We’re sad to have to say it, but after 8 wonderful years we’ve made the tough decision to shutter Fringe in June, though we’ll keep all 35 issues up and running indefinitely.
Thanks for all your support over the years. As hard as this is, you’re still what verbs our world.
Love and revolution,
Nicknamed “Van Gogh’s little sister” for her lineal expression, bold use of color and passion for painting nature, Fringe 34 artist Tracy Levesque’s work is truly a celebration of existence.
A creator from an early age, Levesque started out as a realistic artist but quickly abandoned realism for a more expressionistic, symbolic style that spoke more to the psychological realities of human existence rather than the more conventional interpretations of them. Inspired by the brush stroke of Mother Nature she began interpreting her world through paint and transforming what she saw into her own version of reality. In love with line and color, Levesque’s paintings are vibrant and full of life – like looking through the eyes of a stained glass window into a world that looks right back at you.more »
Molly Weigel’s poems “Spare the Snowman” and “Le Roy du Sentiment” appeared in Fringe in January. Her translation of the Argentine poet Oliverio Girondo, In the Moremarrow, will be available in April from Action Books, which also published her translation of Jorge Santiago Perednik. Poetry editor Anna Lena Phillips interviewed her by email in January and February.
How did you begin writing poetry?
I wrote collaborative poems with my dad when I was 4 or 5—the kind where you fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise and take turns writing words the other person can’t see. At first, we just wrote single words, and did not look at anything of what the other person wrote. Then we put it all together to see what we had. Here’s a surviving example: “Wasn’t paper windy? / Rap-running rug-leaves rip, / Lick like milk shining silk everywhere.” I still love to do this; I love poetry’s ability to make itself.
Talk about how the crows and Roy Orbison came to converge in “Le Roy du Sentiment.”
I had recently watched the 1988 television special A Black and White Night on PBS. It’s a tribute concert shot in black and white, in which Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou... more »more »
In 2012, after learning that the baby she carried would be born into a life of pain, journalist Carolyn Jones had an abortion right after a new sonogram law was passed on Texas. She went on to write about the horrible ordeal for the Texas Observer. After her piece went viral, we asked her to write about what it had felt like to make such a private decision public. This week, we republish that piece, When Stories Develop Lives of Their Own.
Managing editor David Duhr recently spoke with Jones about the piece, her recent interview with Terry Gross on NPR, and her ongoing reporting on reproductive rights in Texas for the Texas Observer.
Have you been surprised at all by the attention your story has received, culminating (perhaps?) in your recent appearance on Fresh Air?
Yes, I was astonished that my original story for the Texas Observer was so widely read and even more astonished that Fresh Air chose to highlight it a year later. In fact, when the Fresh Air producer contacted me about doing an interview with Terry Gross, it took all my efforts not to fall off the chair!
But between the media interest in my Observer story last March, and the NPR interview this January, I really haven’t... more »more »
Today we are pleased to publish Nalini Abhiraman’s “Feeds,” winner of our inaugural flash fiction contest. About “Feeds,” guest judge Steve Almond says, “Lyric and evocative. A micro examination of how our mind and hearts — our very sense of life — is being shaped by technology. The piece finds the despair lurking just beneath our technological thrall. The prose is poetic in its precision.”
Nalini wins $350. Runner-up G.C. Cunningham wins $100 for his story “My First Marine Corp Essay,” and third place finisher Jeff Bakkensen earns $50 for “Three Speeches.”
A big fat thank you to all who entered; we were honored to read so many fine stories. And thanks to Steve Almond for guest judging. Make it your 2013 resolution to read his books. Seriously.
In the comments section below, let us know what you think of “Feeds.”more »
Billions of dollars have funneled from Super PACs into endless hours of political advertisements since the beginning of the Presidential campaign, yet Mother Nature delivered to the most telling of all messages about the philosophy of each candidate. The response to Hurricane Sandy clearly demonstrates each candidate’s position on the role of the federal government in our lives. Voters who want a glimpse of what to expect the next four years—help from their government or a private industry response—need only follow what has unfolded on the East Coast this week.
