The Legacy of Unus Annus

Unus Annus Youtube channel

My essay “The Legacy of Unus Annus: Ephemeral Art in a Cyberpunk World” was recently published by Interstellar Flight Magazine. The essay takes a deep dive into Unus Annus and how it intersects with our cyberpunk world and traditional art forms, such as shitposting and ephemeral art.

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.

TWELVE Now Available for Preorder!

Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm

Life has been pretty overwhelming of late, so much so that I haven’t had time to announce some pretty exciting news.

My new chapbook of prose poetry — Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tale — is available for preorder at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Twelve is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Bewitching and beguiling, this short series of linked poems takes the reader to the underrealm and back, following the stories of twelve princesses and their life after the magic shoes.

“Andrea Blythe’s collection of the retold (and often feminist) Brothers Grimm fairytale, ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses,’ is a breath of air at the bottom of the ocean. It’s not only fresh, but it’s so different and unique that it deserves multiple reads. One of my favorite lines in the book is also something we should all ask ourselves, ‘Do you mean it?’”

— Joanna C. Valente

Honestly, it’s been a delight working with Interstellar Flight Press to bring this chapbook into being. From the editing process to the cover design to the layout, this has been a wonder collaborative process, resulting in a book that I’m incredibly proud of writing.

Twelve is scheduled to launch this September (assuming all goes well, considering the current world situation).

Preorder and Get Swag

If obtaining a copy of my shiny new book is not enough of an incentive by itself, Interstellar Flight Press is offering swag to the first 50 people who preorder. The swag bag includes gorgeous red-edged, hand-numbered broadside with lines from from the book, as well as stickers and various surprise items.

However, if you can’t afford to purchase the book, I totally understand. Times are tough right now, after all.

Buying a book is not the only way support authors. So, here are a few other ways that you can help out:.

  1. Shout Out the Book – Tell your friends about it, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. Word of mouth is major ways that people find new books.
  2. Request the Book at Your Local Library and/or Bookstore – Asking for the book at a local store lets them know that there is interest in the book. As a result, they’re more likely to stock it on their shelves. Same with libraries.
  3. After You’ve Read the Book, Leave a Review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Elsewhere – As with all of these suggestions, leaving an honest review out there in the world helps spread the word about books.

Thank you so much for being a part of my community, for reading this blog, and for providing what support you can along the way.

May you continue to survive and thrive

A Bit of Good News

Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

Days pass strangely of late. I move through the rooms of my house in all the normal ways — eat food, watch TV, work, read, or clean — and yet there’s an oddness in every peripheral.

Time passes — quick, quick, slow.

Nothing is normal — and it’s hard to know how to feel when nothing is normal.

Today, I get to announce the wonderful news that Twelve, my chapbook of prose poems based on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” will be published by Interstellar Flight Press later this year.

I’m delighted — of course I’m delighted. Though some small part of me wonders if, considering everything that’s going on in the world, all the stress and doubt and fear, whether I should be subdued in my excitement, more respectful of those who are struggling right now.

But here’s the thing, I think the world needs good news. It needs victories great and small. It needs celebration in whatever small spades that life can offer.

So, I’m thrilled and excited and overjoyed to announce that I have a chapbook coming out this year. The cover is beautiful with art by Yana Germann and the layout is stunning. In fact, when I first saw the combination of fonts and illustrations combined together with the words I wrote, it was so beautiful I started to cry. It feels like a “real” book. And I’m so grateful for the amazing work that Holly Lyn Walrath and her team has done to make Twelve into the best possible book it can be.

I’m also overjoyed that folks whom I respect in the poetry community have also said lovely things about Twelve.

“Andrea Blythe’s collection of the retold (and often feminist) Brothers Grimm fairytale, ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses,’ is a breath of air at the bottom of the ocean. It’s not only fresh, but it’s so different and unique that it deserves multiple reads. One of my favorite lines in the book is also something we should all ask ourselves, ‘Do you mean it?’” — Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea and editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault

“Hearkening back to when Grimms’ tales were less fairy, more formidable, Andrea Blythe offers a rhythmic, alliterative retelling of traditional stories that reveal a stark imbalance between genders. An engaging and eerie tribute to the young girls and women who read, dance, and keep things clean, Twelve does exactly what her storyteller suggests of her characters: it ‘see[s] the truth beneath the pretty surface.’” — Christina M. Rau, author of the Elgin Award winning Liberating The Astronauts

Twelve will be published on September 7th. Pre-orders for Twelve will open up around June.

