Featuring... The Dodos, Cooper Campbell, Ben Giles, Zoe Suen Hazel Cills, Meggie Royer, and more
Work by... Nen August, Anna Gregg, Dennis Auburn, and Sofie Olejnik
Atwood Magazine issue no. 2//winter 2013 â€œfrosty lawns and fireside chatsâ€?
Masthead Editor-In-Chief Liza Pittard
Creative Director Anna Gregg Features Editor Annie Stokes Photography Director Anna Peters Music Editor Hope Mackenzie Literary Editor Jeannine Erasmus Artwork Erin Borzak, Alexia Blackhurst Photography Nen August, Dennis Auburn, Anna Gregg, Sofie Olejnik Literary Kelsey Ispen, Simon Bestalel, William Tolbert, Adonicca MeChelle, Emily Misurec, Matt Wimberly, Ramna Safeer, Kassia Shishkoff
Special Thanks to... Ashlin Royer, Madi Davis, Kylee Burgess, Blair Alford, Emily Alford 01
In This Issue of Atwood 04 Team Spotlight 05-06 Letter from the Editor 07-12 Nen August 13-16 Jenny Brown 17-18 Literary 19-24 The Dodos 25-30 “A Lost Tale” 31-38 The Lost-Anna Gregg 39-40 Thoughts on the Team 41-44 Interview: Hazel Cills 45-54 Ben Giles 55-60 Literary-”From Treća to Trieste” 61-78 Frozen Truth-Sofie Olejnik + Literary 79-84 Interview: Anhvu Buchanan 85-92 Zoe Suen of“Fashiononymous” 93-102 Dennis Miles 103-106 “Call Me Old-Fashioned” 107-114 Cooper Campbell 115-122 Meggie Royer 123-124 Literary 125-128 Robbers on High Street 129-130 Credits 02
Team Photography Director
â€œWinter is my favorite season. Thereâ€™s something about escaping the freezing cold that makes you love more and try harder.â€? Annie Stokes is a writer and musician living in D.C. She graduated from Lynchburg College in 2011 and now spenders her days drinking coffee, making stories, and over thinking twitter.
Spotlight â€œI love winter because of the way it rubs you raw. Freezing limbs and that burning sensation as ears and fingers defrost, I always feel purified, somehow more ready than before to start again at the turn of the new year. It was that feeling I wanted to convey in my prose for this issue, a visceral response to the atmosphere of the season, and perhaps a slightly less festive, but still beautiful perspective.â€?
Anna Peters is going to graduate from college with two bachelors degrees in less than five months and has absolutely no idea what she is going to do with either of them.
L e t t e r f r o m t h e E di to r
This issue’s theme is all about winter. It’s about the physical beauty of winter—a soft blanket of snow, the ambiance of a room illuminated by the flames of a crackling fire. It’s about the feelings that winter brings: solemnity, somberness, but also a kind of renewal and growth despite the sometimes-barren landscape.
To me, frosty lawns are about an unconventional beauty and fireside chats are getting to know someone. This issue includes all of that and more.
â€œI wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?â€? -Lewis Carroll 06
photos by Nen August
by Annie Stokes
Jenny Brownâ€™s sublime recreations of flora and fauna suggest an intimate, confident knowledge of the natural world. Yet for this artist, her pieces serve as a coping mechanism as she confronts her fears and uncertainties. The delicate, vintage-looking pieces seem almost magical, perhaps because they originated in the mind of a young girl trying to find her place in an ever-changing world. As an adult, Jenny Tell our readers a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and how did you become involved in art?
I grew up in a military family, meaning we moved every few years and had to start new each time, which was difficult. Art was a wonderful hobby/constant companion that allowed me to create the worlds I wanted to live in. I was especially interested in making maps of imaginary cities I might want move to as an adult. Although I pursued art throughout high school, I didnâ€™t originally go to college for art. It was my introductory painting classes at Bennington that made me realize I wanted to/ could make art my career. It was a wonderful revelation!
What influences have really shaped your personal aesthetic?
Philip Guston was one of my earliest influences, I was just captivated by the awkward shapes and rich colors in his work. As I’ve continued through my education, I’ve found inspiration many works by Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Francesca Woodman, Giorgio Morandi, Odilon Redon, and from 18th and 19th century botanical illustration. My style is also shaped from my love of thrift stores and flea markets-finding old photos, paintings, scrapbooks and greeting cards. But most importantly, it’s nature that inspires me, and because I’m fearful and shy of nature, I am constantly trying to make sense of it. In my quest to understand, I’m continually creating my own interpretations of plants and creatures. I have a deep interest in trying to create entities that exist in a harmonious natural world. 14
â€œI try to express my beliefs that what may be considered old and forgotten can again be new and relevant...â€?
Tell our readers a bit about your art -- what is your process? What mediums to you use? My process has as much to do with collection as it does with creation. I spend a great deal of time searching for materials to use in my collages. I love the search! And often the materials Iâ€™ve collected sit on my work table for months, and it will be a melding of different found pieces that inspires me to develop a collage further. Almost all of my current work is a combination of found materials, gouache, ink and pencil.
Do you have a favorite piece? Right now, the collage featuring the â€œstarfishâ€? is my favorite. I have a terrible fear of the ocean and the creatures that live in it, and I feel like this collage conveys me making peace with the starfish, discovering and sharing its beauty and inner light, radiating from the depths of the cold ocean. What do you hope to convey with your art and what are your plans for the future in terms of your career? I try to express my beliefs that what may be considered old and forgotten can again be new and relevant, that the darkest parts of nature can have hidden light, and that harmony can exist between elements of nature that may not necessarily seem to fit together at first glance. With time, I hope to keep creating deeper and more complex collage work, and would love to have the opportunity to teach again and continue to 16 collaborate with
i. it hasn’t snowed yet and i think it’s my fault, for letting my dreams go all lukewarm, they pour from the steeple of my skull, a chemical storm, the cloudscape you thought was so beautiful you had to snap a photograph turned to acid rain. i’ll melt you from the inside out, i’ll open your bones and i’ll set you on fire, and we all need the winter, we all need ice, we all need to be frozen. a chill that will settle our inferno eyes, white to cover our bruises, cold white to begin again. ii. goosebumps like so many pebbles after the tide recedes, trembling in the memory of the water, of being held, carried. love swept and tumbling over one another back towards the fleeing wave. your tide covers my body at night and when day comes i too try to follow you back, sand skin washed raw and ripped away from its ocean. iii. grey, grey and not quite white yet, because still it rains but does not snow. the warmth of a earth wooed by its sun is fading, retreating to the spaces under covers and between people in love. and we hide and wait for the grey to become white. to be erased and to begin again. (ap)
The Dodos by Hope Mackenzie introduction by Annie Stokes
Were it not for a serendipitous ‘friend of a friend’ encounter in 2005, The Dodos might never have formed. Thankfully for listeners, they did, and guitarist/ vocalist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber have been producing dreamy, pulsating, bright sounds ever since. The Dodos are a beacon for quirky and independent musicians (and their fans) everywhere -- they have some unorthodox playing techniques, and they weren’t signed to a label until after they’d released two EPs and become touring veterans. Let’s thank the music gods that Long and Kroeber met and shared the same sense of integrity and stamina. Listen to some of their tracks and you’ll see why. Logan gave us the answers to our questions about The Dodos. 20
1. How has it been returning to a duo after Time to Die? How has it been returning to a duo after It seems like forever and a day since TTD, but through all kinds of perTime to Die? sonnel changes it has been good to see that as a duo we can still make It seems like forever and a day since TTD, but music that challenges us and gets us stoked. through all kinds of personnel changes it has been good to see that as a duo we can still make 2. How does the songwriting process go? music that challenges us and gets us stoked. For the upcoming record there was a lot of starting from scratch, which can be terrifying. Just a beat or a guitar riff and hoping the other person How does the songwriting process go? can get into it and take it somewhere. Luckily these little ideas snowFor the upcoming record there was a lot of startballed into something. ing from scratch, which can be terrifying. Just a beat or a guitar riff and hoping the other person 3. What do you turn to for inspiration? can get into it and take it somewhere. Luckily Lately, Ride the Lightning. these little ideas snowballed into something. 4. Whose decision was it to start off No Color with “Black Night”? What do you turn to for inspiration? I don’t recall, but it doesn’t seem like it could have started any other Lately, Ride the Lightning. way to me now. Whose decision was it to start off No Color with 5. Do you feel yourselves evolving as a band? “Black Night”? Most definitely. It’s kind of a moving backwards to go forwards thing, I don’t recall, but it doesn’t seem like it could embracing styles from our youth. have started any other way to me now.