Governor Christie, the man who would be running for President had he chosen to do so, was in North Wildwood on Saturday with the mayor at his side urging residents to evacuate. By the middle of the week, the governor and the President toured the disaster area along New Jersey’s barrier islands. The President was at the scene as the disaster unfolded and when the tour wrapped up Christie put politics aside and praised the President for his commitment and caring for the people of his state affected by the hurricane. The President and Christie demonstrated the type leadership that is lacking in Washington.
Conversely, the Romney camp was quick to criticize... more »more »
Tony Leuzzi’s poems appeared recently in Fringe, and his new collection of interviews with other poets, Passwords Primeval, is out this week from BOA Editions. Poetry editor Anna Lena Phillips recently interviewed Leuzzi; here he shares his thoughts on the process of homophonic translation, math-derived poetical forms, heteronormative tendencies in the poetry publishing world, and the new book—which is available on the BOA website.
How did you first encounter Miguel Hernandez’s work?
My initial encounters with Hernandez were through Ted Genoways’s magnificent collection of the poet’s work as translated by him and many well-known poets into English. (Chicago University Press released it in 2001, though it is now out of print and should be reissued without delay.) I had read Lorca, Macado, and Cernuda, but until that time I’d never even heard of this Spanish poet. When I began to read his poems I felt an instant connection to them. Some of those lyrics from The Songbook and Balladbook of Absences, which he wrote in prison, are so stunning! Consider this gorgeous, untitled lyric, translated at http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Spanish/Hernandez.htm#_Toc532737972:more »
Today Fringe reprinted “The Revolutionary’s Wife,” a short story from Issue 5. We asked contributor Rosalie Morales Kearns about her new collection, which includes this piece, her craft, and her next big project.
Tell us about the story cycle “The Wives” in your new collection, Virgins and Tricksters. What made you want to write about wives, and how does this cycle fit into the rest of the collection?
“The Wives” consists of four stories: “The Revolutionary’s Wife” (published in Fringe), “The Pirate’s Wife,” “The Priest’s Wife,” and “God’s Wife.”
It started with pirates. I was copyediting a scholarly book manuscript on eighteenth-century British pirates, and came across a quote from a 1724 book that blamed a nagging wife for driving her husband to piracy! So there I was, red pencil in hand almost 300 years later, wondering, “What did she have to say about that?” I’m pretty sure she never had the chance for a rebuttal.
I didn’t write the story right away, but that irritation stayed in the back of my mind. Over time the idea of a story cycle, with various wives, took shape. As a feminist I’m very aware that women’s voices are absent from history. Women of course had voices,... more »more »
I’ve been publishing ebooks and short fiction under the banner Buttontapper Press since 2011, slowly assembling a catalogue of erotic pieces, including The Vixen Files and The Montreal Guide to Sex. Today, however, I’ve decided to take the plunge and open up the press to outside submissions. Our first project is called DAMNED DAMES, and we’re looking for submissions under 10,000 words.
But first, a bit about how Buttontapper Press works.
Instead of releasing an anthology of unknown writers, willy-nilly, into the world’s e-bookstores, we’re going to take things slow and build up recognition one author at a time. So, when you submit your piece for our anthology, you’re also submitting it for publication as a stand-alone digital short. We’ll publish these shorts as they come in and capture our attention, so although the hard deadline is October 30, it definitely pays to be early.
Speaking of payment, we’re sharing royalties on all titles with our authors. And, of course, you’ll receive contributor copies of all titles in which your work appears.
