illustrated my response to that card. The result is a series of digital art illustrations that gave life and ambience to the vibrant things that pulsate vividly beyond the surface of my days. Save for a couple of lags, I spent my October making art that I had no chance to plan for since each day’s prompt only happened when I pulled a card from the deck. I documented the work and shared some insight about the process for each piece on my Instagram (they’ll also be up on my website once that’s back out of its hiatus).

The ways in which I work has changed. Instead of squeezing effort to make things, I’m more focused on allowing things to happen. There’s so much that wants to come through me, so much that’s getting ready that wants me to be gentle with it.

Working on #ashytober after months of light sketchbook work allowed me the space to let the different parts of my work – my art, my training as a healer, my words, my aspirations – find their own ways to integrate and merge. I also found out that working intuitively was a great way to allow old strategies of art-making to adapt to where I’m at now.

Like how with each piece of #ashytober, I was building – finding – a fantastical world that housed its own cosmic cartography with strange landscapes, multiple suns and moons in the sky, and characters living diverse lifestyles.

Building up a cosmology for magical worlds – like building up the narrative behind the theory behind the symbology of a series – is something I’ve grown so accustomed to in my work as an artist. Except that I used to pressure myself to the point of paralysis that not much of this work gets to see the light of day. And so it was really delightful – like unwrapping candy to find a surprise toy packed inside with it – to see an entire universe of characters and narratives being spun out so spontaneously with each piece.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust x: Ashytober”

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August 2018 Guest Editor Is JOHN TREFRY!!! Theme: NON-NONFICTION

Burning House Press are excited to welcome JOHN TREFRY as our seventh guest editor! John will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of August.

Submissions for John are open from today – 1st August and will remain open until 24th August.

John’s Theme for the month is as follows

 

NON-NONFICTION

Continue reading “August 2018 Guest Editor Is JOHN TREFRY!!! Theme: NON-NONFICTION”

July 2018 Guest Editor Is Lara Alonso Corona!!! Theme/s: BODIES (Ugly bodies — Queer bodies — Uncomfortable bodies — Bodies in summer)

Burning House Press are excited to welcome Lara Alonso Corona as our sixth guest editor! Lara will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of July.

Submissions for Lara are open from today – 1st July and will remain open until 24th July.

Lara’s Theme/s for the month are as follows

BODIES

(Ugly bodies — Queer bodies — Uncomfortable bodies — Bodies in summer)

Continue reading “July 2018 Guest Editor Is Lara Alonso Corona!!! Theme/s: BODIES (Ugly bodies — Queer bodies — Uncomfortable bodies — Bodies in summer)”

Ash and Stardust v: The World Turned Upside Down

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by artist and writer DHIYANAH HASSAN, explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. These are personal essays and articles sharing experiences of growth as someone who has recently found a deep connection to tarot. You can read the rest of the pieces here.
In the past month, I saw my childhood dream of having a conventionally successful art career – this dream that kept me alive through overwhelming traumas – die off. I made the decision to orphan myself from the biological family because they still couldn’t respect my boundaries. This country I’m in saw its first ever government change in the recent elections and despite the hope sizzling in the air, I still felt like it was trying to kick me out. Hope tends to follow change, it’s true, but so does apprehension.

These were the background noises weighing down on me for the past two weeks, as I worked through illness to meet deadlines, rummaging resources in search of plant-based remedies that could help alleviate all the gross ways stress had affected my body. I was thick in the overwhelm and it felt both familiar and foreign at the same time.

fullmoonscorpiotides_forAshandStardust.gif
GIF snapshot of ocean waves, taken a day before the full moon

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust v: The World Turned Upside Down”

Submissions Are Open!!! from 1st April – until 23rd April – for our third guest editor C.C. O’HANLON!!!

Burning House Press are excited to welcome C.C. O’HANLON as our third guest editor! C.C. will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of April – when he will then hand over the reins to our fourth guest editor for the month of May.

Submissions for C.C. are open from today – 1st April and will remain open until 23rd April.

C.C. will be responding and publishing your submissions on a rolling basis during the month of April – and has chosen his themes for submissions!

