Link Round-Up

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On the feminist/political front:

Wendy Davis is incredible.

And Ruth Bader Ginsburg is notoriously so.

At Autostraddle: queer equality must run deeper than marriage equality and the blow to the Voting Rights Act is a critical blow to civil rights.

On the literary front:

An interview with the excellent Roxane Gay.

Fund socially conscious science fiction lit!

Bookworms cope better with “disorder and uncertainty.” 

Queer literary journals Them and Plenitude Magazine both have submission deadlines next month.

And on the Beautiful Things front: America in rivers. 

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Link Round-Up

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VICE Draws Ire by Staging Female Author Suicides Annalisa Quinn, NPR 
Trigger Warning: suicide

The stylist and set designer are women. The models are women. But many famous male writers have committed suicide — David Foster Wallace, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, just to name a few. So why is this spread women only? Is this meant to imply that women are the weaker sex, are frail, are beautiful in their frailness?

I have so many feelings about this piece/this debacle/these issues. I’m not ready to try to articulate them yet. 

To counterbalance that with some actual good art: a lovely story at Recommended Reading:

      Orange is the type of place they recognize. Its downtown is good-natured, doors open, doesn’t judge. There are old people holding hands, and there are children with faces like cherubic peach pies. There is a church on nearly every corner. The cars all stop at the crosswalks and wave pedestrians across. Nobody is in a hurry, but nobody is lazing about either. There aren’t any palm trees. There are maple trees and sycamores. There are valley oaks, blue oaks and black oaks, cottonwoods, aspen trees. She is so sick of palm trees, she thinks, that she could puke. She is so sick of parking lots and freeways and outdoor malls. She is so sick of the dry, flat expanse and how palm trees are just these stupid pillars, holding up the blanched, hot, stupid sky. “I love it here. It makes me want to bake lemon bars,” she says as they walk down the sidewalk. 

 At Tin House: a long-form essay in which Robert Boswell uses the story of how he met his wife to demonstrate different methods of characterization. 

There is a Mystery Book Artist in Edinburgh. 

Heather showed me these Portraits of Grandmas and their Cuisine from Around the World. I think it’s the best thing I’ve seen all week. 

Happy Friday! 

Link Round-Up

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Brittany introduced me to an interesting new writerly blog, MFA Day Job. From their description:

Some of the writers featured here love their jobs. Others are just getting through the day. Some wake up at four a.m. to write, and some squeeze writing time in every few weeks. Some don’t have paying jobs, but depend on parenthood or volunteerism to create balance in their lives. What they have in common, besides a misunderstood terminal (it’s terminal!) degree, is a creative outlook and a belief that their educational background, despite the doomsday warnings, is not a liability.

The New York Review of Books on Wikipedia’s literary subcategories, and their implications.

Bitch Magazine compiled a list of female-hosted comedy podcasts. I’m not familiar with many of these podcasts yet- or comedy podcasts more generally- but this is really relevant to my interests as a broadcast media geek/feminist/human.

NPR ran a piece on the (currently very pronounced) dearth of women in film.
In many, many parts of the country right now, if you want to go to see a movie in the theater and see a current movie about a woman — any story about any woman that isn’t a documentary or a cartoon — you can’t. You cannot. There are not any. You cannot take yourself to one, take your friend to one, take your daughter to one.

 A quick, shameless plug: two more days to submit this month’s  Readers Write!

This post is overdue. Unfortunately, I and the other editors don’t get paid to compile rad webzines in the name of gender justice in publishing– we have jobs and school to attend to. Thus, our blogging opportunities can be sporadic. Somehow, we still find time to read enlightening online articles we want to share with our readership. So here is a link round-up!

Heather sent me a list of career advice to aspiring writers. In general, I take internet lists about LIFE and HOW TO LIVE IT with a grain of salt, but I think this one has some important advice, particularly the last bit.

Malaika at Autostraddle wrote a lovely essay about, among other things, her experience with a publishing internship and how the world tries to tell women (especially queer women and women of color) what they can’t do. “As I sit in my Brooklyn living room listening to the music and smelling the pot, thinking about what an awesome day I’ve had at my internship, I think it’s important to remember to do all of the impossible things.” Running away to Brooklyn, brb.

Here’s an interview with Hunter S. Thompson if you’re into that kind of thing.

The Lamda Literary Awards happened.

If you are a linguistics nerd, this might fascinate you.

If you feel that your tumblr feed lacks literary flair, this blog might be relevant to your interests.

Buzzfeed compiled this list, re: introverts. I realize that not all writers are introverts, but I have a hunch that a fair number of us identify as such. As a textbook introvert myself, some of this resonates with me, especially # 2.

Happy Friday!

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Weekend link roundup!

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No Steubenville coverage this week, but I have been reading about the rape crisis in Syria.  It’s an important story and one that’s been largely ignored — or forgotten? — by the other side of the world even as it’s been happening.

