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Arcade Seventeen: A Preview

February 2, 2017


Arcade Seventeen by Megan Giddings from Emily Raw on Vimeo.
The flash stories that make up Megan Giddings’s Arcade Seventeen are anything but quick. Megan guides us through a garden of conspiratorial asparagus, a dream diary of centaur sex positions (his name is Harold; one of her favorite positions is the Sugar Cube), a quick trip through real terrifying America, one high school’s liberation of a dead pop star icon, and maybe a few too many Michael Keaton references (KIDDING: never enough). Megan’s pied beauty is absolutely dappled, glory be, but it also makes clean perfect sense, the way you might never notice an egregiously long nipple hair while your body is busy doing so many other things—and then one day, there it is, almost speaking to you, a strong thick thread you can be proud of. Megan’s prose is very smart. There’s a controlled transcendence that occurs on the page, and you know two things immediately: Megan knows where she is taking us, and she is having a blast doing so. When you read Arcade Seventeen, if you are lucky, you will experience an out-of-body order of things: the wind will seem to sing and its voice will only be mediocre; a deli will chuckle with you about life’s waning possibilities; maybe you’ll get into your car and find yourself in another animal’s heaven. We don’t know what will happen to you, only that they will lift you into the epiphanic, a reality that finally makes sense but for its absurdity of human truth.
On a night back to New York City, I (Natalie Eilbert) sat down with the new co-editor Emily Raw, Siena Oristaglio of The Void Academy, and Dolan Morgan, and together they draw image after image using pastels as I read aloud Megan’s book (as seen in the trailer, above). We laughed and moved with her stories, making concentric circles around the gesture of a plant life. And perhaps that is the most wonderful aspect of Megan’s aesthetic: The gestures of life, the troubles of life within those gestures. It’s as Vilem Flusser defines gesture, “a movement of the body or of a tool attached to the body for which there is no satisfactory causal explanation.” That’s where the joy in Megan’s work is: There is no explanation, there is no big terrible truth. We pass down the memory of cheese from generation to generation. We love the woman across the table from us and that realization is not a conclusion at all. Whatever happens in this life is already happening. But there Megan is, giggling as she assures us that indefinite chaos is probably the best we can do. Make sure you buy Arcade Seventeen right away.
Here’s one story from the book, originally published in New South. Come for the story preview, stay for the conversation between Megan and Natalie.
The New Audacious Line
Dana is obsessed with finding the perfect pink lipstick. She has been watching enough TV for teens and women who like purses to have an idea of what she wants: a pink that [...] Continue Reading »

New Editor Announcement!

January 28, 2017

We are very pleased to announce that Emily Raw, our current cover designer extraordinaire, has been promoted to co-editor of The Atlas Review. Emily has entwined her instinctual sense of composition and artistic intelligence as the cover designer for the beautiful TAR Chapbook Press 2016 titles, and will continue to pursue this work in the 2017 year.
In addition to her colorful and striking femme signature, Emily will help promote textual and visual hybridity in the journal, encouraging us back to one of our original missions, to engage and pursue the kinetic forces that tie together these important mediums of art. We could not think of a better foil to founding publisher Natalie Eilbert, who is perhaps the author of this copy announcement and is in no small terms constantly dazzled and amazed by the depths of knowledge and authority by which Emily formulates and follows through with concepts, ideas, and collaboration.
Rare is it to find someone who so beautifully complements your work ethic with equal measure and force, and yet, when it happens, we must hold that close. Such a dynamic is almost too fantastic to accept as a reality. In a time when reality is itself a trigger for the darkness that informs our future disturbances, this partnership will offer light and resistance as we highlight the works of new, incredible writers and artists.
This is certainly the very best news we can announce. Together, Natalie and Emily will strive to do more with the arts, even and in spite of this uncertain future. Please help us congratulate Emily Raw on this wonderful achievement!
Photo by Emily Raw
About Emily:
Emily Raw shoots artist portraits in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her work focuses primarily on the nature of image, both picture & persona. Eschewing digital post-production techniques for paper, ink, & duct tape, she builds installations that, once photographed, read flat. The only thing dimensional is flesh. Her work has appeared in Der Greif, The Source, The New Yorker, & elsewhere.
“Emily Raw does her thing so well I am now a thing.” —Natalie Eilbert
 