Do you feel yourselves evolving as a band? Most definitely. It’s kind of a moving backwards to go forwards thing, embracing styles from our youth.
What song are you most proud of? Right now a new one called Transformer. It has mutated so much since it started and is kind of frankensteinish but has turned into one of my favorites. When did you know that music was what you wanted to do with your life? When I was real young, but itâ€™s still a battle to believe itâ€™s something I can pursue forever.
What has the band been up to in the past few months? Writing and recording. Now itâ€™s mostly listening to everything and trying to make a record out of it.
How do you prepare for a live show? I used to have a pretty elaborate ritual that involved stretching and tiger balm but I’ve toned it down a little. I hate too much anticipation. What’s the hardest thing about recording an album? Not losing perspective. We’re all susceptible to going down a rabbit hole from time to time. What’s the most important thing that aspiring artists should know? Don’t take criticism personally or too seriously. Be nice to people. Describe the first show that you both played together live. I really don’t remember if it was at 12 Galaxies or the Hemlock but I think one of those. A lot of me walking on and off stage and standing in the wings so Meric could play solo material I imagine. I had long hair too.
How do you deal with (or interpret) criticism after your releases? I probably take it too personally and seriously than I should. Iâ€™m an avid reader of music mags though so itâ€™s hard for me not to be curious. What do you want fans to take away after seeing you perform? The best case scenario is that they get inspired to make music of their own. If you could describe your band in one adjective, what would it be? Hungry.
A Los There’s a disturbing triad of events that occurs throughout history, coming and going like a powerful, sucking undertow. Where there is political unrest or upheaval during the winter months, there is also a commanding tide of loss that bites and snaps at the most vulnerable, the most marginalized of our society. Wintertime wars are incredibly dangerous for young girls. It’s all laid out for the discerning reader in a curious drama, set in some timeless fold of Sicily: King Leontes wrongly believes that his pregnant wife, Hermione, has been unfaithful to him with his best friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia. Seized with jealousy and rage, he puts his wife on trial and casts his newborn daughter Perdita out into the wild. The gods punish him for recklessness: his young son is killed, his wife is turned to stone, and eternal winter takes over his kingdom. And Perdita is lost. ---I propose to sail ahead. I feel sure that your hopes and I feel sure that your help are with me. For to reach a port, we must sail – not lie at anchor, sail, not drift. – FDR, “On Economic Conditions” 25
by Annie Stokes
William Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale
Fall, 1290 Margaret of Norway was three years old when her grandfather King Alexander died, leaving her the only living heir to the throne of Scotland. Almost immediately, clan warfare broke out, with the Balliols and Bruces competing for supremacy against the royal Guardians of Scotland. Margaret’s father, King Eric of Norway, began plotting with the English king Edward to protect his daughter’s birthright and placate the Scottish rebellion. Seven-year-old Margaret was packed into a ship and sent southward to restore peace. All that lay between her and the crown was a roiling expanse of gray sea.
February, 1554 Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of a Tudor princess, was deprived of a childhood in favor of an ambitious education. She grew up to be intelligent and fanatically Protestant, and quickly became the pivotal cog in many plans to unseat Edward’s Catholic sister Mary from the line of inheritance. When she was fifteen she was married to Guildford Dudley, young nobleman; when she was sixteen, her cousin Edward VI died. On his deathbed, the equally zealous young Protestant named Jane as his heir, and she reigned as Queen of England for a whole nine days. Of course, it’s hard to usurp a king’s daughter, and Mary I reclaimed the throne almost immediately. Jane and her husband were locked in the Tower of London and convicted of high treason. 26
December, 1795 The French Revolution had been accelerating for quite a few years, and Marie-Therese had watched it unfurl from the safety of Versailles. She was fourteen when the Revolutionaries finally toppled the monarchy and imprisoned the royal family in the Temple Tower in Paris. One by one, she watched her loved ones led away to the guillotine: first her father Louis XVI, then her mother Marie Antoinette, then her aunt Elisabeth. Her little brother was imprisoned in a cell below hers, and at night she could hear the jailers beating him while they sang and caroused. In 1795, three years into their imprisonment, her brother’s cries stopped. He was buried in a simple grave in the cemetery of St. Marguerite. Marie-Therese was the only one left, a small and lonely figure locked away in a corner of France. In December 1795, somebody finally came for her as well.
February, 1917 She had one of the most privileged, opulent upbringings imaginable. She was related to practically every royal family in Europe, and her father ruled over approximately one-sixth of the earth. But outside the imperial palaces, discontent was brewing in Russia. A great disparity of wealth coupled with brutal winters was making life nearly impossible for the peasants who made up most of the population. World War I was a catalyst for change, and in February 1917, the Tsar was forced to abdicate his throne and the imperial family was taken into exile in Yekaterinburg, beyond the Ural Mountains. Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov was sixteen. She had a sense of foreboding, as if she knew deep in her heart that she would never see the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg again. “Don’t forget us,” she wrote to a friend. 27
March, 1933 Although the earth stood on the cusp of spring, it was still bitterly cold in Manhattan. The previous month, Adolf Hitler had addressed the German people, and someone had tried (unsuccessfully) to assassinate President Roosevelt in Miami. America had been slogging through a cataclysmic depression for the past four years, and most American greeted the prospect of a New Deal with cautious, jaded optimism. The Ziegfeld Follies had disappeared from Broadway but had reappeared on the radio. King Kong had just come out, and audiences flocked to the theater to see a giant gorilla destroy a city that had already been destroyed, one October day in 1929. A lot of people were lost. “Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear…”—FDR, “On the Bank Crisis” 28
1917 Anastasia was led into the basement, was drowned under a tattoo of gunfire, was wrapped in sheets and buried in a meadow. Her family was deposited under a little footbridge nearby. They slept there for seventy-five years, absorbing the Russian winters and turning into snow. 1795 Marie-Therese was granted independence on the last day of her sixteenth year, and spent the rest of her life floating around the edges of ducal courts. When the monarchy was reestablished in 1815, she returned to France and moved her parents’ bodies into the family tomb. She kissed the walls of the room where her brother died. This final act of mourning done, she faded back into history, a forgotten orphan of the Revolution. 1554 On a bitterly cold February day, Jane Grey looked out her window and saw her husband’s body being transported to its final resting place. Soon it was her turn to walk down to the scaffold on Tower Green, where she swore before God that she’d never wanted the crown for which she was about to die. After the executioner put the blindfold over her eyes, she became disoriented and began to cry. A warden helped her kneel. In an upper chamber of the Tower of London, the single word “JANE” sings eternally from the wall of what was once her husband’s cell.
