Showing posts from October, 2008

This week: writer's block and some books.

I've been trying to write. Writers write. Duh.

But the only time I seem to come up with a nice set of words, or a plot line that won't leave my head, I'm either putting little effort in my setting analysis paper, or nodding and smiling at my job. I feel like this -->

School aside, my main problem is that even when I sit down (like now. I could have written the intro to a short by now), the words just stop. I don't know if anyone has this same problem, but it's been getting under my skin since the beginning of October.

Usually I'd turn to my favorite book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, but I shared the writerly love and gave it to another writer, and can't seem to find my back-up copy (yes, I had a back-up copy). There was a bit in this book that talked about how to get the words down when you're stuck, clogged, burnt, and have all sorts of mental constipation. I can't force anything. Right now this is easy. Blogging is not some art form to me (though…

Francine Prose reading @ The Strand Bookstore

At 19.00 on Tuesday night, 07 October 2008, Francine Prose was at the Strand Bookstore, giving a reading from her newly published novel, Goldengrove.

It was a small section of the store on the second floor, in the space where the Art & Photography books were shelved. Zoraida and I arrived minutes before the hour, and found that there were approximately thirty or so chairs available for the reading. We saw that many towards the back of the section were empty, but they quickly filled up a couple of minutes before the start of the event. The owners had placed a platform with a podium for her to speak at, with a sound system used to amplify her voice over the traffic heard from the street.

The event started with a brief introduction made by the owners of Strand, the Basks. They mentioned that Ms. Prose wrote fifteen books of fiction and that she was President of the Important Pen and American Center. The program for the night would be the reading, a Q & A session, and personaliza…

For the rest of October....

If you're a fan of wine, candy, and reading your poetry (or stories) aloud, make a grand appearance at our performance night.

October 30th from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in TH 105.
Bring your poetry, stories, rants and raves.

With special host: Supa Dave Huxtable!
Intermission band: The Lillapucians

Best costume gets a magical(ly delicious) prize!
Since we are a literary magazine, most of our costumes are interpretations of dead writers and book characters. But do not feel limited by these options.

If you are interested in performing, please e-mail us at with your name and what you will be performing.


Faustian Deal Short Story Contest

Our first contest of the year is the Faust theme short-story contest.

The story of selling something valuable (preferably their soul) in exchange for something else has been told many many times. The most familiar story is Marlowe's Doctor Faustus or Goethe's Faust.

And while signing your salvation away to the devil in blood is good and dandy, we're interested in other takes of the story. Some very (very) contemporary examples are: The Simpsons when Homer sells his soul for a donut, or when Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for five bucks. In Disney's The Little Mermaid, Ariel signs her voice away to that big purple sea wench. (Yes, you may find many Little Mermaid references when I post. Don't hate.) Though it is probably the worst movie ever, Ghost Rider's entire plot is based on a Faustian deal. (please do not submit Ghostrider.)

**Do not limit yourself to "the" devil and an old man selling his soul**

Please remember that there is no page limit, but the…

Readings, Contests, and Goodness

Upcoming Readings:

Friday, October 10th, 2008 @ 5PM
Lillian Vernon Writers House
58 West 10th Street, New York City.

Join Jesse Ball and Kimiko Hahn for the Paris Review Salon at NYU's Lillian Vernon Writers House. Poetry editor Meghan O'Rourke and senior editor Christopher Cox will host a reading and discussion of Ball and Hahn's work, which is featured in the Fall 2008 issue.


Saturday, October 11th, 2008 @7PM
@Bluestockings Bookstore
172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington
(One block south of Houston and 1st Ave. F to 2nd Ave.)

Michelle Sewell, ed. of Just Like a Girl
Join a host of the contributors to Just Like A Girl: A Manifesta! a new anthology edited by Michelle Sewell.


Friday, October 17th @ 7:30 PM
Wollman Hall
The New School
66 West 12th Street

An evening honoring poet Jason Shinder (1955-2008), with April Bernard, Sophie Cabot Black, David Bonanno, Lucie Brock-Broido, Carol Muske-Dukes, Vivian Gornick, Tony Hoagland, Marie Howe, Phillip…

Ban This! September 27 - October 4, 2008

"Every burned book enlightens the world."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week is Banned Books Week. An unpublicized week (since we read most of them in high school and English 220 these days) to celebrate and do what you will with books which, at one point or another have been banned and burned from the public.

Keep in mind that (if you're in New York) most of these books are not banned anymore. But in other parts of the country, high school students still need parental permission to read The Giver. I mean, really?

The following list is a compilation from ALA and The Forbidden Library.

The red highlighted titles are books different members of OTR have read.

The BibleHuckleberry Finn by Mark TwainDon Quixote by Miguel de CervantesThe KoranArabian NightsTom Sawyer by Mark TwainGulliver's Travels by Jonathan SwiftCanterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerScarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneLeaves of Grass by Walt WhitmanPrince by Niccolò MachiavelliUncle Tom's Cabin by Harrie…