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Liv Lansdale: Thinking of Exit, Civilian, the absence of certain women from civil society seems to be a thru line in your work. How would you describe your relationship with absence?
Idra Novey: That’s been a theme in all my books. With one of the first poems I wrote, I was living in Chile and I was volunteering at a domestic violence shelter, doing a writing workshop there. At the same time I was learning about these murders of women in a mining town up north and no one was investigating it. The media had assumed that maybe all the girls were prostitutes because they happened to be outside when they were murdered. No one looked into it because they didn’t come from wealthy families, their families didn’t have any political influence, no one did anything about these serial murders in this mining town and there were seven or eight of them. Everyone knew this prostitute assumption was an excuse not to investigate. I was reading about it and it was so upsetting. I was working in this domestic violence shelter and taking down women’s narratives, thinking about my own childhood in Appalachia. The town I grew up in was listed as one of the worst places in America to live in as a single woman. All this prompted me to think about how we confine women in definitions that are stifling, both for them and for how we incorporate them into society, how much of themselves we allow them to see.
There was this great piece in the New York Times Book Review about how women who play their instruments behind a curtain are more likely to get a seat in an orchestra. Because they’re missing. We can only hear their music when they’re unseen. I think that stayed with me because it’s something I was trying to write in Ways to Disappear: Once [Beatriz] was missing, people could hear her work, the language. I think it’s very similar to that orchestra.
LL: It’s like Ferrante fever!
IN: If we could see Ferrante and she was my character’s age—mature—there would be no Ferrante fever. Because we would see her physical body. And once you remove the female body, you can see the art. And not think of the fact that it came from a female body that didn’t look like the body you saw on your porn video recently. If you tend to objectify the female body in a dismissive way, then any art that comes from a female body you would also be maybe more inclined to dismiss. So if you were to remove the female body, and all you’re hearing is the music behind the curtain, as I think has happened with Ferrante, is I think what I was trying to explore in the novel and what happened with those orchestra tryouts.
Alex Chee put something up on Facebook that he retweeted—it was a picture of a woman probably in her eighties with white hair and she was holding [...] Continue Reading »

al youm: for yesterday & her inherited traumas
George Abraham is a Palestinian-American poet attending Swarthmore College. He competed in poetry slams including CUPSI (placing 2nd out of 68 international teams), NPS, and IWPS. He is a Pushcart nominee and a 2-time recipient of the Favianna Rodriguez Artistic Activism Award. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Diode, the Margins, Thrush, Apogee, Assaracus, Sukoon, and the Ghassan Kanafani Palestinian Literature Anthology. He hopes to bring awareness to Palestinian human rights/socio-economic struggles through art.
TEACHES OF PEACHES
Diane Exavier writes, makes, thinks a lot, and laughs even more. She hails from Brooklyn and still uses the Oxford comma. Her work has been presented at Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, Independent Curators International, and more. Her writing appears in The Atlas Review and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Diane is currently completing an MFA in Writing for Performance at Brown University.
Spells for Black Wizards
Candace Williams is Head of Community at a podcasting startup by day. By night and subway ride, she’s a poet. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Lambda Literary Review, Copper Nickel, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press), among other places. She’s earned a MA in Elementary Education from Stanford University, a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, and scholarships from Cave Canem. You can find her cuddling her pit bull while subtweeting the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (@teacherc).
Alien Pink
Spencer Williams is from Chula Vista, California. She is currently an undergraduate at University of Iowa, where she is studying English and Cinema. Her work has been featured in Potluck, Ink Lit Mag, Fractal, and Periphery.

Finalists and Semifinalists
This was indeed the hardest time we’ve ever had selecting chapbooks. The manuscripts submitted were all otherwordly good. Congratulations to the finalists and semifinalists, who sure gave us a run for our money. Other publishers, be aware of these tremendous talents!:
Poetry Finalists
These Contracts We Make by Ruth Baumann
The Abject Fingers Are a Swamp of Becoming by Marty Cain
Red//Jild//Prayer by Hazem Fahmy
The End Part Two by MC Hyland
O Nibiru by Kirsten Kaschock
thought sand echo by Tony Mancus
The Last Town Before the Mojave by Nathan Osorio
How to Make an Enemy by Ali Power
Without Them I Am Still a Mother by Sarah Sgro
 
Fiction Finalists
Portrait: Maternal Instincts by Ruth Baumann
 
Nonfiction Finalist
Blueberries by Ellena Savage
 
 
Poetry Semifinalists
Roadside Assistance by M. J. Arlett
girl mute with fish teeth by Melissa Atkinson Mercer
Reading Tsvetaeva on Father’s Day by Chase Berggrun
In Each Pond, a Mirror by Aaron Boothby
Daughter Shaman by Kristi Carter
Animal Mineral by Stephanie Cawley
The Softness by Kell Connor
Luxury, Blue Lace by Samuel Corfman
Porch Thought by Tyler Flynn Dorholt
(in) (salt) (city) by K. M. English
Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett
Case Study on the Afro-Seattleite by Malcolm Friend
Diffusely Yours by Kate Garklavs
Core Collapse by Stuart Greenhouse
Everlasting Youth by Sophie Grimes
Immersion Kick by Jeremy Hoevenaar
A Symbol Pronounced Star by Heather Hughes
Mirrors | Arcady by John James
Autopsy Theater by Erin Lyndal Martin
Honey in My Hair by Livia Meneghin
illus at home by Iordanis Papadopoulos
Not Only My Grandmothers by Andy Powell
settler by Maggie Queeney
Philip Says by Michael Robins
watch out for falling bullets by Phil SaintDenisSanchez
Fat Dreams by [...] Continue Reading »