Wrapping up the #MormonPoetrySlam

In case you haven’t been following the Mormon Poetry Slam at home and have an interest in Mormon poetry (I mean, who doesn’t, right?), here’s an update (which I initially posted here):

The final performance in the slam—which I’ve been hosting on FireinthePasture.org and which as far as I know is the first online competition of its kind—posted last Friday. (You can find the event archive here). Now it’s time to determine the winner of the Audience Choice Award and we need your help with that because, well, the participants need the audience to vote. So, if you would: Take several minutes to consider the slam performances, then vote for your favorite before Wednesday’s end (voting rules are outlined below). For your consideration and reviewing pleasure, here are the fourteen entries, listed in order of appearance: Continue reading “Wrapping up the #MormonPoetrySlam”

Review: With a Title Like _Monsters & Mormons_, How Could You Not Have Fun?, Part One

It’s taking me a while to get through  Monsters & Mormons, not because it’s not super enjoyable (because it is!), but because it’s a pretty long book (which, to me, is no flaw. The upcoming Saints on Stage: An Anthology For Mormon Drama which I edited for Zarahemla Books is a behemoth as well). Also when I finish a short story, I feel a temporary sense of completeness, so the book doesn’t always draw me back like a novel does because I’m not left “hanging” so to speak. So I’ve decided to break up my review of Monsters and Mormons over a few different reviews so I can write while the stories are still somewhat fresh in my mind. It will also allow me to address the short stories more individually instead of as a blurred whole.

First, my overall impression of Monsters & Mormons: it’s a winner. A big winner. As some one who has lived in imaginative waters since he was a child and hasn’t been afraid to invite his religion to play in those waters with him, I totally dig projects like this. Now, I’ve never been much of a horror fan, especially when it leads to copious amounts of blood and gore. I mean, like, yuck. Not my thing. However, I do love ghost stories and supernatural monsters (I keep wanting to read some H.P. Lovecraft), and, if it doesn’t lead to too much gruesomeness, I can definitely enjoy stories like this. This is definitely not something I would suggest to some of my less adventurous or conservative thinking family and friends, but it’s something I would suggest to the imaginative Mormon who doesn’t mind mixing fantasy and religion (and I know a number of non-Mormons who would get a kick out of it!) . So let’s get to the individual stories in the first part of the collection:

Continue reading “Review: With a Title Like _Monsters & Mormons_, How Could You Not Have Fun?, Part One”

More Monsters & Mormons admits

I’m pleased to report that Theric and I are making progress with our reading and decision making for Monsters & Mormons. And we are proud to announce another round of admits. As with our early admit class, these aren’t the four that are the most awesome to the exclusion of all other stories (they are pretty awesome, though), and they don’t necessarily bump any other, similar submissions out of the pile, etc. etc. They simply are the next four that we want to announce and thus give you another glimpse of the range and depth of this anthology as it begins to come together.

The next four admits are:

  • The novella The Mountain of the Lord by Dan Wells — an action-packed, western/horror/superpowers hybrid set in pioneer times. Some of you may already know quite a bit about this story from Dan’s blogging about it. Well we got to read it. And it’s in.
  • The short story/historical Mormon mash-up “George Washington Hill and the Cybernetic Bear” by George Washington Hill and EC Buck — a fascinating retelling of an actual pioneer journal account with a Monsters & Mormons twist to it. And semi-inspired by Kent’s AMV post.
  • The short story “Recompense of Sorrow” by Wilum Pugmire — we have graciously been granted permission to reprint this finely-crafted story that brings a bit of Joseph Smith’s more mystical side in to a classic tale of horror that is firmly situated in the Lovecraftian tradition that Wilum so successfully inhabits as a writer (see comment 11 at that link).
  • Two poems by Will Bishop — a pair of poems that deploy the language and imagery of genre to explore aspects of modern Mormon life. You may recognize Will’s name from his participation in the FOB Bible.

Congratulations and many thanks to our next class of admits.

And to report: we are very much enjoying reading though the submissions. We’re not even close to being done with the admits yet. Sit tight everybody. Theric and I are working as fast as we can.

And I know I’ve said this before, but you all have so totally validated the concept and then some. It has been an intense few weeks (with more to go), but very, very gratifying.

Payday Poetry: Moses and Aron by Will Bishop

I think we should celebrate the free-ebook-ing for ebook week of the Fob Bible by featuring a poem from it. So here it is:

Title: Moses and Aron

Poet: Will Bishop

Publication Info: 2009, The Fob Bible, published by Peculiar Pages

Submitted by: Theric Jepson

Why?: Th. writes: “.

If Will and I weren’t both Mormon, I don’t suppose I could give this poem as heavily a Mormon reading as I do. To me, this is the Mormon Moses and the Mormon Aaron. It will be fun to discuss why.”

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If Will and I weren’t both Mormon, I don’t suppose I could give this poem as heavily a Mormon reading as I do. To me, this is the Mormon Moses and the Mormon Aaron. It will be fun to discuss why.”

Participate:


Here’s the link to the spreadsheet so you can see what’s already been submitted

Re: The Fob Family Bible, Part II

Note: This is the final part of my review of The Fob Bible, which I began here last week. This part picks up where I left off, which was here:

Within the Mormon context of The Fob Bible, the (pro)creative movement of these “opposite equal” spheres further implies the eternal (pro)creative influence of both male and female Deities over the universe. For if we have a Father in Heaven and if, as Eliza R. Snow reminds us, “truth is reason, [then] truth eternal / Tells me I’ve a Mother there” and that she’s doing more than merely keeping House. Rather, as Nelson’s variation on this theme suggests, she, as represented in the creative power of the moon (which here “lift[s] land” from the earth’s watery void, “set[s] the rain in silver sheets / upon the ocean’s stormy streets,” and places “birds in flight” and fish in the sea) and as the feminine coeval with God the Father, is an active participant in the eternal, reiterative round of creation, a circling “dance” that is more productive of all that is “good,” beautiful, and holy than many of us may care to–or even, at present, can–imagine. Continue reading “Re: The Fob Family Bible, Part II”