How to find us at AWP 17

Dear readers, AWP is just 3 days away.

During the book fair, you can find us at table 431-T. We’ll be there with copies of every issue of apt, as well as all our chapbooks and full-length titles. We’ll be giving away some readerly and writerly gifts every day of the conference, and there’ll be a special discount on subscriptions to apt!

Plus, on Friday night, we’re hosting a reading in the tap room at The Black Squirrel. Featuring Joanna Ruocco, Dolan Morgan, Tracy Dimond, Elizabeth Wade, and Krysten Hill! Free food (while it lasts), and blood and roses from our host and EIC, Carissa Halston, who is (more or less) the cat you see pictured below.

15940868_10154049971290689_3850647147929325445_n

And, on Saturday night, immediately following the conference, we’re co-sponsoring a candlelight vigil in Lafayette Square for the First Amendment. Check out more details on Facebook, and if you can make it, we’d love to see you there.

16487557_10212509267197580_848554471933504272_o

Events, old and new!

Clockwise from upper left: Amanda Torres, Brionne Janae, Krysten Hill, and Simone John.

The brilliant poets who read for the HHSGO release party. Clockwise from upper left: Amanda Torres, Brionne Janae, Krysten Hill, and Simone John

If you weren’t able to make it to the How Her Spirit Got Out release party, first of all, we missed you. But secondly, you missed out. Obviously, we’re very familiar with the content of Krysten’s book. But it means so much to hear her read these poems. She shone and showed us all how absolutely necessary her work is. And Simone John, Brionne Janae, and Amanda Torres wowed us again and again.

And if you weren’t able to make it to the Boston Public Library for the first Greater Boston Writers Resist event, Krysten read there as well, and the whole room cheered her on. You can watch a video of her reading, courtesy of WGBH’s Forum Network.

And, if you’re in the Boston area and still haven’t had a chance to catch Krysten reading, you’re in luck! She’ll be at the following events in the upcoming months:

Friday, Jan 27 – 7pm
Belt It Out reading series
Courtside Lounge
Cambridge, MA

Thursday, Mar 16 – 7pm
Reading with Ben Berman
Brookline Booksmith
Brookline, MA

Poets and Pints reading series
Aeronaut (hosted by Porter Square Books)
Somerville, MA
(Date and time to be announced!)

And15940868_10154049971290689_3850647147929325445_n if you’re going to this year’s AWP conference, we’ll be there with you. From February 8-11, we’ll be in Washington, DC for the book fair and the readings. You can find us at table 431-T where we’ll be giving away writerly and readerly gifts, and there will be an assortment of AP editors and contributors managing the table. Stop by to meet co-founding editors, Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff, as well as Krysten Hill, and possibly other assorted AP writers. And don’t forget to come to the tap room at The Black Squirrel on Friday, Feb 10 for our AWP offsite reading, featuring Joanna Ruocco, Krysten Hill, Dolan Morgan, Tracy Dimond, and Elizabeth Wade! Lovingly hosted by apt EIC, Carissa Halston, who designed that poster with the idea that she was the lady and the tiger, and she’d be roaring these writers’ names.

And if you are in town for AWP, you can pick up a copy of our latest print issue of apt, featuring longform stories and poems from Doug Paul Case, Sonja Condit, Gregory Crosby, Krysten Hill, and Joanna Ruocco! We just got copies today, and we can’t wait for you to see them! Here’s a peek in advance. And for those of you who aren’t making the trek, you can of course order copies online.

And, finally, as co-sponsors of Greater Boston Writers Resist, we’re enraged at the latest news from Washington, but that’s been the case since late October. Nonetheless, we’re looking forward to seeing so many of our friends in DC, and to stand beside them on Saturday, February 11 to hold a vigil for free speech. Our EIC, Carissa Halston, wrote an impassioned plea to save the First Amendment in her editor’s note for the latest issue of apt. She wrote it in November, just as the censorship was beginning. And now, with the gag order on climate change, and threats to any White House staff who speak to members of the press, this is a violation of our freedom of speech and our freedom of the press. Violations to the Constitution. It hasn’t even been a week.

