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“She Begins Again To Live in the Past”: On The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras

I don’t know how to write about Lol Stein. I’ll start there, with an admission of my own limitations, a confession that any review that I write will fail to encompass all that I felt while reading it and all that I feel all these months and years later. Anything I write about it will be mired in my own history and my own memories.

I hate writing reviews because words never touch the experience of reading a book. This review can’t make you feel what I felt, holding the book in my hands, discovering the words on the page, all the moments in which images and scenes have flashed in my mind. But I want to say something about this book. I have so much that I want to say.

Continue reading ““She Begins Again To Live in the Past”: On The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras”

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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)”

The Arsonist Magazine Editon 01 Now Available For Purchase!!!

The Arsonist Magazine Edition 01 – available to purchase here

Image of The Arsonist Magazine Edition 01
Flammable materials from 32 incandescent international poets writers artists and photographers.

Featuring the best poetry, flash fiction, photography, art, interviews and features from around the world, including the UK, Japan, Canada, USA, Malaysia, India, Philippines, Sweden:

stephanie roberts – Saquina Karla C. Guiam – Penny Goring – Adrianna Robertson – Anneghem Wall – Dawn Fredericks – badpoem – Dean Lilleyman – Antony Owen – Aina Izzah – Bruno Neiva – Paul Hawkins – Keith Ford – Joseph Ridgwell – Dhiyanah Hassan – C. R. Resetarits – Rob True – Sophie Pitchford – Jamie Thrasivoulou – Martin Appleby – Liz Zumin – Siddharth Dasgupta – Ben Williams – Caitlin Meredith – Adam Steiner – Jim Gibson – V.M. – Fredric Nord – Mark Goodwin – Hiromi Suzuki – Trevor Wright – Howie Good

The Arsonist Magazine Edition 01 is a 92 page full colour/b&w matt/gloss perfect-bound A5 magazine (this is a limited edition and, being the inaugural print publication from Burning House Press, is sure to be a collectible item)

 

The Arsonist Magazine Edition 01 – available to purchase here

 

Arsonist Contents Page

LAUNCH EVENT FOR THE ARSONIST MAGAZINE EDITION 01

The Arsonist Magazine Edition 01 will be officially launched on Thursday 22nd June at Nottingham’s Chameleon Arts Cafe!

The magazine has been printed, is looking fantastic, and will soon be available from our online shop.

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The launch event is free entry, and will feature an open mic, and readings by contributors from the magazine, headlined by Derby’s finest, Jamie Thrasivoulou!

Really hope to see you there – copies of the Arsonist will be available for purchase on the night – see you there! XX

An Interview with Helen McClory

Helen McClory is a Scottish writer whose stories are multi-faceted gems, filled with atmosphere, mystery, and vivid detail. I discovered her work through Twitter and instantly loved it. Her flash fiction is collected in On the Edges of Vision, and you can read some of the pieces at her blog, Schietree. Her first novel, Flesh of the Peach, is forthcoming this year. McClory was kind enough to answer some of my questions. In our discussion, we talk about gender, Sylvia Plath, unlikable women, and much more.

– Caitlin
Nonfiction Editor of Burning House Press

 
 
 

Helen, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I am such a fan of your writing, and I’m so excited to have this discussion with you. First, I would just like to ask you some general questions about life and writing.

What are you currently reading? What made you want to read it?

I’m currently reading Alan Garner’s The Stone Book Quartet, a book ostensibly for children (like most of his work) that is composed of economical, brilliant sentences weighted with folkloric meaning. I loved his writing as a child myself and wanted to revisit his work (though I don’t think I ever read this one) because I’m writing a sort of fantasy/folklore novel myself and thought I’d look to one of the masters of the form.

Continue reading “An Interview with Helen McClory”

‘Walking Towards Death’ – 5 Essays on Mortality by Arathi Devandran

Part 3: ‘Discussing Death’

My first memory of death is linked to a man I never knew. My mother’s father died of a heart attack before I was born; the irony is that I know more about his death than I do about his life.

The entirety of the man has been reduced to a single black-and-white obituary photograph that my mother faithfully keeps at her prayer altar. Then, there are the stories. The stories of what an influence he was in my mother’s life, how he used to work with the British Royal Navy (this was in the 1940s and 1950s, in a pre-independent Singapore that seems as much of a myth as my late grandfather), and of course, the stories about how he died, and how that changed his entire family’s life.