C.C.’s Themes are

Place: Movement, Escape, Exploration, Architecture.

C.C. has introduced the themes himself for your guidance:

“The act of journeying contributes to a sense of physical and mental well-being, while the monotony of prolonged settlement or regular work weaves patterns in the brain that engender fatigue and a sense of personal inadequacy…”

– Bruce Chatwin, from Nomad Invasions

Overall, I’m not looking to reassure, but rather, to some extent, to unsettle.

For submissions, C.C. 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.

 

Submission Guidelines

All submissions should be sent as attachments to guesteditorbhp@gmail.com

Please state the theme and form of your submission in the subject of the email. For example: ARCHITECTURE/POETRY

Poetry and Fiction
For 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.

Art
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
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 March til 24th March – and will reopen again on 1st April for our third guest editor.

BHP online is now in the capable hands of the amazing C.C. O’HANLON – Friends, send him your best!

 

C.C. PIC

 

C.C. O’Hanlon is a relentless traveller, polymath and occasional diarist. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Ernest, Minor Literatures and The Learned Pig. It has also been included in several anthologies and ‘best of…’ collections. Born in Sydney, and raised nearly everywhere else, he has lived for the past five years in Berlin. He is now en route to somewhere else.

Ash and Stardust iii: Reversed Readings

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by artist and writer DHIYANAH HASSAN, explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. These are personal essays and articles sharing experiences of growth as someone who has recently found a deep connection to tarot. You can read the rest of the pieces here.

Slow your breathing, get upside down. Go ahead. Find a comfortable seat, couch, or bed to lie on where you can dangle your head, shoulders, and half your torso upside down. Your arms over your head spilling to the floor. If this feel awkward, stay with that feeling.

Stay with it for a couple of minutes, the bowl of your skull filling up with blood. Then slowly, taking care of your back, rise. Close your eyes. Keep breathing. Feel the juices in your body waterfalling back into alignment.

You learn this in yoga, to let the blood flow in the opposite direction for release. Getting into positions that make you feel trapped in your own body, trembling from uncertainty – where the only instruction is to slow down, breathe. You learn to involve yourself with the situation rather than with the idea of escape. Make friends with the conundrum and that will give you the tools you need to return to yourself.

I do this – sit upside-down and breathe – to relieve headaches or migraines. It doesn’t always get rid of the pain but it helps me manage it better. This is how I view reversed readings in tarot spread.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust iii: Reversed Readings”

Submissions Are Open!!! from 1st March – until 24th March – for our second guest editor Amee Nassrene Broumand!!!

Burning House Press are excited to welcome Amee Nassrene Broumand as our second guest editor! Amee will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of March – when she will then hand over the reins to our third guest editor for the month of April.

Submissions for Amee are open from today – 1st March and will remain open until 24th March.

Amee will be responding and publishing your submissions on a rolling basis during the month of March – and has chosen her themes for submissions!

Amee’s Themes are Masks // Transformations // Cosmos // Personal Myth.

Amee has introduced the themes herself for your guidance:

cosmostree.jpg

Wrestle with illusion, seek truth. See your various aspects as masks; consider their individual appearances & reflect upon why they’re shaped as they are. We all have masks; what are yours? Play with this idea, infuse it with mystery. Perhaps make yourself a new mask, one that taps into important yet hidden aspects of your life or mind. Create something that intrigues you, not as a product but as a catalyst for personal transformation. Make something magical; give yourself chills. Mark it with the fire that comes from grappling with your own consciousness. “We are made of star stuff.” –Carl Sagan. Create work inspired by astronomy or cosmology. Contemplate time & the universe & how it all began. Consider the origins of matter & your place in All This. Note the night sky, the turning earth, auroras, eclipses, & the solar system; contemplate nebulae where stars form over eons, contemplate supermassive black holes brooding like giant spiders in a great intergalactic web. Forge a connection to the vastness; create a personal myth that integrates your own mind / dreams / experiences / family / heritage / community / culture / local plants or animals or natural landmarks with the universe at large. Become a drop swimming in an ancient & sublime night. Astrophotography welcome!