Which is to say, DC friends, Baltimore friends, Virginia friends…we’ll see you very soon and we’ll be protesting as loudly and as hard as we can.

WRRR reflection, How Her Spirit Got Out, and apt 7

Readers, we’ve been subsumed by all the post-election news and the scary prospects for our country. We’re trying to find ways to hold our officials accountable for their choices in representing us, and making their voices reflect ours.

But, ultimately, the incoming administration is proving they don’t care about the integrity of a free press or free speech, so we’re going to have to get louder in our support of our ideals and our support of the work of writers whose voices are integral in reminding us what’s at stake: honesty, choice, truth, and our trust in communication.

Last month, we produced White Rabbit Red Rabbit at OBERON. The show was well received, garnering 4 out of 5 stars from Boston Events Insider. From Gwen Walsh’s review: “Jen Taschereau, whose amiable demeanor effectively put the audience at ease during a story which was driven by an oscillation between tension and playfulness…[displayed] true commitment to the act… I can’t stop thinking about this play.”

I (the ever-shifting pronouns–I here is Carissa, as always) have spent the past month thinking about Nassim Soleimanpour’s play. I performed it the first night, then watched Jen and Sam Cha perform is the subsequent evenings. Every night, audience members told me they felt the material was unfortunately timely, in light of the election, which had taken place the week prior. Every night, I watched the play and thought about how careful Soleimanpour was in choosing his words and crafting his metaphors. He told us, in the script, how careful he had to be. I’d originally scheduled the production as a potential vent following the election, as a combination cautionary tale for what we’d avoided and method of girding ourselves for the backlash (because I thought Clinton would win, but I was also aware that violence was coming either way).

But there we sat, too late for caution and its lessons.

Still, I’m thankful for the opportunity to perform and produce the work. Soleimanpour’s methods of coy address gives me hope for methods and means of retaining some semblance of free speech, even as it’s being threatened. And I’m so grateful to Jen and Sam for their bravery, especially in context.

hhsgo_blue_
Other writing that’s buoying me through this wreck is Krysten Hill’s How Her Spirit Got Out, which is finally—wait for it—out, just this week. I’m so proud of Krysten and her collection. She asks the hard questions we need to pose to ourselves and our officials right now, and gives us possible solutions for how black women, indeed any women of color, can navigate a society that makes them feel simultaneously abandoned, controlled, fetishized, and disrespected. And Krysten approaches the work from multiple angles, meaning the book is as funny as it is serious, as artful as it is frank, as much an ode as it is an instruction.  And disarming throughout. Short version: everyone should read this book.

And, rounding out AP news, the seventh print annual of apt is now available to preorder. The issue features work by Joanna Ruocco, Krysten Hill, Sonja Condit, Doug Paul Case, and Gregory Crosby. Many of these long stories and poems speak to the various ways women are discounted and downplayed, and how they counterbalance that disadvantage, which has always been important to me, but especially now.

Since it’s mid-December, this is the time when I would reflect on this past year and mention all the things we’re looking forward to next year, but while 2016 has been a year for the metaphorical books, they’re not any I’d like to read, and though I’d prefer to savor time rather than waste it, the quicker we can reverse the damage of these upcoming years, the better off we’ll be. So, here’s to next year, but more so, all the years that will follow, especially those when we rise again.

Help support Aforementioned

Last Friday, Oct 7, we—Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff; cofounders, editors, and publishers of Aforementioned Productions—were in a car accident. The car was a rental (we were going to a friend’s wedding), and while we have collision insurance, we don’t have liability insurance.

Neither of us have been to the hospital, though we both sustained minor injuries. But one of the reasons we didn’t go to the ER is we honestly can’t afford it. We pay for our insurance entirely on our own (that is, not through an employer).

