What would you do if you knew you only had one year left to live?
This philosophical question lies at the heart of Unus Annus (latin for “one year”), a creative experiment developed by gamers Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) and Ethan Nestor (Crankgameplays). The pair created a YouTube channel and set themselves the challenge of creating one video every day for a year — only to delete the entire channel and all of its content at the end of that year.
Unus Annus is situated within this crossroads of art and technology, embodying fine art traditions through a digital medium well suited to the cyberpunk world in which we live. I had a fantastic time exploring these elements through a ton of research and sheer fascinating.
This is definitely an essay that benefited from working with a great editor at Interstellar Flight Press, who pushed me harder to dig deeper. After all this hard work putting this essay together, I’m so excited to share it with you.
Out of the many writing focused podcasts out there, Writing Excuses has long been one of my favorites. Hosted by published authors working in a variety of genres and with years of experience in the industry, Writing Excuses provides solid and insightful writing, craft, and business advice with a splash of humor — all in bite-sized 15-20 minute episodes.
In 2021, the podcast is focused on presenting a series of master classes covering a wide range of subjects. Most recently, the show wrapped up an eight-episode series on poetry, which was led by Amal El-Mohtar along with regular hosts Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Taylor.
Hi, lovelies. Here’s my month in books, movies, television, and podcasts.
The Route of Ice & Salt by José Luis Zárate presents a loose retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, told from the point of view of the ship captain, who carries the crates of soil from Transylvania to England. Along the way, some deadly misfortune begins to befall the crew.
Told through the captain’s journals, the novella is beautiful written, vibrantly erotic, and deeply unsettling. The captain is gay, harboring secret desires for the men of his crew. But he keeps these desires locked down inside himself in order to maintain his position and safety in the world. He’s a fascinating character, with many layers of depths and his own secret courage. It’s a powerful story. Continue reading “Culture Consumption: April 2020”
My poem “The Third Sister,” which appears in Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale (Interstellar Flight Press), has been nominated for a Rhysling Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. It’s such an honor to be included among the ranks of such amazing poets. You can view a complete list of the nominated poems as well as order a copy of the Rhysling anthology containing all of the works here.
I’m also grateful to the editors of Yes, Poetry, who have named me the Poet of the Month and published two of my poems “Little Ghost” and “The Zenith.”
Visually arresting and utterly one-of-a-kind, Sarah J. Sloat’s Hotel Almighty (Sarabande Books) is a book-length erasure of Misery by Stephen King, a reimagining of the novel’s themes of constraint and possibility in elliptical, enigmatic poems. Here, “joy would crawl over broken glass, if that was the way.” Here, sleep is “a circle whose diameter might be small,” a circle “pitifully small,” a “wrecked and empty hypothetical circle.” Paired with Sloat’s stunning mixed-media collage, each poem is a miniature canvas, a brief associative profile of the psyche―its foibles, obsessions, and delights. (Description by the publisher.)
“When I was doing [Hotel Almighty] and even now when I work on projects, a lot of what I find I’m doing is just expressing a love of reading and of books themselves,” says Sloat in discussing her new book. “I mean, I just love paper. To take a book and be able to make it into something — that was really fun and exciting for me.”
Here’s a sample of Sloat’s writing and art from the book:
You can listen to the interview here or on the podcast app of your choice.