Sunday, August 17, 2014

Is the Phanatic Leaving Philadelphia?


The notion of the Phillie Phanatic leaving Philadelphia has been the subject of conversation since the spring. See this article:

The idea interests me, since my new project, NEW POP LIT—which I’m producing with writer/blogger Andrea Nolen as well as the Friends and Enemies of Pop Literature—needs a mascot!

(See our fantastic site: )

If the Phillie Phanatic is truly available, searching for a better deal, we’d like to make him an offer. Maybe some classic Detroit–style Coney Dogs and the opportunity to watch, um, a better baseball team. (And by now he must be tired of cheesesteaks.)

Of course, since the Phanatic is a native of the Galapagos Islands, there’s the question of possible travel restrictions on his visa.

“Rate This Story!”


One of the features of the New Pop Lit website will be “Rate-This-Story” as part of our Interactive page, which is located in a side room of the New Pop Lit “Coffeehouse.” First up is short story writer Lance Manion with his “how a story fails.” What is this guy talking about? Click on the link and see.

(Scroll down for more Interactivity.)

Kudos to NPL co-editor Andrea Nolen for the striking look she’s achieved—and mucho thanks to Mr. Manion for courageously contributing his story!


(This week’s NPL Feature Story coincidentally is also about a writer: “Harry Pinker Does It Again” by Corey Mesler. It’s also something of a short detective story. We are, after all, a pop lit site.)

Thanks. Happy reading.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Pop Lit Is Here!


Get the New New hyperreal hyperexciting pop stories art ideas mascots games the new entertaining literary web site. Surf the New Literary Wave.

Has the New Pop Lit era begun?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Terrific Story Writers

IF our task is to discover the best pop short story writers, we've already located two of them: Jessie Lynn McMains and Ian Lahey. Read their work NOW, "Insect Summer" and "Matt Murphy Private Eye" at New Pop Lit:

We're finding good writers but we want more of them!

(Take our poll at


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Pop Lit Is Coming!

WHAT is that appearing on the horizon, in the distance but moving steadily closer? Is it ISIS? Omar Sharif in “Lawrence of Arabia?” Are they good guys or bad guys? Do they carry destruction or renewal?

It’s NEW POP LIT! Launch date is in four days. Time to get on board as a writer, artist, reader or game participant. (Yes, we will have an interaction section.) What should the New New in literature look like? Will it lean more toward the literary or pop? Can we rescue the short story from its doldrums, and thereby reinvigorate literature as a whole?


Please answer the current question at our Coffeehouse feature: “Does NEW POP LIT Need a Mascot?” Do we? If so, what should it look like?

Also, please take our poll, “Pop or Literary?” placed directly beneath the mascot post. Both can be accessed here:

We have one must as a new literary site: That everyone have fun.

Monday, August 04, 2014

What Is Art?

Probably as a reaction to the unparalleled horrors of a world gone berserk, the post-World War II generation had a passionate commitment to art. Especially to the beauty of art, as shown in these clips from the 1948 film THE RED SHOES. Note the color and emotion—it’s likely the most beautiful movie ever made.

Note the attitude of the young people in the story toward the ideal of art—real art.

The question is whether members of the millennial generation can approximate this ideal; this commitment. As co-editor of a new literary web site I’ll settle for a handful of them—writers and artists willing to break all bounds to create the otherworldly. Ultimate art which exceeds expectations, which reaches deep into the human soul.

A crazy but necessary goal.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Locating Talent

The first question: What’s talent?

For a new project, NEW POP LIT, we’re receiving a number of submissions which fit into two categories:

1.) Masses of run-on verbiage. The ex-zinester syndrome. Much of it is good, but needs to be put into a structure.

2.) Writers with too much structure. Everything is given from one viewpoint, fitting into a narrow, solipsistic world. The writers and their stories take no risks.

We want explosive writing, but we want it to be tightly compressed, jammed into the confines of a plot, which will make the writing all the more powerful.

We want structure, but we want the writing within that structure not to be careful and timid.

Our goal is to reinvent the short story art.

Launch date: August 16.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hype: Onstage or Off?

Howl Photo

The question is whether it’s easier to hype something when it’s not seen—or to use all current media tools and techniques which show the consumer everything?

Back in the day, promotion used to include an air of mystery.

Some say the basis of charisma is mystery.

A test case is the Underground Literary Alliance’s “Howl” reading/protest at Columbia University in 2006. Here’s an article about the event by establishment writer Rachel Aviv:

The article is fairly dismissive of the ULAers, yet captures some of the excitement of the affair.

Now, here’s video of the ULA that day, the first part of things anyway, our drinking from pitchers of margaritas and our own impromptu reading outside.

Which is more effective—the article or the video?