And we pay for Aforementioned the same way. With the exception of preorders, we pay for everything on our own. We’ve worked for free for eleven years, and we’ve lost money every year. We produced 24 online issues of apt in the first five years, and five years of weekly content after that. Five years of Literary Firsts. Nine books over six years. Hundreds of writers’ work: edited, proofread, designed, packaged, published, hosted, curated. For free.

We know we’re not alone in this. We know how it goes: non-profits are labors of love.

The problem is we suddenly can’t afford ours.

And the fact is: we are Aforementioned. If we run into a financial problem, it makes it nearly impossible to continue funding AP.

Since starting in 2005, we’ve never asked for financial assistance. We’ve never had a fundraiser. We’ve always paid for whatever we needed on our own. Over and above donating thousands of free hours, we’ve paid for web hosting, printing books, paying apt contributors, shipping materials and shipping costs, business cards, advertisements, book release parties, attending trade conferences, exhibiting at book fairs, travel and lodging for both, etc.

At this point, we’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars into AP. And despite that investment, it’s still really difficult even asking for help. We wouldn’t do it if we thought we could avoid it. But right now, we need your support. We need help paying for the projects we’ve committed to producing in the next three months.

Namely, a very large expense: we’re producing a limited run of White Rabbit Red Rabbit at Oberon in November. The show will cost more than $4500 to produce.

We’re also publishing Krysten Hill’s monumental debut, How Her Spirit Got Out, in December. And in January, we’re putting out the seventh print annual of apt.

These are expenses we had accounted for—until last Friday.

To be clear, these projects are going to happen regardless of how much money we raise, but the truth is that future projects are in jeopardy because of the car accident.

We don’t want Aforementioned’s successes to be contingent on our financial situation. We’re looking into possible ways to secure financial stability once we get out of this rough patch, but in the meantime, if you have the means to help out, we’d really appreciate your support.

 

HOW CAN I HELP?

If you’re in the Boston area, the best way you can support us is by buying a ticket to see White Rabbit Red Rabbit. The show is running Nov 14, Nov 15, and Nov 16. Tickets are $20-$30. And if you need a reason to see the show, just check out the press and the cast.

wrrr_afore

 

HOW CAN I HELP IF I’M NOT IN BOSTON?

If you’re not in Boston (or can’t make the show), you can still support us in four ways:

1/You can send us a tax-deductible donation via GoFundMe! No matter how small (honestly), we appreciate every donation. And if you’re really committed to helping us out, you can even set up a recurring payment.

 

2/You can preorder Krysten Hill’s urgent, necessary debut, How Her Spirit Got Out, which Jill McDonough praised: “These poems are a middle finger tucked into the hip pocket of your favorite dress.”

 

hhsgo_blue_

3/You can subscribe to apt: three years for just $30! And issue 7 is shaping up to be great–with work by Joanna Ruocco, Sonja Condit, Gregory Crosby, and more!

apt_halftone_cover

4/You can buy back issues of apt or any of our critically acclaimed, award-winning books!

Anat_cover_excerpt_rgb_web

 

I DON’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME. CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME THE SHORT VERSION?

If you’ve ever enjoyed any of our books, or a story or poem or essay at apt, if you’ve ever attended a Literary Firsts reading, or one of our book release parties, if you’ve ever come to one of our events and had a really great time, we hope you’ll support us now that we need it most.

And if you’ve already ordered a book or bought a ticket to WRRR, thank you. We couldn’t continue running AP without your help.

With immense gratitude,

Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff
Co-Founders/Editors
Aforementioned Productions

The Long Poetry issue of apt is here!

IMG_7228
We’re thrilled to announce that apt‘s sixth print annual, dedicated entirely to long poems, has officially landed!

Featuring work by Dan Brady, Gillian Devereux, Tracy Dimond, Kurt Klopmeier, Peter Myers, Elizabeth Wade, and Matthew Zingg, our long poetry issue is equal parts narrative, experimental, and atmospheric.

Order it directly through us at the apt site or through SPD.