It is funny, what death does. It slowly morphs to form the central narrative of a person’s life, as if only through death did his life gain meaning and importance and weight.

Continue reading “‘Walking Towards Death’ – 5 Essays on Mortality by Arathi Devandran”

The Arsonist Magazine – Coming Soon

The Arsonist Magazine edition 01 – featuring flammable materials from 30 international writers artists photographers – Coming Soon

On Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Yearning

I started reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale after the 2016 election. The book felt timely as we, as a people, confronted an uncertain political future. To be honest,  I was gutted by what happened. I was troubled and grief-stricken that a man who boasted about sexually assaulting women, a man who dehumanized every group of people except straight white men, a man who lied every time he opened his mouth, was elected President of the United States. I know many of us are still reeling, maybe we’re even numb.

I decided that I would turn to literature as a way to cope with what happened. Writers give me hope. Writers are always dangerous because they ask us to empathize with The Other and they engage in complex, critical thinking. At least the best writers do. They challenge the status quo. They force us to rethink our assumptions, prejudices, and traditions.

Continue reading “On Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Yearning”

5th Weekend – TJ Corless

5th Weekend

 

We’re in this old converted fire station and Sean is on stage doing a speech about how he draws inspiration from nostalgia and the working class and his mates and how his art means everything to him and how he’s so happy that we all came out to support him. He finishes and the hall full of a good few hundred people erupts with applause and cheers. He jumps off the stage and these four skinny lads get on the instruments and start thrashing out this punky song. Continue reading “5th Weekend – TJ Corless”

Submissions open – 1st Edition of The Arsonist Magazine

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 1ST EDITION OF THE ARSONIST MAGAZINE NOW OPEN – SEND US YOUR BEST – CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU MADE X

‘Walking Towards Death’ – 5 Essays on Mortality by Arathi Devandran

Part 2: ‘Mixing Memories’

One of my most beloved memories is that of gnarled hands plaiting my long, curly hair, fingers slowly sifting through tangles, gently unfurling errant curls, and tucking them neatly into the beginnings of a French plait. In my ear, the sound of my grandmother’s voice softly admonishes me, telling me to sit still if I want my French braid to turn out properly.

My grandmother was very good at French plaits, and, as her beloved youngest granddaughter, I took it upon myself to have my hair done whenever I could. It was one of the many perks that came with living with my grandmother, who was my principal caretaker during my childhood years, while my parents were off working and doing other adult things.

Continue reading “‘Walking Towards Death’ – 5 Essays on Mortality by Arathi Devandran”

‘Catharsis’ by Dhiyanah Hassan

Catharsis

 

afraidofwords_catharsis01

 

afraidofwords_catharsis02

Continue reading “‘Catharsis’ by Dhiyanah Hassan”

3 Poems by Darren C. Demaree

FRANKLIN HIRAM KING WRITES A BOOK CALLED “THE SOIL”

 

The one who begs

the elements

to be no more

than elemental

also prays

that his wife’s mouth

may be more

than the dust

she swallows trailing

you around

the dry seasons.

It’s simple that way.

Simple compounds

into the whole

of the universe.  It

does that every time.

 

 

Continue reading “3 Poems by Darren C. Demaree”

‘Inevitable’ by Rehan Qayoom

Inevitable

 

The hardest worked waters wore out

The rivers lost in time

Perhaps it is a way to maintain happiness without people

To fly freely from

 

Continue reading “‘Inevitable’ by Rehan Qayoom”

‘A Natural Tendency’ by Christian Patracchini

A Natural Tendency

 

some minds take pleasure in counterpoints

absently answering some deep call

they move in a hushed, ice-clear trance

 

and lucid, inescapable rhythms, low beneath

so to beseech them as full as for it 

the inexorable growth

the signal to a sacred plea… Continue reading “‘A Natural Tendency’ by Christian Patracchini”