1290 Margaret’s ship was thrown off course by freezing storms, and the little girl fell sick and died during a brief sojourn in the Orkney Islands. The Maid of Norway was the last of her House, and the last hope for a peaceful transition of power. Her death sparked warfare that lasted sixty years. But as the bloodshed began in Scotland, Margaret’s ship melted serenely back into the northern mist, back to her father’s land. Her mother’s bones were waiting for her in the Old Cathedral in Bergen. Little Perdita is rescued by a Bohemian shepherd and raised in sunny, pastoral bliss. Sixteen years later, she is miraculously reunited with her family. Her father has long since reformed. Her mother’s petrified body reanimates upon seeing her daughter. The long winter ends – the lost girl has been found. I thank you for your patience and your faith. Our troubles will not be over tomorrow, but we are on our way and we are headed in the right direction. – FDR, “On the Bank Crisis”
The Lost photos by Anna Gregg
Frosty Lawns Liza: Editor-in-Chief I remember I used to prefer to take on the snow days alone. I would meander off into the yard, mesmerized by the familiar landscape transformed by a blanket of white. I would think and make up stories. I would go on solo adventures into this mysterious winter world. After my nose would turn red and my fingers numb, I would retreat the fireside, silently reminiscing on my explorations in the snow, moments that were all my own. Anna: Photography Director Winter is white and red. White snow and red noses and fingers. Living in the Pacific Northwest has spoilt me with one of the most beautiful winter experiences that occurs on this plant, all pine trees and inches upon inches and sometimes feet of soft, quiet snowfall. Winter is home. Erin: Artist Winter gives me an excuse to find myself again. When the world around me is frozen and bitter, I look for warmth inside. A cozy fire and the raw feeling of blood rushing through my veins. The familiarity of fire crackling and the smell of a wood burning stove. The heady scent of peppermint and cloves, and the deep ache for the warmth of summer rain. And while the rough soles of my feet cannot find solace in the fresh snowfall, I fulfill that need with the tenderness of a loverâ€™s skin and the soft steam of brewing tea. Winter is cold and heartless, but I find that I never can be. Jeannine: Literary Editor In winter the favorite word is pumpkin. In winter there are brown leaves, brown grass, brown fields. There are photographs are warm fires, of warm afternoons, of warm tea but in winter, everything is cold. The streets are empty, the bedrooms, the air. There are whole mornings in bed, whole afternoons spent in front of the window looking out. Only in the winter I am reminded of how much I need the summer. 39
& Fireside Chats
Thoughts from the Atwood Team
Annie: Features Editor Winter is my favorite season -- I feel like when people are forced to hibernate physically, they develop emotionally and artistically. There’s also something very mystical and lonesome about snow and bare landscapes. I feel like you are forced to become your best or your worst during wintertime. Anna: Creative Director Winter is the time of year for getting cozy, and for some reason I seem to schedule more shoots in the winter than in the summer. Nothing feels better than thawing out red fingers fireside after shooting in below-freezing temperatures. After stomping around through frosty lawns, hot chocolate isn’t bad either. Visually, winter inspires blue tones and crisp focus, much along the lines of Nen August’s photos in this issue. Hope: Music Editor To me, winter is a time of remembrance and nostalgia. As humid rain transforms into chilling snow, I am reminded of the changes that my life has undergone. The naked trees illuminate the hardships and absences present in my world that must be restored come spring. The fireside chats with friends and hot chocolate to keep warm tie me to those I want to hold close when life’s winds are the coldest. In essence, winter is a time of reflection that allows me space to recognize the importance of growing up and of growing old. I know that when the warmer months commence, nature will blossom with eccentric colors, and my mind will again forget to notice the little things. Until then, time will freeze in recognition of moments past.
Hazel Cills by Annie Stokes
Hazel Cills is currently an art history and journalism student in New York City, but her career in writing began when she was a mere freshman with a knack for HTML. Since then, her appreciation for teens, nerds, dedicated writers, and artistic integrity has flourished. Sheâ€™s our Person of Interest, and sheâ€™s more interesting than can be conveyed in a short paragraph. Suffice to say: she invested in her passions gracefully and fearlessly, and you should too.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m Hazel Cills, a writer for Rookie Mag and the internet at large. I’m also a blogger for Urban Outfitters. I’m originally from New Jersey outside of Philadelphia and I’m 18 years old. What was your journey in terms of getting involved in the blogosphere and magazine scene? When I was a freshman in high school (so, age 14) I decided to create my blog Bonjour Girl. Before that, in middle school, I had a Myspace blog and was part of fashion livejournal communities. I was really into making layouts for my Myspace. It was sort of ridiculous, but that was how I learned HTML. When I started Bonjour Girl, I just sort of fell into a group of bloggers that included Laia from Geometric Sleep, Elizabeth from White Lightning Arabelle from Fashion Pirates, Tavi (Gevinson), etc. I was never really specifically a style blogger or a fashion blogger, but I was a young blogger and I read their blogs and they read mine. So, when Tavi was looking for people for Rookie I shot her an email with my interests and why I wanted to be a part of it and I got the “job”. Around the same time as writing for Rookie I got asked to write for the Urban Outfitters blog, which has been awesome. After that I’ve written for Buzzfeed, Oyster Magazine, and now I write for PaperMag. com, which is where I am currently an intern. Who are your idols and inspirations? I’m inspired by all sorts of people but mostly people who are really passionate about what they do and don’t do it for money or fame but just because they love it. I love outsider artists for this reason, people like Maud Lewis and Henry Darger. I’m inspired by fangirl culture and teens and just being in love with aesthetics for the sake of aesthetics. I like people who find an interesting story in the unusual or typically ignored subject matter. I hope this makes sense because my brain is all over the place with this question. 42
What is your favorite accomplishment(s)? Getting quoted in an article on prom dresses that was in the New York Times. JUST KIDDING! It’s being able to write things and have people relate to them. Getting positive feedback from readers is amazing and humbling and really cool. That’s my favorite accomplishment.