GENERAL SUBMISSIONS: If you have work that doesn’t fall into any of these categories, submit it anyway! Hybrid, experimental, & highly imaginative work encouraged. My taste in all media is eclectic but tends towards the strange (in both subject & style). I love clarity, complexity, intelligence, genuineness, introspection, mystery, risk, & symbolism. If it’s too weird for the average literary journal, send it my way; if you walk to the beat of your own drum, I want to hear from you.

NOTE: I especially encourage submissions from women, POC, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, the neurodiverse, and other traditionally marginalized groups.

* * *

For submissions, Amee 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.

 

Submission Guidelines

All submissions should be sent as attachments to guesteditorbhp@gmail.com

Please state the theme and form of your submission in the subject of the email. For example: MASKS/POETRY

Poetry and Fiction
For 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.

Art
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
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 March til 24th March – and will reopen again on 1st April for our third guest editor.

BHP online is now in the capable hands of the amazing Amee Nassrene Broumand– friends, send her your best!

 

Ash and Stardust ii: Trauma and The Lovers

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by artist and writer DHIYANAH HASSAN, explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. These are personal essays sharing experiences of growth as someone who has recently found a deep connection to tarot. You can read the first piece here.

On a night I was forced to lose a war to my father’s rage, I stopped myself from crying by carving the word ‘HATE’ into my leg. The conclusion of these encounters with either of my parents had never meant the end of physical abuse. Their anger grew inside me like an infection.

A huge part of my history is that I grew up with adults who couldn’t protect me from their own ugliness, who refused to remember what they did after the fact, who until today won’t say anything when decades of their choices landed me in hospitals and finally on the disability spectrum.

Since childhood, I was not given the tools necessary to know how to love myself. What I saw in my parents’ eyes as my body absorbed impact after impact was what I mirrored back to myself; hate. And that ruined so much of my life, as this still does to countless children all over the world, crying quietly in places they have to call home.

Children know things on a raw and intuitive frequency before they find the language for articulation, so I knew there was something wrong with it all. To cope with the terror no one else could see, I developed imaginary worlds I’d submerge myself in for hours – days, even. In this world, I was loved by a group of adults who’d co-parent me through the perils of daily life. In the external world, I couldn’t talk about what was happening to me without being pegged as too difficult or ‘too much.’

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust ii: Trauma and The Lovers”

On Personal Transformation

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

This isn’t an essay. It started life as an essay but then it began to twist & bristle & sprout distinctly unessaylike appendages.

The eyestalks struck me by surprise.

Perhaps it’s an insect or some sort of strange crustacean.

* * * * *

Imagine you find a giant handbag bleating in the corner like a lost lamb. You take it & shake its contents out onto the table.

What do you find?

Take a minute to think about this.

* * * * * Continue reading “On Personal Transformation”

Ash and Stardust i: Here We Are

This is the first instalment of Ash and Stardust, a monthly column exploring how my tarot practice intersects with self-care, healing, and creativity. Note: I don’t claim to be a tarot expert! This is me learning as I go, overcoming creative blocks along the way.

“Everyone deserves an outlet; a reservoir of safety – a comforting warmth in the ribcage – the space surrounding the heart.”
– from the guidebook of The Next World Tarot by Cristy C. Road

I can’t say exactly when I was introduced to tarot. It would appear or get mentioned in passing here and there during my teenage years. I remember once-upon-a-time friends spreading cards on bedroom floors to articulate desires and what-ifs. They’d ask if I wanted a reading done and I had always said no. It didn’t feel right. I don’t mean that I had trouble with the idea of cartomancy – the mystical world fascinated me. I was, however, having trouble seeing myself as someone who could hold these archetypes in my hands, to shuffle and create a narrative out of them that can serve not as divination, but as guidance – or even to satisfy curiosity.

In those earlier years, I was nowhere near okay enough to claim my own story, let alone see it as part of something bigger.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust i: Here We Are”

Burning House Press welcomes Florence Lenaers as our first guest editor!

From 1st February 2018 and for that whole month Burning House Press online will be edited by our very first guest editor – the amazing Florence Lenaers!

