Posts

Iliana Kanellopoulou’s Violent Women

Young Greek photographer Iliana Kanellopoulou says ‘guns are for women too.’ Against the backdrop of the anti-austerity protests in Athens, influenced by images of female Kurdish fighters, Iliana wants to photograph a ‘fictional feminist army’. She’s teaming up with other female photographers to create a photo-pamphlet filled with different visions of what this might look like.

 

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Art Brut – Sivan Lavie

We spoke to issue one contributor Sivan Lavie about her work, childishness and outsider art.

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Sappho

Jessica Worden on Sappho

We were casting around for a classic (a Linda Snell-esque word) poet to use in our first issue. It’s always difficult, though – the past. After deliberation, we chose Sappho: the foremost erotic poet of antiquity (imagine how Ovid’d shudder if her work was more than fragment!) We asked Jessica Worden to write about her for us, and she delivered more than the scholarly summing up we’d half-expected and not, really, wanted. Her essay begins

I think of Sappho by the sea. She sings against the noise of the wind and waves crashing, standing on the sand of Lesbos. She knew many forms of love.

And ends

She acknowledges the bitterness of absence in this fragment but pairs it with the perpetuation of desire through the corporeal traces within memory. I think of Sappho by the sea. She sings against the noise of the wind and waves crashing, standing on the sand of Lesbos. She knew many forms of love.

Jessica’s is a beautiful piece, gently lyrical, humble even. She does not force the poet into this or that corner, does not decide what Sappho meant, but shows her to the reader in the palm on her hand: a flower, a weed, a gorgeous blade of grass. By the sea.

– Jago Rackham

Read Jessica’s full article in issue 1: subscribe and support our Kickstarter here.

Azalées Blanches Romaine Brooks

Indolic by Zoe Dzunko

Zoe Dzunko’s has written two poems (Sand Under Nails & Fake Flowers Last Forever) for our first issue; they are gorgeous, rich pieces. Aside from being a doctoral student in creative writing, she is the founder and editor of Powder Keg, an online journal of poetry. It’s definitely worth a look – among other pieces, it has the best prose(ish) poem about (but not about) a dog I’ve ever read. Below is her poem Indolic, which Zoe chose as a good example of her current work. It was originally published in Souvenir.

If we waited long enough
we could witness the body

making new parts, growing
new flesh shapes, hungry

like a goldfish to occupy
negative space. Say, please

grow to the plant you killed,
say please rain to desert

skies; nature’s weird trick
is to force division in the

wrong places. The mould
of wet scabs, the sickening

mass of deadly nightshade,
the vines of veins branching

into new blooms on my
calves. So, you want to talk

about flowers, how knots
of nothing remarkable bust

their way to beautiful; how
skies sweat on them at dusk?

Just their slow centerpiece
death, or that they know when

to die? Talk of how the air
grew ripe at the idea of green,

thick with the rot of sunshine.
The ocean spits up the mess,

leaves it on the shore to dry;
the body of soil, warm enough

to grow explosions. Somehow,
your nose imagined sweetmeat

at the sight of a rose, alone—
some seventeen layers of pink

tongues, licking at the inside
of your computer screen,

the menace of beauty, no violets
to shrink into—I am laying out

for the bees, but they never land
when you want them this much.

– Zoe Dzunko

 

Image: Azalées Blanches by Romaine Brooks, 1910. Brooks was somewhat ahead of her time: a bohemian who indulged in a great deal of what we might call ‘gender play’, dressing her female sitters as boys and vice versa.