And a little bit about Ms. Cills: What’s your favorite movie? Too many to choose! Inglorious Basterds, Metropolitan, Nowhere, The Seventh Continent, Pretty in Pink. Literally all I do is watch movies. What type of music do you listen to? I love shoegaze, twee, 70’s punk, 80’s goth, My favorite bands/artists include Grimes, early Interpol, Xiu Xiu, Animal Collective, The Buzzcocks, Bikini Kill, and the list goes on forever because I listen to so much music. What are your favorite books? How do you think they’ve influenced you? I would say that writers influence me more than books. Writers like Molly Young, Emily Naussbaum, Peter Schjeldahl, Lesley Arfin, etc. Everyone at Paper Magazine and Rookie Magazine and Urban Outfitters influences me. They influence me with the stories they choose to cover and the humor they use. They’re all very different but they all have a definable voice and I really admire that. What are some of your wintertime rituals and memories? Making hot cocoa a lot and listening to way too much Simon & Garfunkel than I should. 43
by Annie Stokes
â€œArt on a personal level is therapeutic, and on a large scale art can definitely be restorative. Art is a channel which can connect to people on a personal scale and a social one; it can change peopleâ€™s perceptions or give the chance to escape and emoteâ€?
â€œI often approach art the same way a musician or composer would approach a piece of music or a composition, creating these different sections and structures and piecing them together to create a flow, a clarity in the song or the painting, rather than starting from the beginning to the end,â€? Ben Giles, a 20-year-old student from the UK, explains. Itâ€™s a fitting metaphor, as his collage pieces speak to the viewer in a profound, almost sonic way: how can pictures be so animated and alive and loud? How can they say so much when they are made out of seemingly random and unconnected ingredients?
For Ben Giles, this creativity was largely inherited. “My family has always been creative and I followed them in that. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that it became important to me; instead of a hobby it became something I wanted to invest in, something I had to do.” This upbringing, coupled with Giles’ appreciation for film and music, perhaps shaped his unique outlook on his art: “It has never been about what has been created before, but what I could create myself.” His pieces expertly layer together components from other creations until they form something at once old and brand-new.
This un-jaded outlook and willingness to repurpose agrees with Giles’ own philosophy on art and his place in the art world: “Art on a personal level is therapeutic, and on a large scale art can definitely be restorative. Art is a channel which can connect to people on a personal scale and a social one; it can change people’s perceptions or give the chance to escape and emote. With using found objects I love the stories that these things already have, and the definitions we give them and then using this to tell a whole new story, to give it another life from an otherwise deficit one. I would like to think that if somebody was to look at a painting or any piece of work, they might find clarity within it, something they can take with them afterwards and apply to the everyday. Even if this isn’t possible, perhaps it can simply inspire the individual for a short period of time on a primal level or a philosophical one.” His recognition that he, and all artists, can be a part of a larger and ongoing story is comforting and captivating. It’s also tinged with a maturity that few young artists possess: you aren’t the first, you aren’t the last, but you are you. You can contribute a chapter to the story that no one else can. That seems to be Ben Giles plan, at least: “I have no long term goals except to simply create and continue to love what I do.”
From Treća to Trieste
There are a few fireplaces in the rehabilitation facility where my grandfather has been living for the past several months, but we don’t sit by one. He rarely leaves his room. It’s not that he can’t - he’s mobile enough in his wheelchair - but he’s a solitary old man, preferring to read The New York Times or listen to Bach rather than socialize with the other residents.
When we take a stroll around the facility, I can see why. One frail old woman reaches for my arm and cries out nonsense about people and places that are long gone or far away from here; another tries to tell my grandfather what is wrong with her in a combination of German and broken English (“Mein kopf - I don’t know what happened. Ich kann nicht… How do you say?”). Even my grandfather, fluent in a dozen languages, can’t interpret her babble. He is here because of a stroke. It happened on the evening of October 2, 2011; he’s made a good recovery but he won’t be returning to the crooked old house on the shore of Dead Lake. He’s moving to Maryland to be near his daughter, and that’s why I’ve come to visit. Maryland is much farther from Chicago than is Ann Arbor. Instead of by a fire, we sit next to the heating unit under the window that overlooks the drizzly parking lot. I’m here for a social visit but also for business - I’m writing down his stories in my old reporter notebook, immortalizing his firsthand accounts. My grandfather was born in a town called Treća, in the country formerly known as Yugoslavia, in the year 1932. He lived in Yugoslavia with his mother and father until 1950, when they became refugees in Trieste to escape mandatory citizenship in the Communist country. English is not my grandfather’s first language but he speaks it far better than I, and his mastery of storytelling is remarkable. I ask him to tell me stories now and he declines, telling me it must come naturally. So I ask him about his hometown. That is enough.
I turn out dozens of pages of notes that afternoon.
literary submission by kassia shishkoff
My father was something of a big wheel in the mine in Treća. The Brits didn’t speak Serbian, and my father, an engineer, spoke both Serbian and English. It was the same when the Germans came - they kept my father around because he was fluent in German. In the evenings in Treća, Mother and I would sit by the window and watch for Father coming up the shortcut through the garden. That night, instead of Father, two German soldiers came. We kept chickens and a turkey named Dindon. The chickens slept in the chicken house, but the turkey wouldn’t sleep in the house, so he sat on top. The two German soldiers stopped near our house, leaned against the fence, and started whistling to provoke the turkey. They would whistle, and he would gobble, and this went on for a while as we watched. Imagine that! Two German soldiers during the war, stopping beside my house and teasing a turkey.
Did I ever tell you about the time I saw a ghost? It was a dark and stormy night. Storms would get trapped in the valley of Zvećan, so we would have the same storm over and over. I was at home alone doing my homework. I was working out some math problems - Mother was away visiting her sister. I was sitting on my bed in front of my desk, with a lamp. To my left was a piano stool. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the stool move; then, again. So I stopped, and started staring. Chairs aren’t supposed to move! Kosovo is very superstitious, and they believed in everything; but before panicking, I looked at the evidence. Snaking through the room was a long runner carpet. We had brought it from our old house where there was a long hallway. As my eyes followed the runner, I saw that it went out under the door. And I saw a great paw, just like that, pulling on the carpet. One leg of the stool was on the carpet. The cat had been meowing for a while and I hadn’t noticed. I let him in; he was quite happy. But I thought, what if the cat had stopped right then? I’m not prone to superstition, but who knows what I would have thought.
That apartment was tiny, but it had a great balcony overlooking the street. I fixed a radio and my friend stole a loudspeaker - the Communists would blast propaganda at us through them - so I had a loudspeaker on the porch and would listen to music. When Yugoslavia played in the World Cup in Brazil, we connected a radio to the speaker and rigged up a microphone. One of my friends was good at play-by-plays, and the other one would make crowd noises. We found a broadcast from Rio de Janeiro - they only broadcast the second half, so when it came on, Yugoslavia was down 3-0. Then we went to work. My play-by-play friend pulled out all the stops, and started making up all the good things that could happen in soccer, so eventually, according to his announcing, Yugoslavia won. But in fact, they lost something big. Our loudspeaker had collected all sorts of people - cops, which was worrisome, and other chance passersby. And at the end, they were all happy, patting each other on the back, thinking Yugoslavia had won. They started walking away down the street and met a group that was dejected, with long faces. An argument ensued. “I heard it with my own ears!” “So did I!” My friends and I decided to clear out for a while after that. Yes, that balcony was beautiful.
