Link Round-up

Feminism, Lit, News, Politics

Everyday Feminism posted this useful guide to listening as a person of privilege and an ally to social justice stuggles. I thought it was a nice breakdown and I agree that to simply listen and learn is valuable and sometimes the most appropriate position one can take. I also found it refreshing that cis white male understood this so well and took the time to write about it.

At Autostraddle, Rose wrote about a recent author interview that, yet again, has sparked discussion of sexism in literature/publication. I find the comparison with the treatment of female writers to that of celebrities interesting. It almost seems as if the same essential double standard exists in everything from entertainment to politics.

Also at Autostraddle: trans* characters in Sci Fi novels and gender studies in high schools (I think this is so rad)!

Do you read The Militant Baker? If you’re interested in body image you probably should!

Did you do anything for Take Back the Night? My school had a really awesome rally!

This bookstore is really ridiculously gorgeous.

20 awesome literary tattoos. 

April 2013: Doors

Readers Write

Picture 6

The winner of April’s door-themed readers write challenge is Jenny Lapekas with her entry titled “Long Stay”. Congratulations, Jenny, and thank you to everyone who submitted!


by Jenny Lapekas

My father begins in the middle of the lot, close to the hangar. He is thorough as he scans the cars in one sweep of his oval eyes. The blue sign seems to sigh from boredom: LONG STAY CAR PARKING. A man’s black Bentley sits dazed, bugs still springing within the vehicle’s frame. This man is a stockbroker who will never know my father’s hand has opened his German-made door. My father’s fingertips are soft pads from years of swimming in chlorine and murky springs, orange shorts and shiny whistle wavering above mud and clay, in search of lost swimmers who have become aquatic corpses haunting the dark waves. These are the same hands that look like maps to me, interstates and turnpikes scattered between cornfields and water, a confusing sort of math.

By the time the man recalls his error, he will resent the ground that passed beneath him.  As he sits at a press conference overseas, he has no idea that my father, the man who collected train sets as a boy, has flicked a simple plastic switch and watched the car’s headlights died down. In my mind, my father sits in his Chicago home, a small boy, crashing his toys together and waving to me from a bright red caboose. The man will return to his hotel and never discover that because of my father, his car will start the first time the jagged key turns, and he will return safely to his family.

My father steps out of the car door, one shiny loafer at a time, positions his captain’s hat, so brave, so pronounced, straight and tight around his head. The golden wings glisten on his lapel as he tosses his heavy coat over his arm and straightens his frame. His tie, the one with small globes and smiley faces on it, escapes from his black jacket and flaps in the warm breeze. My father searches for more twin lights begging his attention. These are the headlights others so carelessly, so humanly, forgot to turn off.


News, Personal

I live in Boston.

Last Saturday, several of my cousins came to visit.  We all grew up not too far from the city — the length of a long commute — but we’d only spent a handful of afternoons there as children: field trips, Disney on Ice, maybe a birthday.  Boston seems like a world away from my hometown.  Though I’ve lived here for two years, Saturday was the first time most of them had come to see me.  In other words, it was a big deal.

So we squired them about downtown, my boyfriend and I.  The seven of us ate Boston’s best burgers, walked past Berklee College of Music and the reflecting pool at the Christian Science Monitor.  Symphony Hall.  The Prudential Center.  Copley Square.

“This is the Boston Public Library,” I said.  The BPL is one of my favorite places in the city.  We were walking along the right side of the building towards the square, on the other side from Boylston Street.  In front stood a giant white tent.  It took us a few minutes to realize why.

“It’s for the Boston Marathon,” three of us sighed, almost as one. The medical tent, where less than 48 hours later EMTs would be treating sudden amputees.

Right now I am in my bedroom waiting for news.  Where I work has been closed today per instructions by police, as well as my way to get there, were it open.  They have asked everyone to stay inside and not answer the door.  Vague sirens in the distance — not sure if this is related or unrelated to the fact that law enforcement are on a manhunt for the second suspect.  Probably unrelated; the suspect is supposed to be in Watertown.  But he’s got a car.  But it’s unlikely he would head back into Boston, isn’t it?  I don’t know.  I am afraid.  Sad.  Stunned, again.  I felt that I needed to say something about this, but I have nothing.

For everyone in the area, stay safe. For others, please donate to the One Fund Boston — it’s raising money for the bombing victims and their families.  (A friend of mine has decided to run a half-marathon over the summer to raise funds for the charity; if you’re interested, here’s her pledge page.)

Other things people have written about the bombing at the Boston Marathon:

Weekend link roundup!


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


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 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…

March 2013: “Clean”

Readers Write

Picture 6Here’s the winner of our Readers Write column for March, for which the theme was “clean.” Amber Shockley, thank you for submitting this poem.


Amber Shockley

Believe me,
I would scour my whole body
if I thought clean would become a curse
I could live with. No more dirty soles
or skin collected beneath the nails.
No dust, no dander – a wonder,
the bleached, plucked skin. I would
do this. Believe me?
Like Jesus’ flesh refined to a whisper
of thin wafer, blood juiced down to
a pierced grape’s single tear. Instead I
Repent, Repent – Rinse, repeat.
Slough and pumice.
I soap my breasts and sex,
fingers collect the feel of hair,
moles, send them to my brain’s sensors.
I recountcant some sin.
Somesintimes I nibble the pink
oval of glycerin, sulfate in my hand.
Sometimes I press the wash rag in
my open eyes, so they sting.
I wonder how I got so dirty,
a girl who made it her life’s journey to stay
kind and clean.

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!

Some things are afoot

Lit, News

Hey writers/readers!

Submissions for our Summer 2013 issue close TOMORROW AT MIDNIGHT, y’all.  You have until 11:59:59 on this dear Friday, March 1 to send us your fiction, creative essays, poems, artwork or photography to [].  After that, we’re closing our doors to submissions for two whole months, until May 1; we learned with the last sub round that it (almost immediately) grew difficult to read through and weigh the subs currently under consideration while collecting myriad subs for the next issue.  All four of us have day jobs; we don’t have the time, sadly, to keep rolling journal submissions the way we have in the past, not now that Broad! has grown so big.

That being said, we are instituting a monthly, themed readers’ column on this site.  If Broad! is a community, it’s one of everyone –– not just us editors yammering on.  We’d like to see your creative writing featured on the blog!  Send us fiction, CNF, or poetry under 500 words to within the timeline specified (usually a week) and it might end up featured here.  This month’s theme is “clean”; please send your piece to us under the email subject “Reader Column Submission” by the end of Friday, March 8, 2013.  The selected pieces will be put up on the website in the second half of the month.

Let’s say that fiction, personal essays, or poetry aren’t your thing, though.  Which is totally fine!  They’re not everyone’s thing.  But book reviews, somehow, seem to be read by everybody and anybody.  Do you ever find yourself drifting into a haze when thinking about a recent plot twist in the book you’re reading?  Did you love (or hate) such a book and now can’t stop daydreaming about the lead character?  If so, you should write us a book review.  Email us with the review and book details; your thoughts could end up on our front page slideshow!

Happy submitting, everyone!