Intrigued? Great! Here’s what we’re aiming for with DAMNED DAMES:
Our first anthology is all about the ladies. Or, more specifically, the War on Women that is currently happening in the U.S., as demonstrated by... more »more »
In Christopher Weber’s essay “The Great Absence,” this week’s feature in Fringe, he reflects on the now-demolished South Side Chicago projects known as the ABLA homes—and the urban farm that’s being built in their place. We’ve just added some images to the piece: photographs of interns working at the urban farm Growing Power is building on the site of the former towers, and two paintings by Pedro Basantes of the Cabrini-Green projects as they were being demolished. The paintings are part of a longer series; the first (Cabrini-Green #2) has the feel of an old color postcard. Check them out, and let us know your thoughts about the essay in this space.more »
Today in Vintage Fringe we’re revisiting Ian Singleton’s “Résumé Against Boredom,” originally published in Issue 22. We asked Ian a few questions about the piece and about how life has changed since we first published it.
Fringe Magazine: What inspired this piece?
Ian Singleton: The Work theme from Fringe inspired this piece. I’ve had a varied array of jobs, and I had always written about them. Also, at the time I’d been doing a lot of thinking about work. I guess many writers aren’t lucky enough to have only their “work”. Most of us, I imagine, have a “job” on top of it all. I heard about the study in the British journal from a coworker. I was in the lucky position of having scientific proof of everything I was feeling, of the way my job was making me feel. Another answer is that literature has always provided an escape from the humdrum of the workday for me, since I finished high school and worked summers. I remember reading and writing on my lunch breaks, or my whatever breaks, and thinking, “If I only had more time…” Each school year I would become disappointed in higher education. Then I would work some job for... more »more »
Pushcart-Prize-winner Steve Almond will judge Fringe Magazine’s first flash fiction contest. First prize is $350 and publication in Fringe, second prize $100, and third prize is $50. All entries will be considered for publication. Submissions open within a form on our blog that will go live on August 15 and close at midnight on October 15, 2012.
The entry fee is $10, payable via PayPal and submissions must be fiction of 1,000 words or less. The first round of elimination will be blind, with Fringe editors David Duhr and Anna Barto making selections. Steve Almond will review finalists and select the winners.
Successful contenders will appeal to the Fringe aesthetic and our judge’s narrative leanings.
Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, three of which he published himself. His memoir Candyfreak was a New York Times Bestseller. His short stories have appeared in the Best American and Pushcart anthologies. His most recent collection, God Bless America, was short-listed for The Story Prize. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and elsewhere.more »
In this week’s Feature story, Maddie Crum chats with Amelia Gray about her new novel, Threats. What do you guys think of the book? How does it compare to Gray’s flash fiction collections, AM/PM and Museum of the Weird? Do you agree with Gray that it’s easier “to write about things when [you're] not deeply familiar with them”?more »
Regardless the future of the Affordable Care Act—repeal, replace, or remain as is—every American should be grateful to President Obama. If the law remains intact, life will improve for many: those with preexisting conditions, women now eligible for annual well-patient visits and other services, children who will receive immunization and screening for diseases and developmental disorders, and young adults who can remain on their parents’ policy until they reach the age of twenty-six.
These changes may seem abstract to those unaffected, but each can be the difference between life, death and debt. When my kids were in college, I struggled with a decision between buying a high–cost insurance rider for my students, or taking a risk that my young healthy children would remain young and healthy for another couple of years. Fortunately, my risk averse nature won and I bought the policy, because one of my children contracted melanoma, the cost of which could bankrupt anyone with a working-class salary.
If the Act is repealed, the Republicans will have to replace it with something better. This would a shift in ideology on the scale of convincing Washington and Lincoln to switch places on Mount Rushmore, because, judging by their words and actions,... more »more »
This week in Fringe, we’re featuring Celia Lisset Alvarez’s longer poem “Blackbirds.” It’s a nonce sestina and, accordingly, 39 lines long. That’s one line short of our usual minimum for longer poetry. But sestinas feel longer than their 39 lines, and this one is, we thought, especially rich. We’re happy to share it again. For the occasion, poetry editor Anna Lena Phillips asked Alvarez about the poem and her recent work.
Looking at this poem two years after its publication, what comes to mind? Is there anything you’d change? Anything you’d forgotten about and are happy to see?
