Chris Bigelow wants to use Kickstarter to fund his memoir Mormon Punk: From LSD to LDS.
Zarahemla Books owner and Irreantum founder Chris Bigelow has until this Saturday at 8 pm MDT to reach the Kickstarter goal for his memoir Mormon Punk: From LSD to LDS. Here’s his description of it:
As a sixth-generation Mormon and the oldest of ten siblings, I was ordained to the priesthood at age twelve. By then, however, I was utterly bored with the LDS religion–my true inner religion had become Dungeons & Dragons and the rock group Rush. As soon as I left home at age seventeen, I escaped into Salt Lake City’s mid-1980s underground punk and New Wave scene, my generation’s version of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Rather than finding a workable new life, however, I ended up–possibly as a result of taking hallucinogenic drugs–encountering the devil in a harrowing midnight ordeal. My encounter was not unlike the demonic experiences of some early Mormons, including Joseph Smith and my own ancestor, the polygamous apostle Heber C. Kimball. Wanting to protect myself against such malevolent forces, I did a 180 and dove back into the religion of my youth.
$15 gets you an ebook version; $25 the trade paperback. Because of Zarahemla Books, we know Chris can deliver on getting the thing produced — he just needs some incentive to get the thing written and revised, especially now that his work circumstances have changed and he is a freelancer. I haven’t read this part of his story (if you click through there are sample chapters), but I have read some of what he is written about his mission experience, and in my opinion memoir is Chris’s most natural mode of writing. Click through and if you’re intrigued by what you read and want more, back the project.
This is the third and final entry in this series. The first part of our interview was about Ms Hallstom’s novel-in-stories Bound on Earth. The second was about her editorship of the literary journal Irreantum. This third portion is about the short-story collection, Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction, that she edited for Zarahemla Books (review).
Let’s start with what criteria a story had to meet to even be considered for inclusion. What were the ground rules going in to this anthology? Continue reading “Angela Hallstrom and the Art of Short-Story Arrangement”
This is the second in a series. The first part of our interview was about Ms Hallstom’s novel-in-stories Bound on Earth. This is about her editorship of the literary journal Irreantum. The third part, on the short-story collection she mentions below, will appear in A Motley Vision next year.
Describe what you see in submissions. Do you have plenty of work to choose from? Not enough? (You might mention the contest as well, how that plays in.)
We receive more submissions in some genres than others, and I think this has a lot to do with our contests. Over the last three or four years, we’ve received a pretty healthy number of submissions to our fiction contest. Each year we receive between 60-100 submissions, so that leaves us a lot to choose from and allows us to select the best-of-the-best. It’s interesting, though, how the quality of submissions waxes and wanes: some years, we have so many good stories that we wish we could give a cash award to more than first, second, and third place; other years, the committee struggles to come to a consensus on which stories deserve a cash award. Generally speaking, though, there are usually between 12-15 stories each year that are worthy of serious consideration, which is a good number.
The England Essay contest is newer and not as well-known as the fiction contest, but last year we received over 40 submissions, and I was extremely pleased with the quality of essays we received. We could still use a lot more in the way of poetry and would love to see more unsolicited critical essays and reviews.
How much autonomy do you have as editor? Continue reading “Angela Hallstrom and the Art of Short-Story Arrangement”
Zarahemla Books is one of the most interesting publishing ventures LDS literature has seen in a long time. According to its website, Zarahemla Books seeks to “publish provocative, unconventional, yet ultimately faith-affirming stories that yield new insights into Mormon culture and humanity.” That’s a lofty–and complicated–goal that has produced some pretty complicated books.
I’ve only read three of the seven titles released by Zarahemla books–I just started a fourth title–and I have been impressed by the variety of styles, voices, and genres. Each book is unique and has a lot of heart. I suspect this is due largely to Chris Bigelow and his passion for literary creativity. I plan on reading the rest of the titles offered by Zarahemla, but my most recent read, Bigelow’s own Kindred Spirits, was pretty troubling.
Kindred Spirits is ostensibly a love story between Eliza, a Utah Mormon “expatriate” living in Boston, and Eric, a nonmember with more marital baggage than any polygamist could imagine. However, for me, this book felt much more like a train wreck than a love story. Continue reading “Kindred Spirits by Chris Bigelow– a review”