And, while you’re at it, maybe consider picking up a subscription–thirty dollars will get you three years of long-form literature.

Excerpts from issue six coming soon to the apt site–keep your eyes peeled!

The Review Review loves our Long Fiction issue!

Click to buy issue five

“Adeptness is a quality clearly valued by both apt and the writers whose words appear on their pages…these stories are long, but their language is spare, with no word wasted. The disorderly plots need the space to sort themselves out; or to conclude in an even more thought-provokingly entangled manner than they began….In apt, the length of each story has function—the slow building of action and intimate acquainting with character are essential to the sense of dislocation you’ll feel as a reader once the story has ended. Because the experience of reading apt is cerebral, it is visceral, and you will live inside these stories.”

E. Ce Miller has given our Long Fiction issue 4/5 stars at The Review Review! Check out the full review, as well as the kind interview they did last year.

And even though we’re sold out of print copies of issue five, you can still snag one from SPD, or a digital copy directly from us.

Readings, bus poems, apt 5, and more!

Dear readers, we haven’t updated this space in the past few weeks, but for good reason: scads of great stuff happening at AP HQ.

TWTKCD
Dolan has been reading non-stop—in October, he read in Boston at Carissa’s very own Literary Firsts (video), and in November, he read at Baltimore’s Starts Here! series, and a month or so ago, he read part of “Infestation,” for an episode of The Catapult, which you can listen to here. Just in case you haven’t been able to catch Dolan at a reading, he’s got one more coming up in the Baltimore area: Saturday, December 6, he’ll be reading at Federal Dust in Woodlawn, MD.

Also, TWTKCD has been on the SPD fiction/non-fiction bestseller list since it hit shelves in August, most recently at #6, so if you haven’t picked up your copy yet, go get one!

Afforded Permanence
We’re less than a month away from releasing Liam Day’s debut collection, Afforded Permanence! The collection features thirty poems, inspired by bus routes on the MBTA. The book trailer is on its way and we just got the proof for the cover.

IMG_4078

Also, if you’re in the Boston area, mark your calendar for the release party: Thursday, January 22, 7pm at The Banshee in Dorchester. Hope to see you there!

apt5_front_coverapt
We’re putting the final touches on the Long Fiction issue, apt‘s fifth print annual, due out in January. It’s going to be our biggest issue yet (nearly 200 pages!), and will feature work from Colleen Cable, Elizabeth Chandler, Kendra Fortmeyer, William Hillyard, and Matt Jones. The presale will open in the next week or so, but for now, we wanted to share the cover with you.

LONG LIVE LONG FICTION.

Words to live by.

2014 has been a huge year for AP, and it’s not over yet. Looking forward to kicking 2015 off with a bang!

Upcoming events (and working on TWTKCD)

Sexy margin checking.

Sexy margin checking.

Sometimes, the main AP site gets neglected since we’ve got regular schedules for apt and Literary Firsts, but we’re hoping to change that this year. We’ll soon be posting news about Dolan Morgan’s collection, That’s When The Knives Come Down (due Aug 20, 2014) and Liam Day’s collection, Afforded Permanence (due late fall, 2014).

But first, a little news about the book that helps us kick off every year: apt‘s print annual.

We spent a lot of 2013 working on apt‘s fourth installment, which turned out to be our first themed issue. You can get the lowdown on The Surveillance Issue, and read some excerpts, here. And if you’re in Boston, you should join us next Saturday when we’ll be celebrating the latest issue at Brookline Booksmith!

Also, just two days later, we’ll be at Middlesex Lounge for the next installment of Literary Firsts! Featured readers include Alysia Abbott, Rodney Wittwer, Carolyn Zaikowski, and our very own, Carissa Halston.

If you’re not in the Boston area, worry not—you can still score a copy of apt‘s fourth issue from SPD or directly from us, and keep your eyes on this spot because we’ll soon have the first glimpses of the cover of TWTKCD, info on the presale, and all sorts of other exciting news.