понеділок, 22 жовтня 2018 р.


Issue 12 
Ernest Hemingway's "Blank Verse" Elaboration

Brave New Word Issue #12 was a long time coming. Real long time. I first thought about making "Blank Verse"-related something-something in the summer of 2016 when Brave New Word was just an idea in the back of my head. I knew I needed to do something with it but I just couldn't get my grasp on it for some reason. It was just slipping away and showing its gnarly tongue every time I attempted to do something with it. That was until mid-2017 when I decided to make it an Issue of Brave New Word as a proof of concept for further developments. 

But even after that it was a rough ride. Almost immediately after I started to work on this issue - the troubles started. I was out of one job and then jumped straight into another one and that didn't worked out well despite all the effort. In addition to being burned out i was focused on finding another job. And after i've found it - it didn't worked out either and I was out of action yet again even more burned out and exhausted. It was really time-consuming and demotivating time for me. In addition to that I needed to finish my own book which took an eternity already. While i've tried to maintain BNW at that time - i wouldn't say these were the strongest issues. Because of that Hemingway Special was put on indefinite hold for a while. 

Then Matt Margo asked me to take over editorial duties on Ex-Ex-Lit blog. It was a refreshing experience with a completely different pace. And it turned out to be the key to understanding how to pull Hemingway issue off the right way. 

Instead of fully focusing on it and trying hard - i left it to slowly grow in the background. With the hurry and pressure out of equation I've found that the whole process of putting an issue together to be smoother and much more focused.

And now it is finally done.


But why "Blank Verse"? The reason is really simple. It is one of those poems that provide big and nasty sandbox with multiple possibilities to be explored. 

Ernest Hemingway needs no introduction. The king of the less is more school of expression, the man who an attitude and so on and so forth. However, there is one element of his early artistic output that is often overlooked - his poetry. 

Long story short - there is a reason why he focused on prose. While his poetry isn't really bad - there's not much to talk about. It is your standard modernist-infused stuff that was all over the place back in late 1910s and throughout 1920s. Funny thing is that back in the day Ernest declared the novel form dead. Then he read "The Great Gatsby" and changed his mind. The other funny thing is that his prose got more poetry that his actual poetry (by a long shot, to the point you can go fishing for it).

Despite that, Mr. Hemingway had managed to compose one piece of poetry with a lasting impression - "Blank Verse". It is a short poem written in 1916 as as a school assignment that published in November 1917 in a humor column Air Line of a school newspaper Trapeze. 

"Blank Verse" is a five line poem that consists solely of punctuation marks divided by extensive spaces to resemble a legitimate text object. The poem consists of: 

  • a pair of quotation marks; an exclamation mark, colon, coma, dot; coma, coma, coma, dot; coma, semicolon, exclamation mark and another coma.
As you can see - it is obviously a throwaway joke. But in the same time it manages to go far beyond its original intent. 

Conceptually - it is a dig at overzealous readers who don't really care about the poems and just hang around in a self-satisfaction bout for sake of warped joyous overthinking and nothing else. And I guess we can all agree that these folks are somewhat annoying.

But this introduction is running too long already. If you want to read more about "Blank Verse" and my understanding of it - check out my essay about it.

Without further ado - Brave New Word Issue 12 Ernest Hemingway's "Blank Verse" elaboration. This brings us to this issue.

Issue Line-up:


Zoria April (Zorica Petkoska Kalajdjieva) has been writing and being published since she was 7 years old. She is a master public reading evader, she writes in short forms, currently lacking the discipline for a novel. She is writing in 3 languages, reading in 10. She translates between some of those, sometimes professionally, sometimes just to break beauty down to its smallest parts and recreate it. She has published 2 poetry collections of her own, Stars and Sparks of a Dream 2000 and Wordigami 2015, and has been published in various group collections and magazines in several countries and languages, most recently in Japan and Hong Kong.
She holds an MA in English literature and is just completed a research fellowship in Japanese culture and concrete/visual poetry. She is currently a travel writer for several magazines and websites.

Andriy Antonovskiy - One piece to rule them all

Andriy Antonovskiy is a poet from Ukraine who currently lives in Barcelona. He is a strong proponent for Catalan Independence and he considers his primary mission to be building a cultural bridge between Ukraine and Catalonia.

Kim Vodicka - Blank Shakes

Kim Vodicka grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana and received her B.A. in English from UL Lafayette in 2010. She is currently working on her M.F.A. in Poetry at LSU, where she is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant and was Co-Coordinator of Delta Mouth Literary Festival 2012. Her artwork has been published in Tenderloin, and her poems have been published in Shampoo, Ekleksographia, and Dig. Her first book, Aesthesia Balderdash, is forthcoming in June 2012 from Trembling Pillow Press


Daria Zengerstein - Slightly Perplexed

Daria Zengerstein is a high-plains drifter who has no idea why she exists on this cursed earth of this sensual world. But she enjoys having fun and stumbling upon the great something-something causing utter bouts of severe perplexion.

Just like this time.

Fernando Futuro - An OOK interpretation

Fernando Futuro was born and raised in Barcelona. As a Catalan freedom fighter - he is forced to reside in the shadows. But he likes it there very much.
He enjoys doing stuff the other way around because he sees no point in doing the way it was already done before.
You can't find him anywhere and you will never know what he is up to.

Jeff Bagato - Grawlix Grid

A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music and glitch video. His text and visual poetry has appeared in many journals including Otoliths, Ex Ex Lit, The New Post Literate, Angry Old Man, and Zoomoozophone Review. Short fiction has recently appeared in Horror Sleaze Trash and Gobbet. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), and The Toothpick Fairy (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com.