Whatever it is, we’re against it: 3am magazine

poem brut in 3am mag

poem by Frances Revel

I was browsing the internet, looking for new magazines to send work out to, when I came across this composite fiction in 3am magazine. I’ve copied the poet’s biography and pasted it below:
Frances Revel is originally from Southern Delaware. She was the winner of the 2017 Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets, and is currently attending the MFA program at Cornell.
Have a look at her work (you can view more of it here) – it’s beautifully crafted and highly original.

Recently, I have been spending most of my time redacting texts and doing cut ups from newspapers and magazines. However, I haven’t produced any composite fictions along the lines of the one above for a while. When I came across Frances Revel’s work I felt so inspired I promised myself I would go back to this type of work. After all, the nights are lengthening and collaging is a great way to pass an evening.

3am magazine published Revel’s work in their Poem Brut section, which is well worth a look if you’re interested in the way poetry and art collide. There’s some interesting and challenging work on their site that really widens the definition of what poetry is and how it looks on the page/ screen. I’ve said before that the internet is a great platform for this sort of experimental literature, primarily because of the speed at which new work can be published, and also because it costs much less than traditional print to publish texts like Revel’s.
3am magazine also publish asemic poetry in their Poem Brut section. I only came across this term recently, after fellow poets Marion New and Sue Riley returned from a writing residential and introduced me to it. I was sceptical at first – a kind of gut reaction that said, ‘it’s not poetry’. Well, maybe it’s not the sort of poetry I’m familiar with, I began to reason, because partly, my love of poetry is to do with its fringe status. I’m often drawn to poems that stand outside the (lyrical) mainstream.

According to Wikipedia, ‘Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content”, or “without the smallest unit of meaning”. With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret.’ Have a look at this example by Nise McCulloch, below (again from 3am magazine).

Wire-Arrhythmia-e1529232503937At first glance it might be writing. But there’s that ‘non-specificity’ of letters, the lack of spacing between what might be words, sentences … silences. I could go on, but I’m going to mull it over and come back to it in my next post. Until then, here’s the biography for Nise McCulloch, which also furthers the definition of asemic poetry (see the phrase ‘non-conventional writing practice‘).

Nise McCulloch is a writer, poet and text artist. She is one half of the art collaboration Liminal – creating multi-layered work that hovers ambiguously between text, image and non-conventional writing practice. She interviews authors, instigates community art projects and curates literary events.






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