W13: The Paraliterary Issue
"Interesting, but it's not literature."
The Kootenay School of Writing is seeking submissions for the 13th issue of W magazine, to focus on "paraliterary" or nonliterary writing projects.
The thesis driving W13 is that as the parameters of poetic practice/praxis are reshaped in coming decades, more and more writing that now seems unclassifiable, except as "interesting, but not literature", will become imaginable within expanded, and culturally more pertinent, definitions of poetry.
Below is a brainstormed list of paraliterary possibilities, by no means exhaustive. Note that for the purposes of W13 it doesn't matter if the texts are legit or faked, fact or fiction, personal or impersonal, creative or uncreative.
1. informational texts (surveys; polls; maps; statistical charts; chronologies; diagrams;
2. conspiracy theories; research results)
3. notational projects (diaries; ongoing notes; classroom notes; records; lists; inventories;
4. specialised glossaries and lexicons)
5. annotational projects (annotations of other texts)
6. pseudo theory; pseudo poetics, pseudo philosophy; pseudo theology; pseudo manifestos; pseudo research
7. amateur science and pseudo sciences (investigations into: linguistics; etymology; astrology; astronomy; biology; 'pataphysics or "pataphysics)
8. occult writings (automatic writing; ouija board transcriptions; transcriptions of divinations; predictions; tarot readings of persons or texts)
9. found texts and found text-objects (scans or transcripts of interesting documents; posters; ephemera; ads; letters; notes; signs; report cards)
10. collections of texts (blurbs; phone messages; subject lines; typos in famous works)
11. interviews from interesting social contexts (faked or real; raw transcriptions of speech)
12. documentary writings and mockumentary writings
13. alphabetic projects (new alphabets; spelling reforms; codes; encryptions, stereograms)
14. scriptural projects (i.e., investigations of how scriptural systems and technologies interact with writing)
15. excerpts from artists' book projects (incl text-based photographic projects; photos of book sculptures)
16. photos/snapshots with significant textual content/context
17. conceptual writing; text-based conceptual works
18. uncreative writing
19. text-based visual art
20. outsider writings
21. graphic musical scores
22. certain cut-ups, aleatoric and erasure writings
23. certain visual/concrete poetry
24. certain flarf
25. certain song lyrics (if appreciable as "outsider" texts) If you're still unsure whether what you have in mind or on hand is right for the issue, direct queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can point you to examples of interesting paraliterary works and writers, or talk to you about specific projects and ideas.
In the meantime, the easiest ways to look into the paraliterary might be to pick up a copy of McCaffery and Rasula's anthology Imagining Language, or to check out the Conceptual Writing and the Outsiders sections of UbuWeb. You might also give a thought to the forthcoming anthology Against Expression (Craig Dworkin and Kenneth Goldsmith, eds.) that will feature a historical range of so-called "uncreative" writings, or look at some of the transdisciplinary writings published in the Western Front's FRONT magazine, and in the better indie zines and micro-magazines. You could also look at the found texts in FOUND magazine, or read up on text-based projects by visual artists.
We're looking for new works/texts, but will gladly consider previously-published material, depending on when, where and how it was published. It can be helpful if the work is accompanied by a brief statement of method, means or intent. Send submissions by email or by meatmail to:
KSW - CFS - W13
309-207 West Hastings St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 1H6, CANADA
Submissions due by: December 01, 2006.
If sent by email please write "KSW - CFS - W13" in the subject line
Include SASE and an email contact if sent by snail
W13 pays: $25 CAD per published page, to a maximum of $75 CAD. (And yes, you'll be paid for found texts/text-objects.)
W is published in pdf only, long works are therefore acceptable. There is no particular page-count or word-count requirement or limit, but the budget for W13 is not unlimited. Remember that pdf can accommodate full-colour images, embedded audio files, and weblinks.
Publishing in W means that your work will remain virtually "in print" much longer than in a paper magazine, and will be accessible to a more geographically dispersed audience. Almost every issue of W, including back issues, is downloaded from the KSW website dozens of times per month.
the Kootenay School of Writing's new website www.kswnet.org
Found Magazine http://www.foundmagazine.com