Tag Archives: Alexandra McCallum

Bareknuckle Blog Books Press Office Publishing

PRESS RELEASE – The Howl that still shakes the world

image2The Howl that still shakes the world

Bareknuckle Poet launches its first annual anthology at Avid Reader on 9th October with global 60th anniversary celebrations of Ginsberg’s seminal work.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Bareknuckle Books
editor@bareknucklebooks.com
www.facebook.com/bareknucklebooksoz
www.bareknucklebooks.com


Bareknuckle Books’ first annual poetry + fiction + nonfiction anthology launches at 6pm on the 9th October at Avid Reader Bookshop, West End with global 60th anniversary celebrations of Ginsberg’s seminal work.


Bareknuckle Books has gathered together some of the best authors working today in its first annual poetry, fiction and nonfiction anthology; including Robert Adamson, MTC Cronin, Anthony Lawrence, John Tranter and Reg Mombassa. The anthology also features an officially licensed reprint of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl in its entirety.

howl-avid-bkp

 

The anthology launchs at the HOWL & the Six Gallery reading at Avid Reader, West End, which is part of an international series of poetry readings celebrating the anniversary of Ginsberg’s classic. A.G Pettet MC’s the Brisbane event, with readings of new original work by Anthony Lawrence, Bronwyn Lea, Brentley Frazer and Eleanor Jackson.

 

Bareknuckle Books is a daring and innovative new Brisbane based publisher that champions the editorial principle to ‘only publish what we fall in love with’. Launched in 2014 they are already garnering a name for hunting out new work from great writers, both emerging and established.

6x9_Front_Coverupdate20-09

List of contributing authors: L. Ward Abel, Robert Adamson, Venero Armanno, Melissa Ashley, Lisa Marie Basile, Mandy Beaumont, Sally Breen, MTC Cronin, B. R. Dionysius, Maria C. Dominguez, Martin Edmond, Michael Farrell, Toby Fitch, Brentley Frazer, Claire Gaskin, Allen Ginsberg, Matt Hetherington, Eleanore Jackson, Anthony Lawrence, Alexandra McCallum, Tim McGabhann, Laura Jean Mckay, Corey Mesler, Reg Mombassa, A. G. Pettet, Mark Pirie, Rufo Quintavalle, Kris Saknussemm, Gary Snyder, David Stavanger, Todd Swift, John Tranter, Joanna C. Valente, Samuel Wagan Watson, Fakie Wilde, Mark Young, Ali Znadi + More

ENDS

Literary Fiction

A beginner’s guide to book burning by Alexandra McCallum

alexandra_mccallum1

You don’t know why you built a fire. It wasn’t cold. And the strip of grass between the wooden house and the wooden fence was so narrow that you’re surprised you didn’t set something alight. You were talking. About movies probably. And the computer games you hadn’t played for years. And the disgusting instant tea from the vending machines at uni. And aliens. It was about that time you’d used a screeching, moaning internet connection to download SETI at home. Somehow it was going to use your tiny hard-drive to scan packets of data and look for messages from aliens. You didn’t believe in them.

‘Hey,’ he said.

‘Yep.’

‘Do you think we should burn something?’ You feel his fingertips on your cheek.

‘Like what?’

‘A book maybe.’

A rock is sticking into your ribs. You roll over.

‘We could burn my undergraduate studies book. It’s so useless.”

You want to say ‘It’s so fucking useless.’ But you’re weird. And you haven’t learnt to swear yet. Light is leaking out of the house. Bright steady light from the big bulb on the ceiling and the flash-flash of colour from the crime show on TV. It reminds you that your parents exist.

The ink smells fresh and addictive. You flick the pages – all the way from accounting to zoology. Truth is you’d be happy to read a book on any of these things. Well – maybe not accounting. But this isn’t a book. It’s a database from the pre-internet age. The name of the subject, a sentence and a half to get you interested vital statistics like subject codes, number of credit points and semester intakes. By the time you close the screen door and head back onto the grass you’re almost spitting.

‘Forty five dollars I paid. Because they said it was compulsory. And I’ve opened it once. Just long enough to see that those little two dollar handbooks can do a better job.’

‘It makes a nice noise.’ He says – flicking forward to journalism.

‘So does this.’ You grab the book, take a random number of pages and rip.

2

You look up. It doesn’t rip neatly. Rs and Ms and Js are ripped in half and for a second you think you see them shuffling towards the edge of the page and leaping off to reattach themselves in midair. And then you stop. Because his eyes trace a curve in the air. And you know he’s not thinking about his girlfriend.

‘You still haven’t….’. He pauses for a syllable or two and you throw the pages into the fire. ‘have you?’

‘No.’ you look at the grass, at the strange ugly sexy curve of his toes.

‘Do you want to?’

‘Now?’

‘No … but…’And now he is thinking about her. The girl who’s name you only remember when he mentions it. ‘But if by your birthday you haven’t…’

You rip and rip and rip and throw pages into the fire. “OK – yes.”

And we lie down again. The fire dies a little and you can see the curled, charcoal strips of pages and parts of words that didn’t make the jump in time.

You didn’t think once about how burning books. Any book. Was a tradition of dictators the world over. You remember being surprised at the force of your own emotion. You hadn’t known you hated anything. And now that you did you sure what it was you hated.

‘Which book would you burn?’ you said.

‘Mark the Martian. My mum got it for me as a kid.’

‘So that’s where it started? All this searching for extraterrestrials?’

‘No. Not at all. I mean SETI is real. Could be real anyway. But this is just the worst.’

“Come on, you read fantasy all the time. I bet you loved it when you were three.”

‘No. Never. It was just so. Eeeeeeeej.’

You realise Dad is walking towards you. Dad doesn’t give lectures. Not really. But then you’ve never burnt a book before. You sit up. That’s when the first strange thing happened. Because Dad holds out his hand and says,

“I thought you might want something else.”

read more »