I also did some reading about the trial of Kermit Gosnell and his illegal “women’s health center” of horrors, both via Jezebel’s coverage and The Atlantic.  (TRIGGER WARNING for all links here. I couldn’t finish the latter article; I had to stop when a photo scrolled onto the screen.) I remember reading about this a long time ago, but now the particulars are emerging (slowly, as each media outlet seems to recognize that this should have been talked about two years ago) and it’s horrific.  Which makes it all the more imperative that people need to know about what this man and his staff did.  When reproductive choices are limited by law, that doesn’t allow for a woman’s individual situation (whatever that may be).  It allows for things like this: the deaths of women patients and of innumerable, viable infants.  Obviously, Gosnell’s case is an extreme one, but it’s a reminder that illegal abortions still happen, all over the world.

After those articles, you might need something to decompress:

On Monday, Buzzfeed covered the Trans 100, a list honoring 100 American, trans activists and their work.  It’s the first list of its kind, despite there existing (seemingly) yearly lists for the “best”/”hottest”/”most successful” cisgender men and women in X number of publications at X number of supermarket registers across the U.S.  About damn time trans people had their own!  You can read an abridged version of the list at Buzzfeed or download the full list as a PDF at the second link.  More info on the Trans 100 tumblr.

Buzzfeed also lists 17 Shakespearean insults to use in ordinary life, complete with disapproving pictures of cats.

The DIY Couturier writes on “tips to keep your shit together when you’re depressed.”  It’s easy to scorn yourself when you’re depressed, as if you did it on purpose.  That will only make it worse, in my experience.  I found this helpful; maybe you will too.

And as for lit links:

The Rumpus has an article, transcribed from a panel presentation at AWP 2013, on “Post Black? Culture, Craft and Race in Verse.”  I wish I’d seen this panel. 

At The Atlantic, they renew the debate over the usefulness of teaching creative writing and whether life experience or study is best for writers developing their skills.  Experience, the author argues.  Technical skill is nothing if you have no font from which to plumb.  Your thoughts? Feelings?  Opinions?

And lastly, in other news, have you seen this video?

GIFs for Writers

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Sometimes words just don’t describe our experiences as well as random video clips, and that’s OK, because tumblr has given us #whatshouldwecallme and a variety of spin-off blogs that never fail to amuse us when we should be doing something more productive. Except I don’t think there’s one specifically for writers and MFA students. And that’s a damn shame. So, to rectify this situation:  UPDATE: A reader told us that there IS a gif blog for writerly types: #whatshouldwecallpoets at http://whatshouldwecallpoets.tumblr.com. Enjoy!

That feeling you have immediately after finishing a first draft:

And when you read it again the next morning:

 

When people say they don’t really read books:

When my mom tells me about another writer who sold a break-out Young Adult novel she started on her blog:

Graduating with a degree in creative writing:

When someone I know gets published:

(If he or she is my friend)


If s/he is someone I don’t like:

When someone in a workshop tries something new or experimental:

When MFA students teach Intro. to Rhetoric:

When you send your work to literary journals who have rejected you before, knowing your writing has improved:

And of course…

First Friday Link Round-up!

Feminism, Lit, Politics, T.R., Uncategorized

Greetings grrrls and welcome to the first ever Friday link round-up! This will be a regular feature where we share our interesting internet findings on literature, feminism, the intersection of those things, and also really important videos of cute animals and such.

We at Broad! believe that it’s important to discuss the tragedy in Steubenville, but we also realize that the constant commentary on the issue can be triggering or just plain exhausting for some people. If you are feeling this way, please, in the interest of self-care, don’t make yourself read the following articles.
That said, The America Prospect posted this interesting breakdown of rape culture, “toxic masculinity”, and where to go from here. Mia Mckenzie discussed the complex dynamics of the case at Black Girl Dangerous. At Autostraddle, Carmen Rios posted a very eloquent essay on Steubenville and rape culture; please take the time to sign her petition for the education of sports coaches on sexual assault issues.

Lit links: Flavorwire posted a list of female-focused  “outsider books” as well as one of ladies who should be writing for Harper’s.  Autostraddle ran a review of a new anthology about queer woman poetry collective Sister Spit (who are touring!) and interviewed editor Michelle Tea. The Rumpus reviewed Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of LeavesThat book is cray. Have you read it? We should talk about it.

Book art is a thing. Gorgeous!

This is a bit older, but Creative Nonfiction interviewed Cheryl Strayed and she is full of wisdom, as always. 

Poets read Craigslist posts. 

I am obsessed with mini pigs. 
Happy Friday!

An Open Letter to Gentleladies

Feminism, Personal, T.R., Uncategorized

Dear readers,

Please remember the following:

You deserve to feel safe in your expression of your sexuality.

You do not have to apologize for other people’s violations.

The world will try to make you feel ugly; you are not.

Recently, I was at bar with some friends. I was buzzed and we were dancing. The bar was full of beautiful people. The blacklight made dust motes look like galaxies. I was happy.

