Coming soon for 2018 on BHP – guest editors/open submission calls/and books books books…
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.
The Arsonist Magazine Edition 01 – available to purchase here
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Arsonist Magazine edition 01 – featuring flammable materials from 30 international writers artists photographers – Coming Soon
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.
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 FOR THE 1ST EDITION OF THE ARSONIST MAGAZINE NOW OPEN – SEND US YOUR BEST – CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU MADE X
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.
FRANKLIN HIRAM KING WRITES A BOOK CALLED “THE SOIL”
The one who begs
to be no more
that his wife’s mouth
may be more
than the dust
she swallows trailing
the dry seasons.
It’s simple that way.
into the whole
of the universe. It
does that every time.
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”
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
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.
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.
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”