Did I ever tell you the story of the big white dog? Down the street from the big house in Zvećan there was a big cafeteria, a restaurant. A stray dog - a great white dog with black speckles here and there - would hang around there. The fence in our yard had a few boards missing here and there, and the dog would come in and overturn the garbage. Since I had to pick up, I disliked the dog. I yelled at him, threw rocks, slingshot at him. And so the dog was scared of me. He would run away whenever he saw me. One day, in front of the big restaurant, I got in a fight with a bigger boy. I was never much of a fighter, so I was frustrated, with tears in my eyes you know how it is for a teenage boy. Out of nowhere the big white dog came. He jumped up, put his paws on my shoulders, and licked me right across the face. I was stunned, forgot the boy I was fighting - the dog should have rejoiced that I was getting beaten up, but he didn’t. Then he realized who I was and ran away. I’ve always liked animals, but that episode made me think more about how I treat them. I fixed the fence and befriended the dog. Animals, every once in a while, do things that defy understanding. And that was one of such. Such a nice thing for a dog to do - such generosity, such sympathy. Yes. The big white dog… one of my favorite stories.
When Mother, Father, and I were refugees in a camp in Trieste, the guy in the next cabin had brought a radio - a big status symbol there. He listened to it, louder and louder, and it annoyed us. The walls were very thin, and our door was a blanket. I had built a device that interfered with radios - it went WEEoooWEE when he turned it loud. I had also gotten something of a reputation for fixing radios in the camp, so he asked me to fix his radio since it was making this sound. I had a dilemma: if I fixed his radio, he would play it loud again. If not, my reputation would suffer. So I had him leave his radio a couple of days, and I did busywork on it and returned it to him. I told him the tubes were weak, so he shouldn’t play it too loud. I charged him a small amount. For quite a while he listened to it quiet, but he started turning it up, up, up. It got to the volume that was sort of redline. So I operated my device, made the radio wail, and he turned it down forever. My friend heard of this and said we should do the same thing to others in the camp to make some money. We didn’t do it - I’m an honest citizen. My grandfather says, at the end of my weekend visit, that this must be the most he’s spoken in years. He had told me stories for six hours straight, pausing only to eat his meals from the trays the nurses bring (“slop,” he calls it; when they forget his orange juice with breakfast, he rolls to the kitchen to complain. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” he tells me). Before I leave to drive home, my grandfather thanks me for visiting and says I have cheered him. Me too, Pop-Pop.
Frozen photos by Sofie Olejnik + original literary submissions
Truth Winter Haikus
I. Snowfall and cold air Seeing your breath in the night The winter moves you. II. The winter wind cries For you and only for you Sadness in the sky. (Adonicca MeChelle)
Canadian morning, frosty All that surrounds us, dead. But we Are undeniably alive. I watch your breath form in the air The way it dances, mingles with mine. I watch your cheeks, your nose Turn red A fire burns Beneath your cold-nipped skin. The blanket of snow is fresh Undisturbed. The sun peeks over the trees Tiny rays tiptoe across the earth. You remove the mittens from my hands Wrap them in your own I feel the moisture on your skin The blood pulsing through your palms I am warm. (Emily Misurec)
Winter tears the blossoms from the fields and covers leaf beds of orange and yellow still in their corpse shapes. Out among the snake-grass I spread my fatherâ€™s ashes over the first pillows of snow tranced by wind as it carries each grain out into the forest. I collect twigs and brush back snow to build a fire. Against the dark the forest moves like smoke and something inside me stirs knowing Iâ€™ll never hear my father speak again. There is the work of death left to coat the inside walls of the bag next to me. Death has come down like an owl from a high branch to croak its truth: Death has watched us our entire lives counted our rib bones counted our heartbeats smelled rows of tulips, the resin of evergreen trees, and tasted the salt of tears which fall with a deep music down our cheeks and onto the ground to sink back into the earth.
He writes in frost And frozen blunts. His journal is strewn With the cobwebs Of a dusty winter, left overs Of a year with not enough Heartbreak to make it Worthwhile, But just enough To hurt. They say frostbite Turns your toes black Makes them fall off But he walks into January nights Unafraid Knowing there are far worse things That can turn the hems of your Love black Until it too falls off. (Ramna Safeer)
by Annie Stokes
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hello, I’m Anhvu. I grew up in Virginia for most of my life, and then moved out to San Francisco for grad school. I went to San Francisco State where I got my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I love San Francisco. I love the community of writers here. For the past three years, I’ve been fortunate enough to teach creative writing to the youth of San Francisco for an organization called WritersCorps. I was a late bloomer when it came to writing. I didn’t really take writing seriously until junior year of college at Virginia Tech. When I was younger, I wrote a lot. I wrote mostly bad love poems, but I never thought anything of it. It wasn’t until college that I realized that one it was strongly becoming a passion of mine and two I wasn’t terrible at it either. (Though I’m sure some friends of mine might argue otherwise). Also, I have a website that you can find me at on the internets: www.anhvubuchanan.com. where I blog about cats, poetry, and Kanye West. Why poetry? How did you arrive at poetry as your primary form? When I started writing in high school, I was writing songs for my friends in bands and for me there were definitely a lot of similarities to both forms. It was definitely my entry point into poetry. The more I dove into poetry the more I fell in love with it. For me, the possibilities with poetry are endless. There are no rules and there is so much freedom. I love the idea that anything can be a poem. You can take a piece of scientific writing and simply black out the text and what remains will be your erasure poem. You can write a poem and you can even construct a poem. So for me, as someone who is terrible at grammar, poetry felt like the perfect fit. 79
â€œThe more I dove into poetry the more I fell in love with it. For me, the possibilities with poetry are endless. There are no rules and there is so much freedom.â€?