Abruptly, a man shoved his way over to me, grinning. He pinned me up against the wall with his ass and started grinding, hard. I didn’t approach him, hadn’t been dancing with him; it was jarring. Out of a combination of drunkenness and anxiety developed from my personal history, I panicked and lashed out. I barked into his ear: “Hey, get the fuck of off me, okay?”

He stepped back, stunned. He looked at me with disgust. He looked offended.

I stood around awkwardly. Eventually my friend and I moved to the other end of the dance floor. I wondered if I had overreacted—I had been dancing hard. Maybe I looked like I wanted to dance harder.  I posed this to my friend and she, of course, called bullshit. “You do not have to apologize. If you were uncomfortable you did the right thing. It’s not about his feelings.”

She was right. I was okay; I’d dealt with this. I had dealt with worse. I wasn’t going let some bro ruin my night. We kept dancing.

Walking home, we happened to pass the same man. He was wasted and apparently pissed. He yelled at us. “You girls are all fucking ugly. Fucking ugly. Especially the one in the middle.” I was in between two friends. We flipped him off and kept walking.

The fact is, I could tell him to fuck off but his words still got under my skin. Ugly. Something to manhandle.

This is how rape culture works. This is how it plays out on daily basis. Bar Bro believed that my rejection justified verbal harassment from him. Rejected, men are socialized to believe, is on of the worst things you can be. So he spat back at me the worst thing that a woman can be: ugly. He wanted to punish me for being sexually unavailable.

And even though I fought back, my internal response was in essence to victim-blame myself. In the same way that I can promote body positivity and genuinely believe that the beauty myth is a load of shit and yet still feel bad about my thighs, I told myself a narrative that I would never tell another woman. As much as I abhor slut-shaming, I seem to have internalized some slut-shame of my own.

If you’ve been in a situation like this, I’m sorry. Use your astute feminist brain to critique it. Don’t apologize. You are in charge. You are beautiful.

❤ T.R.

GO VOTE TODAY.

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This is the second presidential election I have been legal to vote in. The first, in 2008, was my study abroad semester in college and I voted absentee a few weeks before Election Day. (I’ve been lucky to have some amazing experiences in my life.)

So, okay. It’s the day before the 2008 election, and my American flatmate and I are on an elderly bus jolting up a mountain in Sicily. There’s a medieval-era, gated village at the summit and we’re damn well going to see it before we fly to Barcelona the next day. We’ve been trying to catch this bus for three days.

We find ourselves outside the gate with two others, a man and woman about our age. “Canadian?” the man asks, with a strong Australian accent. We explain we are American, actually.

“Interesting time to be an American.”

“Yeah! Tomorrow!” And the four of us laugh awkwardly, thinking of what the next night might bring.

It turned out that the Australians knew a ton about our election. As in, they had been following it religiously online, on television, even on the radio. They knew who Sarah Palin and Tina Fey were. They quoted interviews with Biden that I hadn’t heard of, and I thought I’d been following the election cycle pretty closely. Though they lived more than half the world away — a plane ride longer than a day! — they cared about who the U.S. elected for president. Because it impacted them; impacted their country. And there I was, mortified to realize I was only 80% sure that Australia had a Parliament. I couldn’t tell you any one of their leaders, let alone their prospective leaders.

As an American citizen, you’re raised with this idea that the United States is #1 and the world’s only remaining superpower and the Best Ever, period. Parallel to that is the idea that we should teach other countries how to live, that we’re a role model. Well, whatever others think of us, we are by default influential. The way we take care of our elderly, sick, women, people of color, disenfranchised or disadvantaged, and our citizens that don’t fit into the mainstream heteronormative mold or gender binary: that doesn’t just impact our citizens. It reflects us to the world. If our country is going to be a role model, let’s (re)elect someone who will act like it.

Meet Hannah!

News, Uncategorized

Here’s Hannah, the third and final conductor on our ship of dreams.  Also, she’s a Best New Poet.  Just saying.

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Hello Broad! peeps, my name is Hannah!  I think I will put an exclamation point after my name, just like Broad! does… perhaps this is not a sustainable goal… 
 
To echo the sentiments of Heather, Brittany, and T.R. , it is my hope to do everything in my power to encourage women’s art and writing, and this seemed like a fabulous venue and opportunity for me to do that.  I really believe that it is important to encourage and highlight quality art from a diverse group of people, and it’s become increasingly more obvious to me that our world is a little lacking in that –particularly the world of publishing.  
 
I live outside of Boston with my wife Melissa and we are busy getting ready for the birth of our first child!  Such exciting stuff!  I also teach writing at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, and I’m working on a book of poems about the vice presidents of the United States.  It’s an exciting project, but it’s been taking me a long time to complete.  Poetry is one of my favorite things in the world, along with my wife, my family, my teddy bear, Reese’s peanut butter cups (fresh… stale ones are gross), and being with friends.  I also believe in the Oxford comma and smiling as much as possible.  If you want to know more about me, don’t be afraid to ask; I won’t bite!
 
I’m excited to be able to work with the amazing women at Broad! and looking forward to getting things rollin’.
-Hannah