Thursday, March 31, 2011

Being Deep vs Being Beautiful

I came to a realization yesterday.

After a long discussion with many awkward pauses and subdued scoffs about the literature and whether or not it is capable of being just about a description of an object, place, situation, etc. or if it needs subtext and story and plot and such. I'm still on the fence about this even after our clearly divided conversation but it did make me question how I had categorized what I consider to be great literature versus what I consider to be great art. This particular piece we were deliberating over was super short, to the point, and for the sake of this explanation, awkward.

Brevity as beauty? Perhaps. I know that in film and other related media I down right salivate over the use of an every day object (place, situation etc.) being portrayed in a mundane but almost tragic way. Case in point - my love for Sofia Coppola. That woman can make a damn fine movie filled to the brim with beautiful, serene images of just... life. And what is so beautiful about that? Well, have you looked around you recently? Life IS beautiful. Every bug, every bruise, every scale, every scathe, every scent.

Why shouldn't we take pleasurable appreciation in the everyday things?

But that being said should art and literature be held to different standards? Part of me wants to say no but being faced with such an example it appears a little hard to swallow. And to be honest, I don't like the feeling of second guessing my well established categories of what is what. Some would argue though that great art is supposed to do just that, make you question.

-Amber Keeney

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Got plans April 26th?

Join us for a College Hour presentation by distinguished author, poet and former American River Review staff member Jodi Angel. Jodi will be doing a reading on April 26th at 12:15, in Raef Hall #162.

In the mean time check out Jodi Angel's book, "The History of Vegas" at Amazon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just a few days left...

Looking to submit to the 2012 American River Review?? Make sure you get those pieces in by the 31st of this month if you do because after that we have to save them until after we go to print and they will be considered for the 2013 issue. We have to cut off the flow of poetry and prose at some point and that point is fast approaching.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And so it begins...

In all the hustle and bustle of mid-semester madness we sometimes forget why we are here. Every year we bust our knuckles into a bloody literary pulp in an effort to produce something beautiful. An anthology of things that are worth a damn. It gets poked and prodded until it all squeezes into its neat little bindings and we slap a glossy cover on it. We groan over this painstaking, nitpicking, labor of love that we go through. But, we do love it. We do. It's the thrill of the hunt that drives us. To find the next great writer hidden in the masses that is American River College. We sift through submission after submission looking, searching for the greatness we so relentlessly pine for. When you see it, you know it. Sometimes it can be explained, sometimes it can't. It's just something that happens. Like the combustion of a machine starting up, each cog and gear moving in sequence all working to propel the magazine forward. It's the hum of that machine that you hear right now, and you'll be hearing it all semester long and well into the summer while we labor away behind the scenes for you. Because that's why we're here. For you.