surrealism Archive

The Object in Writing and Art

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
I learned how to write by going to art school and becoming a visual artist. Color, light, perspective, scale—I use these same visual tools in my writing. But of all the practices I use as an artist, the practice of using objects has helped my writing most.

An Animating Strangeness

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I can’t resist impossibilities in fiction. Of course, a story’s fabulism is no guarantee I’m going to love that story in the end—but if a first line promises me a new world, I’m going to keep reading.

“I was a house / I was a witch” : Muriel Leung’s “A House Fell Down on All of Us.”

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“I was a house. / I was a witch” declares the middle stanza of Muriel Leung’s “A House Fell Down on All of Us” from the newest issue of DRUNKEN BOAT. This poem, in my reading, functions to present intermingling transformations that perform whatever an opposite of distillation forecloses.

On Magic

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Magic in literature causes problems. It has always bugged me, just a little, that at the end of all the sublime comic mix-ups and supernatural complications in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we’re left with an imbalance in our two happy couples: one pair has been reunited by the reversal

Interplanetary Postcards: Lessons from the Martian School of British Poetry

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Emerging in the late 1970s and already diminishing by the early 1980s, Martianism was a short-lived yet influential movement in British poetry. Principally associated with Craig Raine and Christopher Reid*, it derived its name from the title poem of Raine’s second collection, A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (1979),

Town of Shadows

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Town of Shadows Lindsay Stern Scrambler Books, 2012 96 pages $12 What: a debut prose-poem novella Who: the eponymous town of shadows And: its cast of shadowy characters, including a rug doctor, a lepidopterist, bureaucrats, a bodiless mayor speaking from a gramophone that sputters ash, a child with an

Surrealist Writing Rule with Comic Addendum

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In my last couple of years at the University of Houston, I twice got the chance to teach an undergraduate creative writing class with Antonya Nelson. The students were all hand-picked and their talents ran over them like… You know those scenes where the horses on a stage coach