For those interested in receiving a digital review copy of Twelve for review, the chapbook is now available at Net Galley.

I have no idea what the world is going to looks like a year from now, a month, a week, tomorrow — but I do know this: I have a collection poetry forthcoming. It’s a collection I’m proud of, and I’m elated to be able to share it with the world.

Do you have any victories to share? Any good news big or small? I would love to hear about it and join you in the celebration.


More Good Stuff

New episodes are up at the New Books in Poetry podcast. Despite a number of technical difficulties, I had a delightful conversation with Octavia Cade about her book, Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press, 2019).

My co-host Athena Dixon also released a new episode, in which she speaks with Sarah Adleman about her book The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes (Tolsun Books, 2019).

People are recreating famous paintings, and its impressive and stunning.

Artist Ellen Jewett creates a Menagerie of Animals Covered in Surreal Landscapes of Flora and Fauna.

 

Reflecting on My Work in 2019

I tend to start off each year with high hopes for what I’ll be able to achieve — and 2019 was no different. But looking back, the first half of the year was a struggle for me. Having set myself a single goal for the year, I was pushing and punishing myself to finish a novel that wasn’t connecting for me. That frustration overshadowed a lot of my work and my perception of my value as a writer.

When people asked me what I was up to, I often answered that I was hermiting — which sounds like a purposeful withdrawal from word in order to delve into self reflection. However, in reality, I was hiding, too timid to come out of my shell.

But recent months have been more positive. Letting go of the need to finish the novel was the wisest decision I made, providing a huge sense of relief. Subsequently participating in National Novel Writing Month and allowing myself space to dive into a new story and just enjoy the process of writing was a giant boon for me. The work was no less difficult, but the joy of writing was more present.

And then, I recently learned that Corvid Queen nominated my short story “How Bluebeard Ends” for a Pushcart Prize — a delightful acknowledgement for a story that was rejected numerous times before finding a home. (Here’s all the wonderful works Corvid Queen nominated.)

These recent wins have provided me a different perspective on my year. Looking back with a more positive lens, I can see more clearly the huge amount of work I’ve done.

I had three poems published this in the year — “Belatedly, The Refusal”  (Glass: A Journal of Poetry), “A Little Background Information” (Cotton Xenomorph), and “Bride of Frankenstein: Our Lady of Rage” (Star*Line). I’ve also received an acceptance for a project coming out next year that I can’t quite announce yet.

I’ve also done a tremendous amount of work on my blog, publishing around 70 posts. Among these, I’ve conducted 15 interviews with poets — seven Poet Spotlights on my blog and eight podcast interviews for New Books in Poetry (the fact that I started cohosting a podcast alone is a wonder). Not to mention the number of other blogs, newsletters, poems, stories, and projects that I’ve have been and am continuing to work on.

In the midst of all this, I took three major trips this year to Venice, Iceland, and a family trip to Alaska. All while consuming an enormous number of books, movies, tv shows, games, and podcasts.

I’m grateful for this year. I’m grateful for words — those I’ve written and those I’ve read. I’m grateful for the breath in my lungs, for the rain pattering outside my window, and for the cozy sweater wrapped around me. I’m grateful for making it through the adventures and struggles this year has brought me — and I’m grateful to you for being here to share the journey.


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New Poetry in the World

I’ve had two new poems published over the past couple of months, each appearing in two journals that I respect and admire. “Belatedly, The Refusal” appears in Glass: A Journal of Poetry and “A Little Background Information” in Cotton Xenomorph.

Both of these poems are part of The Poeming project, in which over 50 poets were assigned one of Stephen King’s books and tasked with writing 31 found poems pulled from its pages. I was assigned The Plant, which I’ve continued working with of and on ever since. A number of the poems from this project have since been published and I’m starting to see the shape of a manuscript coming together.

Check out other poetry I’ve published here.


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