Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Nijinsky Poems

The Nijinsky Poems by Meg Sparling

In The Nijinsky Poems, Meg Sparling has crafted a sensitive and insightful revisiting of the life of one of the 20th Century's greatest artists. Combining the biographical with the lyrical, Sparling's writing embodies the power and contingency of the dancer. The Nijinsky Poems is a haunting tribute to a delicate and beautiful man, and a nimble, unerring performance of its own.

The artist in light

Nijinsky stands in a room of glass—
the laughter of light around him.
Color is absent here,
but makes its absence known.
(In this room his mind is crazed with color.)
Three chairs line the far wall—
the middle facing opposite the others.
His daughter sits in this chair,
swatting playfully at nothing.
"Papa, a bee, Papa," she shrieks.
Her sound is a fragile surface here.
Silent Nijinsky stands in the light,
clothed in gravity’s love.

Poetry, 19 pp. Click here to download PDF in new window.

Meg Sparling grew up in a small town in northern Michigan. She attended Michigan State University, where she was general editor of Red Cedar Review. She has been writing stories since the first grade; in third grade she plagarized a story about dragons from her teacher, but she promises that everything written since has been completely original. She lives in New York City.

Also by Meg Sparling: "On a recent rainy Wednesday"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Between the Water and the Air

Between the Water and the Air by Andrew Hungerford

By turns wistful and compelling, Andrew Hungerford's one-act drama Between the Water and the Air is the story of a father and a son, a brother and a sister, a girl, and a mechanic. Ken, a former scholarship student with a habit of running away from responsibility, is forced by his father's declining health and increasingly insistent family to confront his sense of displacement within his own life.

"Andrew Hungerford is a writer with a voice you can use to reckon. His play is full of quiet little images calculated to remind you who you were when you were you."
—Michael Burnham, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Between the Water and the Air debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2005, and was performed at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival the following year.

Drama, 65 pp. Click here to download PDF in new window.

Andrew J. Hungerford is originally from the suburbs of Detroit. He earned degrees in Theatre and Astrophysics from Michigan State University and holds a Master's of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is currently an itinerant freelance lighting designer.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Suggested List for Further Reading (part 2)

by Michael Duncan, author of Line Jester and Other Stories

10 things you may have read and should reread

  1. The Waves by Virginia Woolf

  2. Quite simply my favorite novel ever. Experimental, touching, and completely inimitible. A work of artistic perfection.

  3. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  4. The first novel that I know of that I would describe as a 'modern' novel. Strangely structured, contradictory, and leaves one with more questions than answers.

  5. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

  6. The 'first' European novel may be the best, and almost certainly is the funniest. Not in a Shakespeare ha-ha-I-understand-the-pun-he's-making way, but in a look-like-you're-crazy-laughing-aloud-in-public way.

  7. Light in August by William Faulkner

  8. The best American writer of the 20th century, hands-down. And never let anyone tell you any different.

  9. "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor

  10. I could just have easily said "The Artificial Nigger," or "A Good Man is Hard to Find," or just told you to read everything she ever published like I have, because it's all great.

  11. On Photography by Susan Sontag

  12. Everything criticism should be and rarely is: lucid, deep, surprising. You will look at the modern world differently having read this.

  13. Let us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

  14. Agee's baroque, poetic prose humanizes the overlooked Depression-era tenant farmers he is reporting on even more effectively than the beautiful and famous photographs by Walker Evans in the book.

  15. Collected Stories by Jorge Luis Borges

  16. What can one say? I think he will be looked back on in 300 years as one of the 2 or 3 most important writers of the 20th century.

  17. White Noise by Don DeLillo

  18. At first glance it seems dark and apocalyptic, but on a second read, it really stands out as incredibly funny. Seems as if it were written yesterday, even though it's from the mid-1980s.

  19. Frederick by Leo Lionni

  20. This is my favorite picture book, and it will teach your children and remind yourself that art is important!

AND DON'T FORGET Italo Calvino, Jose Saramago, Thomas Frank, Gertrude Stein, W.G. Sebald, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Onion, Imre Kertesz, Gustave Flaubert, Samuel Beckett, and anyone who ever wrote anything in 19th-century Russia!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Suggested List for Further Reading (part 1)

by Michael Duncan, author of Line Jester and Other Stories

10 things that you have not read and should

  1. Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson

  2. Though many breathless blurb-writers have made this almost a meaningless statement, this is truly a novel unlike any other.