Every time I think of this poem I still can’t believe Fringe picked it up, or that I wrote it. It’s so risky. So many unexplained words and phrases in Spanish—I left them in out of recklessness. The poem is a rare instance of not second-guessing myself. I “should have” tried harder to explain the words in Spanish, I “should have” tried harder to work with the sestina form, I “should have” done many things, I suppose, but I didn’t, and I’m so glad. I have gotten a lot of wonderful feedback on precisely those aspects of the poem that break the rules. One of my favorite... more »more »
In this week’s moving piece about what it was like to go public about her abortion, Carolyn Jones talks about the importance of first person stories in the political debate around reproductive rights.
With that in mind, Fringe is launching a new blog project. Send us a short something expressing your viewpoint and/or experiences with contraception — a limerick, haiku, six-word novel, or micro-fiction of 50 words or less.
Email submissions to FringeTheMagazine@gmail.com. We’ll post the best — with attribution — on the blog.more »
The author discusses how dreams and reality came together to create a work of fiction.
One night, when I was ten years old, I dreamt about my ex-stepfather. I re-imagined him as a character in a story, floating through time.
As some sort of coping mechanism, I suppose, I used to dream about him a lot those days, and violently.
I hated him. In the dreams, I hurt him. I wanted justice for the damaging roles he played in our lives as husband, father, and stepfather while undergoing treatment for paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, neither of which illnesses I understood at age ten – or any of the ages I had been that decade.
I simply wanted the scale tipped back into place. I thought life should be fair, and I was desperate to see its fairness.
But that one night when my dream was not a nightmare, and my ex-stepfather was a character in a story, a whole life unfolded, backwards, as dreams often unfold – as if chronology or linearity or whatever rules govern how we move straight ahead and forward in this world are not rules at all. It helped me understand him.
His life became mixed with my imagination.... more »more »
When we printed Kim Liao’s nonfiction short short, “How to Be a Good Chinese-Jewish Hapa” — her first creative publication – we knew she’d go on to verb our world. Now a Fulbright Research Fellow working on a book about her grandfather’s role in the Taiwanese independence movement, Kim talked with us about the piece reprinted this week and her research for her book Girl Meets Formosa.
What inspired this story?
So, it’s funny, but Fringe’s call for submissions to the ETHNOS issue actually inspired this piece! I had been working on a few different essays about the difficulty of establishing a multiracial identity, in school, relationships, and as a writer, so all of these themes were in the forefront of my mind. I had also just begun to commit time and energy to working on a family memoir about my father’s Chinese-Taiwanese family, and the long-lost stories that neither he nor I had ever known about. So this was the content.
For the form, I really wanted to try to write something targeted for Fringe, and then shop it around to other places if your magazine didn’t like it! And I knew that Fringe was best represented by sharp, shorter, punchy pieces that would read well online.... more »more »
Rebecca Lindenberg’s poetic debut, Love, An Index (McSweeney’s, 2012), is a meditation on the tenderness and triumph of the human experience. Keenly making use of language, these poems negotiate the emotional and intellectual chaos emanating from an awareness of our mortality. The imagination inhabits the mind through the personal history of words making language and memory echo.
The death of poet Craig Arnold, Lindenberg’s partner of six years, is both confronted and averted in the numerable list and fragmented poems (“Love, A Footnote”; “Fragment”; “The Language of Flowers”; “Tumult”; “The Girl With the Ink-stained Teeth”) interspersed throughout this collection. From the start, the reader glimpses the intrinsic energy of the poetic line; propelling the reader into this collection, the final moment of the first poem, “What Rings But Can’t Be Answered,” is adroitly executed. Perhaps like Lindenberg who awaited a call from her missing lover, the speaker of this poem waits and anxiously considers what will happen “Behind a far-off door, a thought about me is being formed/ out of nothing but light./ And when that phone does ring—”
Dolor, heartache, and misery are gracefully conveyed. In “Litany”, a poem to the gods, Lindenberg pleads:
O you, with glass-colored wind at your call,
and you,... more »more »