Monday, January 25, 2010

Philly Independence

Philadelphia will never become a literary center in America until it creates and asserts its own literary identity and ceases to be dominated by the mandarins and monopolists of New York. Right now many of the writers and most of the literary power centers (see Free Library) are completely under the thumb, mentally and psychologically, of the New York machine mindset.

Philly writers need to change their servant-to-the-status-quo mentality. Soon, a pillar of the media machine will be based in our town. The cultural ground is shifting. THOSE WRITERS who don't see Philadelphia as a center equal to New York-- a newer and better center-- will miss the future.

I'm doing my part by establishing Philly as home base of a retooled short story art, beginning with the "American Pop Lit" blog at

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Overdog Cities

ON THE EAST COAST in trendy neighborhoods one senses the difference between intellectuals here-- narcissistic poofs-- and those in Detroit. Many in the east seem more like chic Europeans than Americans. It's true: too much of today's U.S. literary scene is badly out of touch with this country. There's much delicacy present but not enough red-blooded American writing.

My aim is to put the American back in American literature.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pop Stories

See my new blog, "American Pop Lit" at

home of the new pop short story.

Note: For the new blog I'm LOOKING FOR WRITERS and would love to publish writers from Philly.

Gesture Politics

IN CATCHING UP with emails I'd neglected during a short illness, I noticed a discussion about protesting America's wars. Such actions have no impact, but serve as a form of self-advertisement for the participants. I marched in several protests in 2003, and realize now it was all smoke, useful today only as a way of saying, "I was on the right side."

The better way to influence the system is to target, and if possible take over, the system's power centers, as I sought to do through the Petition to PEN at

PEN, after all, is nothing but gesture politics; standing up for dissident writers halfway across the globe while ignoring dissident writers at home. Further, PEN's protests against select targets like Iran provide cover for the very imperialist wars and actions that writers are upset about.