Your work is so nuanced and comprehensive in its voice and format; how do you construct your pieces? What inspires you? What really inspired me and shaped me into the poet I am today was the poet/instructor Truong Tran. I took a class with him in graduate school called Voices of Poetry and it was there that I really found myself as a writer. What really helped me in his class and now in my process as a writer was the idea of writing to a project, as well as his advice about telling me to go against the grain and write about the things that interested me, not the things people expected. Prior to that, I would always sit in front of the paper, stare blankly at it, and force out a poem. In his class, we would pick subjects/projects that we would write into. It was here that my thesis, which would later become my first book, came about. I began writing a collection of poems based on/influenced by Psychological Disorders. I was a Psychology major as an undergraduate and it was always another passion of mine Who are some of your favorite poets? Bob Hicok, Truong Tran, Anne Sexton, Dora Malech, Charles Bukowski would be at the top of my list. Lately, I’ve been obsessed and madly in love with the poetry of Gregory Sherl, Dan Lichtenberg, Ben Mirov, and anything Junot Diaz. Are there aesthetic undertones or movements that you think show up a lot in your work? What always holds my attention when it comes to poetry is imagery. I’ve always been obsessed with images. Photography is another love of mine. It’s always images that inspire poems to come to life for me. So, in my writing I definitely lean, sometimes maybe to a fault, to being more image heavy. In terms of movements, I’ve always been fascinated with and obsessed with surrealist movement in both the writing and visual art world. Also, with the things I’ve been writing lately, I’ve tried to show a new movement in my work and that is of the Bromanticism Poetry Movement. 81
What are your plans for the future? I’m very excited for 2013. This year, my first book ,The Disordered, is coming out from SunnyOutside Press. I also have a chapbook of love poems called Backhanded Compliments and Other Ways to Say I Love You coming out this year from a new press here in San Francisco called Works on Paper Press. So, I’m very excited for both those releases in the New Year. In terms of new writing projects, I’m working a new book of poems based on the Bromanticism Poetry Movement., which means I’ll be writing poems to my bros and my bromantic heroes like Paul Rudd, Kanye West, Ryan Gosling, etc. I’m pretty excited about it. Because this is a winter issue -- what does winter mean to you? Aesthetically, traditionally, emotionally – It’s interesting because now I associate winter with family, childhood, and the past. I’ve lived in San Francisco for five and a half years now while the rest of my family and friends are back in Virginia where I grew up. So winter break is the one time I get to be around all my friends and family. Winter to me is so nostalgic now. It’s kind of what I tried to touch upon in the poem I wrote on the issue two theme. Winter, almost always now, makes me think of home. see Anhvu’s work on following page
virginia My anxiety fights through the red eyes and frosty flights to find a way back home. Home is coming back to steaming bowls of broth. Home is sleeping in until noon and waking up alone. Home is a fireplace I get to know once a year. The lawn is asking questions again and the snow is more curious than usual. Outside the window, a raccoon and fox argue over who gets my heart attack. And Iâ€™m wondering if I can find my childhood again wrapped and hidden somewhere in the living room. I go out searching map in hand. Walk down the plank of this house only to discover no memories remain, just the open waters wanting my breath. Iâ€™m an island again drifting around with small hands. I want to know which compass to believe in. What becomes of you when the buildings turn to trees? When buses turn to deer? When the castle you grew up in was really just gravel? (Anhvu Buchanan)
We grow up with a concept of age and time: you are too young to do this, or you are too old to learn this. You are either too new or too stale to matter. It’s a constrictive concept – and an incorrect one. Occasionally, you’ll have the pleasure of meeting someone who reminds you that age is only a number. Case in point: Zoe Suen, a fashion blogger (check out the amazing Fashiononymous) and photographer from Hong Kong. She’s only 16, and she’s already made a serious splash. In speaking with her, we understood that hard work – as well as a carefree and mellow attitude – are timeless attributes. 85
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up, and what were some early influences? I’m a 16 year old from Hong Kong, where I’ve grown up all my life. I’ve always had a passion for art and design, as well as literature and photography. I’ve kept these interests close to me as I’ve grown up and they’ve influenced how I dress, as well as helping me develop my blog. 87
How did you become interested in fashion and art? My dad works in the artistic field and he would always encourage me to doodle and pose for pictures. Fashion became a pretty organic interest for me after I started being interested in art, as I knew I could translate the colors and shapes into my style. 88
What has your journey been like in terms of turning your passions from a hobby into a more serious endeavor? Truth be told, I never thought anyone would visit my blog (if you told me a few years ago). Now, I feel like I really understand the responsibilities of putting things out there on the internet and that I have a good grasp of blogging, even though I have a long way to go. That being said, I also understand that blogging doesn’t have a solitary goal, rather the whole point is that it’s so enjoyable and helps distract me from school stress and pressure. Through my blogging ‘journey’, I’ve made myself familiar with a lot of the aesthetically aspects of blogging through a lot of theme changes and the sorts, but also how to manage my time as blogging can be a very good procrastination tool.
How do you “build” a post or a photoset? What inspires you? I’m inspired by so many things, from artworks, music, movie and books I like to actual bloggers or people I see on the internet and streets. When I build up a shoot, I usually find a piece I like and centre it as the main focus, then build up pieces around it I think would look good. It takes a few try-ons, but I just trust my gut and it works most of the time. Do any memories or experiences as a fashion blogger really stand out to you? Some of the best parts of blogging are the messages from readers! A lot of people would assume it’s the free clothes, but after a while everything got put into perspective as I realized what part of blogging really motivated me, and it was the emails! I love getting emails from readers and it makes me so happy to hear that they enjoy my blog. Even though I’ve seen a lot of nasty people on the internet, I’ve been lucky enough to have very sweet readers.
What are your plans for the future? I plan to work hard at school, but maintain a balance between ‘blog life’ (as obnoxious as that sounds) and school life. Of course, I’ll post regularly! In the long term, I want to develop my love of English and history and study law in the UK, and I hope I’ll be blogging at the same time.
photos by dennis miles
â€œCall Me Old
by Annie Stokes
Our world is enduring a long and difficult night. The economy is coming back to life in fits and starts, various wars and rebellions rage across impoverished countries, epidemics are decimating the weak, the planet itself is critically ill and we find ourselves at an uncertain threshold as we enter the era of technological advancement. Everything seems uncertain. Is it any wonder, then, that current fashion trends are hearkening back to a difficult night in our history that we triumphed over? Between the 1920s and 1940s, cataclysmic changes rattled the world. In Europe, new social order was changing the two-millennia-old trend of aristocratic rule. In America, technological advancement coupled with effects from the Great Depression was bringing the population into the modern era and giving birth to the new concept of “The American Dream.” And of course, countless families in many nations across the globe were deeply affected by World War II, a devastating conflict that few could have envisioned after the horror of World War I. The world was changing in both wonderful and terrible ways, and yet we survived. Dawn came and we emerged shaped and scathed and scarred, but very much alive. Perhaps in an attempt to harness that luck and fortitude, the fall collections of various designers mimic lines, cuts, and styles from the time period. Rodarte, Rochas, Derek Lam, Dior, Nina Ricci, and Elie Saab all feature sophisticated knee-length dresses, many with either elegantly cinched waists or drop-waists. The cuts of these dresses echo the sophisticated, mature feminine look that reigned supreme from the Jazz Age to the end of the 1940s. The material for many of the dresses is soft and flowing and falls over a woman’s shape like water, accentuating but not exploiting her curves. With a pageboy haircut and a round cap, these outfits would be perfect for kissing a soldier goodbye at the train station.
Rodarte and Rochas also include in their collections several double-breasted trench coats reminiscent. A beautiful wide-leg pant suit, reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn, shows up in Rochas’ collection as well. The neck and shoulders of almost every piece I reviewed are square and defined, somewhat in contrast to the gauzy feminine material but completely in line with the strong and severe spirit these women showed while their cupboards were bare and their husbands and fathers were overseas. Despite the overwhelming preference for softer materials, there are several fitted A-line dresses and skirt suits made of sturdier material. Nina Ricci and Derek Lam seem to be showcasing the rise of the businesswoman during this time period, and create stunning and simple classics with clean-cut lines and bold, boxy prints. Finally, we have the evening gowns and cocktail attire. While Emilia Wickstead’s full knee-length skirts predict the poodle-skirt trends of the 1950s, Elie Saab and Dior showcase long-skirted and long-sleeved dresses that one might see on an heiress during a Jazz Age society fete. While ostensibly simple and clean, these evening gowns feature elegant folds and drapes that both showcase a woman’s figure and coquettishly obfuscate it. With these collections, designers are helping us remember that we have the ability to overcome difficult circumstances. They are also allowing us to escape into pockets of nostalgia, where we can take comfort in the sound knowledge that our predecessors also experienced fear and uncertainty – and survived.
