Claps and Cheers: The Power of No

by Ramona Pilar, Editor Claps & Cheers

This past January, writer and cultural critic Roxane Gay made the decision to pull her upcoming book How to be Heard from publishing with TED Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

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Noted author and “bad feminist,” Roxane Gay

The reason: not wanting to be published by the same publisher that would give Milo Yiannopolous, noted far-right writer and cultural instigator, a platform.

From a statement she gave to BuzzFeed News:

“I was supposed to turn the book in this month and I kept thinking about how egregious it is to give someone like Milo a platform for his blunt, inelegant hate and provocation. I just couldn’t bring myself to turn the book in. My editor emailed me last week and I kept staring at that email in my inbox and finally over the weekend I asked my agent to pull the book… I can’t in good conscience let them publish it while they also publish Milo.”

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The Animal In Us

by Melissa Chadburn and Lauren Eggert-Crowe

One December night in Culver City, I, Melissa Chadburn, was talking to Lauren Eggert-Crowe about Kate Gale’s Huff Po missive about AWP’s inclusion and Carol Muske-Dukes’ defense of said article. Lauren said she’d wanted to write a response but it takes her time to write these things. I suggested we collaborate on a response to be read aloud at a Red Hen Press event. So on Thursday April 7th, rather than read the essay that Red Hen published in the Los Angeles Review, I read this:

MC:
I used to live in a group home. I used to wander the streets looking into people’s dining rooms with the worst kind of ache. I used to stand around with teenage boys on the street corner waiting for the stoplight to change color. I used to hitch rides through the Palisades to go to my group home for girls by the ocean. I used to worry about gonorrhea and feel like I was the worst piece of shit alive. I used to pat my mother’s hair between my hands like hamburger meat. I used to practice kissing girls by kissing the back of my hand or kissing my own shoulder just to see what my skin tasted like. I used to do graffiti on government issued desks waiting for my name to be called. I used to long to belong to a world of the ordinary.

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A WWS Publication Round Up for January

Over the last month, WWS members have been getting work published and some have won awards. Here is a brief look at what has come out this month.

From Guest Post: The Art of Low Stakes Daily Writing and How It Can Transform Your Year by Li Yun Alvarado:

I’m not brilliant, or inspired, or awake enough every day to write something meaningful, and with Low Stakes Daily Writing I don’t have to be. Each day I connect with the page. Each day I promise a few moments—however brief—to my writing. To myself.

From Melissa Chadburn’s “On Kitchens of the Great Midwest: Why We Read Books” published at LA Review of Books

Kitchens of the Great Midwest transported me to a place I longed for. A place that was warm. The protagonist Eva Thorvald had so much of what I was lacking. She was tall. So to me she had a backbone. A backbone and a discerning palate. We’re talking about a palate that lusted for heirloom tomatoes at three-and-a-half months old.

From “Melissa Chadburn interviews Carmiel Banasky” published at LA Review of Books:

This is a side people don’t get to see of women too often. Women who don’t merge or women who merge and then don’t. Women who are fickle in love.

Or women who love each other so much they think they are in love, or vice versa — who say they are in love, but it turns out to be just a beautiful, if sexless, affection. (I think we see portrayals of that dynamic between heterosexual duos on TV and whatnot, but not between female friends.)

One of my closest female friends and I certainly have had some sexual tension — but I think this is an extension or offshoot of a really lasting, big love for each other.

From “MUSLIMS DIDN’T INVENT TERRORISM” by Lisbeth Coiman published at Hip Mama:

Muslims didn’t invent terrorism
It has always existed since
Humanity created gods. No
Muslims didn’t create fear today
But we want to believe it’s true

From “HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU RAISE A KID IN LA?” by Ryane Nicole Granados published at Forth:

When they hear car speakers blasting so loud that their tiny feet and swaying car seats move in a musical jamboree, I hear a radio rewind of the Watts Prophets, West Coast Hip Hop, G-funk and that wanna-be-b-girl in me. Friday nights at the Good Life Café, schoolgirl crushes cemented by a Fatburger and a meticulously made mix-tape.

Congratulations to Tammy Delatorre for the  winning Slipper Elm’s 2015 Prose Prize for her essay, “Driving Lessons,” which can be read in the latest edition out this month!

Congratulations to Siel Ju whose manuscript “Cake Time” won the Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award!