More info on submission details forthcoming – stay tuned – and a massive welcome to Florence to BHP!!! Prepare to send Florence your work…

2 Poems by Fay Deller

Shadow

 

I’m an optimist with a shadow who pops in now and then

Just to let me know he’s still around.

He lies dormant like a bindweed vein in winter,

Waiting,

Watching for that glimmer of light

Always looming,

Anticipating his chance to make an entrance Continue reading “2 Poems by Fay Deller”

Updates…

Coming soon for 2018 on BHP – guest editors/open submission calls/and books books books…

Collage Logbooks: hiromi suzuki

“I make collages in small sketchbooks every night before I sleep.
I call them ‘collage logbooks.’
They are diaries and also the place of creation for
my art and visual poetry.” Continue reading “Collage Logbooks: hiromi suzuki”

‘Our survival deserves a dirty prayer praising our divine faults and everlasting selves.’ – Rachel McKibbens Interview for Burning House Press

On the release of her latest poetry collection – blud – Adrianna Robertson interviewed Rachel McKibbens for Burning House Press.

 

I first contacted Rachel McKibbens because I had been—as I often am—considering what it means to write about mental illness. I wanted to have more conversation about why it matters to write poems about mental health, how it factors into one’s identity as a human and a writer, and what it is to attempt to put the experience of it into words. At the same time, I was reading more and more of Rachel’s work (I picked up Pink Elephant and couldn’t put it down) and I felt like I had to tell someone—or as many people as possible, that these poems were opening a door. The new poems in blud left me with that same breathless feeling. Again, I found myself reading them aloud, handing them to friends and my students. Yet, when I sat down to type my questions for this interview, I knew it was impossible to say all I wanted to say—how to describe all that these poems bring forth in me: sorrow, heartbreak, awe, kinship…and always surprise. Finally, I settled on some questions and what follows are Rachel’s eloquent and evocative answers, though they would have been this regardless of what I had asked. And, perhaps more important than any perfect word I could come up with to describe this collection, is this: we need these poems and I am so grateful to Rachel for writing them.

 

All we misfits, weirdos, black sheep, outcasts and witches who have managed to crawl out of the mud and hold our faces up to the light are family.

Continue reading “‘Our survival deserves a dirty prayer praising our divine faults and everlasting selves.’ – Rachel McKibbens Interview for Burning House Press”

Hi-Vis Press Podcast – Interview With Miggy Angel

Hi-Vis Press interviewed Burning House Press’ chief Arsonist Miggy Angel – Covering the subjects of art, recovery, class, mental health and addiction, and his journey from South London to become a writer and poet – check it out here! Xx

 

A Burning House Press Interview With Lydia Towsey

Lydia Towsey interviewed by Trevor Wright for Burning House Press 

 

lti01

We first met at the launch of the Refugee anthology, Over Land, Over Sea. Poems for those Seeking Refuge (Five Leaves Press 2015). What was that project like for you?

It’s been very positive – a great idea. As an ordinary citizen, especially, or even in our current political climate, it’s easy to feel powerless. Ambrose (Musiyiwa) whose poem The Man Who Ran Through the Tunnel stimulated the anthology) thought this would be a way to mobilise lots of voices, not just from Leicester but from across the country and the world. Continue reading “A Burning House Press Interview With Lydia Towsey”

3 Poems by Debra Watson

A Woman Needs A Coat

 

A woman needs a coat

And a hat

And a roof

A woman needs a friend

And an enemy Continue reading “3 Poems by Debra Watson”

diisonance – experimental/collaborative poetry project/performance – Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, 23rd June 2017

Continue reading “diisonance – experimental/collaborative poetry project/performance – Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, 23rd June 2017”

The Arsonist Magazine Launch Party Thursday 22nd June 2017 @ The Chameleon Arts Cafe Nottingham (- in pictures words and film)

arsonistlaunch22.6.1711arsonistlaunch22.6.1717arsonistlaunch22.6.1716arsonistlaunch22.6.1715arsonistlaunch22.6.1710 Continue reading “The Arsonist Magazine Launch Party Thursday 22nd June 2017 @ The Chameleon Arts Cafe Nottingham (- in pictures words and film)”

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