Rodarte Rochas Derek Lam Dior Nina Ricci Elie Saab 106
cooper Campbell At eighteen, Cooper Campbell has progressed farther in his chosen field than many older adults. But don’t call him a professional artist. “I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself being a professional. I could never think of myself in that way…it’s just far too enjoyable. My idea of being a professional entails a lot more than what I do. I just do what I do a lot more now than ever before.”
It’s a refreshing blast of modesty and hyper-awareness from the young artist, whose work has been featured in famous publications such as Rookie Magazine. But don’t let Campbell’s self-effacing introduction fool you: he’s serious about his art, and his level of introspection colors his pieces with a unique genuineness. Growing up on a small farm outside of Portland, Oregon, Campbell always loved to draw. In high school he would skip academic classes to draw with his friends, until he took a life-changing class his junior year. “I was enrolled in a class called Theory of Knowledge. It was an applied philosophy course. It was a year of examining myself, what I know what I do how I do it. That class followed by my art class changed how I approached art, thought about art, and thought about myself.” He began to tackle personal issue through art: “I began creating art not from a purely aesthetic standing but rather I began creating art from the part of me that didn’t understand why my dad died when I was fifteen. The part of me that slept around too much, or the part of me that hated myself.”
by Annie Stokes
It’s this honest, intimate attitude that makes Campbell’s work stand out. They aren’t complicated pieces – mostly pen and pencil on paper with hints of watercolor, cut paper, and goache. Some of the pieces are straightforward: a self-portrait, a bouquet of flowers for his girlfriend, a slumped male figure with a chest cold. Others are tongue-in-cheek, while other border on the abstract. All of them eloquently capture a piece of the human experience, largely because you get the feeling that the artist didn’t care about coming off as eloquent when he was creating them. Campbell’s creative process is honest and not at all presumptuous. “My creative process is not very finite. The pictures that I make begin in any number of ways. I’ll get something stuck in my head or maybe something will happen to me that I can’t stop thinking about. From there I’ll just begin drawing. It’s rare that I’ll begin with any sort of concise image of what I’ll create. As far as what inspires me it’s hard to point a finger at just one or two things. Things like people, how they act, events, bad things or good things that happen to me,” adding, “I draw inspiration from the curated environment that I make for myself.”
“I’m learning that the more I make, the happier I am”
Amongst his inspirations are: old movies, the Mumblecore film movement, music genres such as pop-punk and emo, alternative comics, and artists such as Austin English, Fabienne Lasserre, Phillip Guston, Chris Harnan, Misaki Kawai, Patrick Kyle, CF, and Elizabeth Renstrom. He is a member of a community of young artists, and names his friends as “intense points of inspiration”: Lauren Poor, Alyssa Yohana, Jake Sigl, Mike Bailey-Gates, Claire Christerson, Jake Lazovick, Wiley Guillot, Lily Clark, Sydney Spann, Ashley Ferroro, and his girlfriend, photographer Olivia Bee. Of living with an artist, Campbell says: “We create freely together, critique each other’s work, and collaborate.” He also says that “the idea of originality is something I struggle with everyday. I have to look at my work and question whether it’s influenced by, or derivative of, whatever I may have been drooling over that day.” For those of us growing up in the “hipster” generation, where we are constantly fighting against the stereotype that we are ironically derivative of something or someone else, this statement encapsulates the actual struggle of a young artist. His immediate goals reflect that youthful, urban, self-aware attitude that comprises the beating heart of his work. “I’m moving too New York in the fall, beyond that there is way too much to list, I’m most likely going to be driving across America with Olivia, way more books. I also want a spot illustration in a major publication, big collaborations. My plan is to do what I do now, but double the speed, output and quality. I’m learning that the more I make, the happier I am.”
Meggie Royer Could you briefly describe your photographic style? I would say my photographic style right now is dark and haunting, and in some cases ethereal. Of course my style has changed quite a lot since I first began photography, but the groove that I’m in at the moment leads me to produce photographs that are, in a sense, ghostly. My goal is for my viewers to feel the loneliness and desperation that I try to infuse in my shots. Do you have any favorite photographers or artists? My all-time favorite photographer is Sally Mann. I discovered her work about a year ago and couldn’t stop going through all her pieces. Her use of black and white to create dramatic, stunning photographs always inspires me, and I love that most of her work is done in the Deep South, where she lives. A lot of her work is controversial because some of her pieces are filled with violence, nudity, and adolescent loneliness, but that’s exactly what draws me to it. I also admire Ansel Adams’ landscapes and Annie Leibovitz’s portraits. When and why did you start taking pictures? I started taking photos four years ago, and I don’t think I really had a specific reason other than that it was summer and I wanted to get some shots of the flowers in our garden. But after I started shooting flowers, I started taking photographs of other things besides nature, and the rest is history. How has your process changed since then? I used to take a lot of nature and landscape photographs in the beginning, or simple household objects. But then I started doing self-portraits and discovered some editing websites that led me to experiment with overlays and tone changes. So my process has changed a lot in the sense that I’ve been more experimental and open to trying new things 115 with both the content of my work and with the editing.
photographer spotlight by Anna Peters
Did you ever imagine photography would become such an important part of your life? I never imagined photography would become so important to me, no. I’d never envisioned myself as a photographer and at first I figured it would just be a fad or a passing phase, but then it just kept going. I couldn’t get enough of photography and I still can’t. It’s changed me in countless ways and for that, I would never go back to the way things were before I started photography. How did you start shooting self-portraiture? Does shooting self-portraits appeal particularly to you as a form of expression? I started shooting self-portraiture because I was tired of taking photos of nature and landscapes, and I wanted to find a subject that was deeper and more meaningful to me. At first I was tentative and honestly, afraid of shooting self-portraits. But I grew to appreciate self-portraits, maybe not love them, exactly, but respect them for what they can do. They do particularly appeal to me as a form of expression because they can reveal everything I can’t say through words. Looking at someone’s self-portrait is like getting a glimpse into their soul. And for a single moment, however brief, you can see them. To me, that’s incredible. 118
Your use of dark, muted colors and collage effects is stunning. How does color affect the impact of a photograph for you? Thank you! To me, color definitely affects the emotion and mood of a photograph. When you have a dark or black and white photograph, you’re telling the viewer “here are some details I’d like you to focus on. Here are some feelings you need to pay attention to.” With dark colors I can get a more somber, deeper mood that is more emotional than bright colors. But bright colors are useful as well; when you use really brilliant ones they speak to the viewer as something joyful and full of passion, something that needs to be celebrated. What do you think text adds to a photograph? I think text adds a second dimension to a photograph. It adds another layer of feeling and depth to a piece, and it can give hints to the purpose of the piece or to what the photographer was feeling at the moment in which they created that piece. Text can make a photograph more poetic and revealing, and I think the combination of text and photo makes any work more fascinating.