  3. An Imaginary Life by David Malouf

  4. Lyrical throughout; one of the most beautiful last pages of any novel I have read.

  5. "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk" by Franz Kafka

  6. A barely-talked about Kafka story that is more touching than any story about the pointlessness of art has any right to be. Plus it has animals, and they're not cockroaches!

  7. A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem

  8. Reviews of imaginary and yet-to-be-written books with a philosophical bent.

  9. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

  10. A Canadian poet on how the page should reflect the ideas on it. Also the best epigraphs of any book I've ever picked up.

  11. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

  12. The secret fountain of the Latin boom. Garcia Marquez and Cortazar approach the quality of this novel on only their best days.

  13. After the End of Art by Arthur C. Danto

  14. How does one make and think about art in a world where so much has already been said, and the pressures to 'make it new' are ever-mounting to ever-lessening effect?

  15. "The School" by Donald Barthelme

  16. He has written so many stories in so many styles that this perfect 3-page jewel has been somewhat lost in the flood.

  17. Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

  18. This oral history of the Chernobyl incident is terrifying and made me cry, and I'm a cold-hearted bastard.

  19. Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata

  20. It is a testament to the power of Kawabata's spare writing style that a story really best covered by Ricki Lake becomes something, well, beautiful and sad.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What comes next?

We hope that you've been enjoying our first e-chapbook, Line Jester and Other Stories. We have some more cool projects in the works, including Between the Water and the Air, a play by Andrew Hungerford which made its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the summer of 2005, and a few surprises involving some poetry either just before or just after the holidays.

We're also working on some special content for the blog, including author interviews, suggestions for further reading, and commentaries from Revelator editors and anyone else we can get interested. (Hey, it's good enough for DVD, so it's good enough for us.)

Between the Water and the Air will be posted by the end of October, and we'll have at least one more e-chapbook before we take a bit of a break in December. Not to worry. We'll come back with a bang at the beginning of January.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Line Jester and Other Stories

Line Jester and Other Stories by Michael Duncan

The stories in Michael Duncan's debut chapbook collection take the reader through surreal landscapes, where art is both necessary and impossible.

In the title story, a performer meets a colleague who shows him how to take his performance to supernatural heights. "On the Death of the Baroness of Silence" presents a musician who considers an offer of financial security in exchange for hanging up his instrument. "Namelessness" and "On the Occasion of the Downed Wire" examine questions of meaning and identity in circumstances that provide neither.

Throughout his stories, the force of Duncan's ideas is matched with an exacting attention to language and detail. The fables in Line Jester and Other Stories offer a bracing reminder of the power of beauty, and a singular, expressionist aesthetic.

Fiction, 33 pp. Click here to download PDF in new window.

Michael Duncan was born in Michigan and attended Indiana University where he received degrees in Mathematics, Economics, and Psychology. He currently works for W.W. Norton and lives in Harlem.

Also by Michael Duncan: "Suggested List for Further Reading," parts 1 and 2

Monday, September 18, 2006

Q & A

Q: What is Revelator?

A: e-chapbooks for the masses.

Q: What the hell does that mean?

A: I'll level with you. We know some people. These people write. Good stuff. It's really hard to get things published (yeah, I know, cry me a river), so we're going to put some of this stuff out there. Free.

Q: Free?

A: Sure, the first one is always free.

Q: What's the catch?

A: No catch. We're betting that you'll like it, and you'll come back to read more.

Q: So this is like one of those record club things, where you'll start mailing me stuff I don't want, and charge me if I don't return it?

A: Nope. We're not in it for the money. We want to get people talking, and maybe if enough people get talking, or the right people in the right places, then maybe you'll see some of these people in Poetry, or The New Yorker, or on the new release table in your local bookstore. You can buy stuff then.

Q: Real publication? You think these people are that good?

A: Who am I, Harold Bloom? These people are good writers. Read them. Tell them what you like and don't like.

Q: Tell them? This thing is interactive?

A: This is a blog, isn't it? Join the 21st century.

Q: How do I keep up?

A: Subscribe to our rss feed ( You can keep an eye on the discussion there, and we'll post original work, in PDF form, every four to six weeks or so.

Q: Anything else?

A: Yeah. Tell your friends.