Creativity & Mental Illness: The Last Works of Sylvia Plath, Sarah Kane, Ian Curtis, Anne Sexton

All four of these creative humans made positive use of horrific experiences. They produced beautiful work that will last longer than their natural lives ever would. Yet there is always that question hanging over their work: “Was it worth it?”

Proactive Poetry: Puma Perl's Retrograde

Puma is New York City. Puma is why New York City is cool. I read her first full-length collection Retrograde (great weather for media, 2014) on the subway, while listening to The Cure, walking around LES, and wandering at Coney…

#WhyIStayed, #WhyILeft: Why Do We Have To Keep Explaining Ourselves?

I’m mad that there’s no #WhyMenHit hashtag (no, not all men hit, and yes, men are sometimes the ones being hit), where psychologists versed in DV share information to raise social consciousness. I’m mad that there’s no #WhyIHelpedHerLeave hashtag, where supporters, family, friends, and DV shelter staff could be the ones saying things like, “I could tell she was struggling financially, so I helped her find a job as a first step towards leaving” and “I met her for lunch twice a week so we could talk without him being around, because he isolated her from everyone who might be able to help her”—statements that would illuminate the complexities of DV situations and demonstrate compassion that readers could emulate.

In Conversation With Francesca Lia Block: Beyond The Pale Motel

by SARAH HERRINGTON “You can talk about all aspects of sex and death in this world, but love still remains a monster that scares people away. I don’t know why. Maybe because we all secretly want it so much. Or,…

Alt Lit Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry: Roggenbuck, Lin, Smith/Trull & “Sad Girl” Misogyny

“You should rape me out of spite,” said Dakota Fanning. (Lin 9-10)

Self-Publishing Poetry & Creative Independence

Recently I turned to self-publishing for my own collection of poetry called “Catharsis”. I tried to publish it traditionally but got responses demanding I tune down the explicit mental health themes the collection contains. Editors were requesting that I gave my poetry a more ‘positive’ slant. Bearing in mind the collection was intended to express the anguish of ongoing mental illness, I was unwilling to do this. So after a period of careful consideration I decided to self-publish the collection exactly how I wanted it to be. Creative freedom must be one of the key motivations for anyone self-publishing.

30 Latin@ Poets/30 Days: ire’ne lara silva

en trozos/in pieces i never met my mother’s mother concepción liguez lara died the year before i was born my father told stories about rushing her to the doctor to have her toe her black fleshed toe amputated my mother…