What kind of work do you want to be shooting in five years? I would love to be shooting portraits of other people in five years, but not posed portraits for fashion editorials, although those are great too. Iâ€™d rather be shooting photographs of strangers on the street, people who are such complicated individuals with their own unique stories to tell. Iâ€™d like to get to know them through my photographs. 120
Do you have any winter rituals that affect your artistic process? I do have a few winter rituals that affect my artistic process. One is going outside for at least ten minutes a few days a week during the winter with my notebook to observe the winter scenery and record a few moments or things that I notice outside, elements that I can maybe incorporate into my artwork or writing later. I also enjoy going for walks in the cold during winter to just relax and try to bring new inspiration to mind. Is the seasonal change something that affects your work? The seasonal change is definitely something that affects my artwork. I find that during winter my photographs tend to take on blue tones reminiscent of the cold, and they normally grow even darker. I also focus more on specific parts of the body and really get involved in a lot of anatomy shots, because for some reason anatomy is something I’ve always associated with winter more so than any other season. What is your favorite winter pastime? As for my favorite winter pastime: sledding, without a doubt! It’s something I’ve done since childhood and I don’t think I’ll ever be too old for it. 122
Love Letter to Winter Dearest Winter, I have been dreaming of you for months now, waking up to a new stillness in the room as a cold sigh. I’ve been lost within your illusory fog, the haze slowly lifting, revealing the hidden mysteries inside you as the day deepens like a slow dance. I feel your beauty tap against tree branches, crack against my feet, hold itself close to the window panes, and fall. I forgive you for melting, I do. I’ll forgive you forever. I will not stay mad when you send me snowflakes in sculptures that rest like glitter on my hair. I will not stay mad when I wake up to snow blankets keeping the world quiet and still, the gentle hush of an inward breath. I’m counting on you to make my hands cold again. Kiss my eyelids; stop them from burning. Leave me wrapped up with tea by the fireplace. I’m here, pressing my pale hands against the glass as long as I can, just to feel the shock of you. I’ll be saying I’ve got cold hands, I’ve got cold hands, and you’ll be kissing my blushing cheeks. I’ll brush your tears away from the doorsteps, I’ll melt your hold from the silver pipes- you freeze sometimes, I know, I know. Stay with me until the days grow shorter, stay with me until this city melts you right down to the cracks. (Kelsey Ispen)
Admission to Nature
We slouched along at museum pace Sheltered in halls of Rembrandt and Monet. We whispered about light, lines and color; We debated art and beauty. Two children started silently out a window, Watching snowflakes saunter to the grass. Noses and hands against cool panes, Wanting to leave, begging to play. Their parents pulled them away. Groans and sighs followed tugged scarves. “Come along; stop smudging the glass” (William Tolbert) Untitled The sun is warm in this almost winter But I only slowly share my face to the sky Or to you Where are words feel cold like winter. My toes bit you When I bring them to bed. I don’t remember the day it fell The snow lingering at my door Your footprints Coming or going. Power lines cut across the sky Past the open window, into the night air. The bed is warm where you lay in my mind. (Simon Bestalel)
Robbers on High Street
by Hope Mackenzie
introduction by Annie Stokes
musician spotlight Robbers on High Street have somehow managed to take the frenetic and eclectic energy of Brooklyn -- their place of origin -- and transform it into music. Eleven years, three albums, and a handful of EPs and singles later, Robbers on High Street have honed their sound to perfection. Old friends Ben Trokan and Steven Mercado, along with Morgan King, Mikey Post, and David Sherman, welcomed in the new year with their latest LP, “Anything Could Happen.” When you listen to their music and welcome the accompanying moods and imagery, you truly believe it. Ben answered our questions: Who were your big musical inspirations growing up? Early on it was my mom’s record collection - Beatles, Supremes, Stones. In junior high l got the Rock’n Roll High School soundtrack and from there I got into punk and indie rock, lots of Jam, GBV, Buzzcocks and then getting into more obscure 60’s garage, psych and soul stuff after hearing Nuggets comps in my early 20s. What is your favorite story from recording? Morgan played Jewsharp on “Anything Could Happen” and I don’t know what he was doing in there but when he came into the control room to listen back his mouth was full of blood. Seriously it looked like Lost Boys. From where do your draw your song inspiration? Different things, obviously music but also movies or overheard conversations. Mainly just walking around I get ideas and try to remember them until I can get to an instrument and work it out. Where is your favorite venue to play live, and why? I’ve been enjoying Bell House in Brooklyn a lot. The staff there is great and they get good shows. 126
What was it that got you interested in music? I started playing drums at a young age, like 8 or 9 I got a snare drum. But even before that there’s pictures of me with a toy drum set channeling Ringo on our living room table. Where do you see your career going? I think Robbers is going to start working on a new record this year. Things have slowed down for us (we’ve been a band for ten years!) but we all still like playing together. We’ve all started playing with other bands too which I think is a good thing. How would you describe your style? I usually say something like late-60s inspired powerpop. Can you speak to the production process of the video “Crown Victoria?” First they shot us on film individually in front of a green screen performing. Then they built these miniature sets and made these little screens and projected us onto the screens in the set. Then they shot the whole video in stop-motion, one frame at a time, moving the screens and the other objects around. And when I say they I mean the director Jason Argyropoulos and his girlfriend who worked on it for months. It’s a very original concept and an amazing looking video. What was the vision for Hey There Golden Hair? The line-up had changed a little bit so I wanted the record to reflect where we were at the time we recorded it, which I think we did. Also working with Matt Shane allowed me to be more hands on in the technical side of the studio.
What is the best concert you’ve ever seen live? I saw ? and the Mysterians a year and a half ago and it was one of the best things I’ve seen. If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be and why? Ray Davies. He was a huge influence, if not the singular influence on me to start this band. Plus I think sometimes these aging British Invasion guys get led astray and need some young blood to point out what they do best. I’ve seen him play several times and he still sounds great and I think he’s still got a lot of good songs in him. What are your immediate plans for the next calendar year? I’m going to Costa Rica! 128
atwood Credits Photography: Nen August http://nenaugust.tumblr.com/ Dennis Auburn http://dennisauburn.4ormat.com/ Models: Sara Skinner & Ross Rudolph Anna Gregg http://annakayphoto.com/ Model: Alison Titus Clothing by Flutter boutique Sofie Olejnik http://www.sofieolejnik.de/ Model: Gloria Endres de Oliveira pg. 39-40 Mariam Sitchinava (Flickr submission) http://diary.mariam.ge/ Artwork: Erin Borzak pg. 06, 18, 28, 30, 84, 123 Alexia Blackhurst pg. 103
Featured: Jenny Brown http://www.jennybrownart.com/ The Dodos http://www.dodosmusic.net/ Photo Credit: Mark Holthusen Ben Giles http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_giles/ Hazel Cills http://bonjourgirl.blogspot.com/ Anhvu Buchanan www.anhvubuchanan.com Zoe Suen “Fashiononymous” http://www.fashiononymous.net/ Cooper Campbell http://cooperoppenheimercampbell.tumblr.com/ Meggie Royer http://photographsforwinter.tumblr.com/ Robbers on High Street http://robbersonhighstreet.com/ The entire Atwood team would like to thank everyone who took the time to be apart of this issue. We were blown away with all of the amazing submissions we received and we’re so thankful for the continued support. If you’d like to be apart of an upcoming issue, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
atwood magazine is an arts/fashion/music/literary publication that seeks out new talent and fresh voices, giving its readers a unique insigh...
Published on Jan 27, 2013
atwood magazine is an arts/fashion/music/literary publication that seeks out new talent and fresh voices, giving its readers a unique insigh...