5 Poems by Holly Holt

The Heat

 

when we were young

and time was free,

our skin danced in bronze

crafted by sunlight’s constancy

 

our footsteps whispered

in fields of green and the distance

between us was a heartbeat,

caught in the hum of laughter

about something silly, I’m sure,

but now the reason is gone

as much as who we were,

once—when summer knew us best

 

for all I know now is heat,

how to harness it by air conditioning,

while seconds rise like goosebumps

to steal the rest of youth away

Continue reading “5 Poems by Holly Holt”

On Nathalie Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden

Barbara Loden is Wanda, as they say in the movies. Her inspiration for the screenplay was a newspaper story she had read about a woman convicted of robbing a bank; her accomplice was dead and she appeared in court alone. Sentenced to twenty years in prison, she thanked the judge. Interviewed when the film came out, after it had been awarded the International Critics Award at the 1970 Venice Film Festival, Barbara would say how deeply affected she had been by the story of this woman—what pain, what hopelessness could make a person desire to be put away? How could imprisonment be relief?

–Nathalie Léger, Suite for Barbara Loden

 

From an early age, I knew I wouldn’t make it in this world. So I connected with women who, in my mind, shared that feeling. Plath and Woolf with their suicides speaking of a deep pain. Barbara Loden and her film Wanda in which the title character wanders alone and unloved.

 

Wanda is poor and she is voiceless and she is invisible. I understand the not-thereness of her.

 

Nathalie Léger felt a connection to Wanda as well. Tasked with writing an encyclopedia entry about actress Barbara Loden, she quickly became obsessed and expanded her inquiry, writing Suite For Barbara Loden, a gorgeous and dizzying investigation and excavation. Léger delves into Loden’s life, at times embellishing and inventing, and analyzes every layer of Loden’s only film, Wanda.  The book is fact and fiction and memoir and film criticism; it is a love letter to Loden and the singular film she created.

 

Continue reading “On Nathalie Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden

2 Poems by Leanne Moden

When

 

When people use fund-raising and donations,

As ways to pacify their rising guilt.

When trafficking destroys a generation,

And shelters are unfunded and unbuilt.

 

When children under ten are mutilated

For sinful natures they do not possess.

When bodies are both lusted for and hated,

And violence is blamed on how she’s dressed.

Continue reading “2 Poems by Leanne Moden”

‘Variations of Presence’ – an interview with photographer Alexis Vasilikos

Thank you, Alexis, for submitting your works to be featured on Burning House Press! You mentioned in our email exchange that you don’t work in themes or projects, rather that the images arise in their own time – the same goes for the works’ titles. Is chance a huge factor in your photographic process?

Thank you, it’s my pleasure!

It depends what you mean by “chance”, if you mean events that happen by forces that are beyond the control of the individual consciousness then yes, chance is very important. My practice is deeply connected with this surrendering to the flow of life; this is why I mostly conceive photographs as happenings rather than doings. Today I wrote this small note which feels relevant to this question: Creativity is not a doing, it is an alignment with the cosmic unfolding, in which there is no separate doer. Continue reading “‘Variations of Presence’ – an interview with photographer Alexis Vasilikos”

‘The Summer Vacation Spent Indoors’ by Sarah Murphy

What a fine weather today! Can’t think whether to drink tea or hang myself.’ – A.P. Chekhov 

Three weeks after I left school for good, twenty-five Facebook messages exchanged in a group chat and eight texts doled out in the absence of Wifi later, a road trip had been planned for myself and a group of female friends. It was to symbolise the Last Summer: our final farewell to school, with the charm of gin and an Angel Olsen soundtrack which was lacking in the leaver’s dinner, in posing for umpteen photos in a lurid eBayed dress, thinking how much less gorgeous than everyone else I looked, and burying my pride in a disappointing chocolate mousse.

“It’s been a decade,” Jaya said as she arrived with Martha and Tess and the others in the road trip cohort that evening, standing in sundresses pulled over swimsuits, the car-park with the huge marina billboard and dilapidated blow-up cinema beside it looking suitably macabre for a adulthood send-off. “It’s been forever.”

“Since you’ve driven?” I asked.

“Since I’ve seen you guys.”

This was not accurate; it had been four days since our last reunion. But ever since school ended, this was how it was: impossible not to quantify everything in terms of forever. Two dollars for a bus ticket to the ends of the earth, please.

Continue reading “‘The Summer Vacation Spent Indoors’ by Sarah Murphy”

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