The Unprecedented Review- September 2016 Issue

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September 2016

The Unprecedented Review

all images copyrighted and courtesy of the artist and Devin Borden Gallery

The Unprecedented Review Issue # 2: September, 2016 Editor: Jenna Neece

Note: All works in this magazine are the property of their creators, not the magazine. They cannot be sold, copied, or distributed for any reason without consent from their creator.

Cover Art by Laura Lark 2

Acknowledgement Page: Thank you to all of my contributors for making this issue possible. I hope you enjoy.


Table of Contents Letter From the Editor

Page 5

Poetry Section

Page 6

Poet Spotlight with Audrey Carroll

Page 7 – 10

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

Page 11 – 12

Ceilan Hunter-Green

Page 13

Emily Leider

Page 14

Jennifer Davis Michael

Page 15

Leah Mueller

Page 16 - 17

Bruce Sager

Page 18 - 19

Mary Ellen Talley

Page 20

Whitnee Thorp

Page 21 - 22

Julene T Weaver

Page 23

Art Section

Page 24

Artist Spotlight with Laura Lark

Page 25 - 32

Sharon Sharpio

Page 33 - 34

Reader Note

Page 35

Submission Info

Page 36


Letter from the Editor: Dear Readers, My name is Jenna Neece. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I currently reside in the Stillwater, Oklahoma, area, and I’m attending the MFA in Poetry Writing Program through Oklahoma State University. I have my bachelor’s from OSU in English and have worked in the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program for two years, where I learned of my passion for helping people tell their stories, share their voices, and have a chance to shine. Growing up, I always loved to write. I was a creative child and could waste away a day writing stories and poems. I really turned to my writing in junior high and high school when my health began to decline. I did a large portion of my high school years work at home because I was too sick to attend regular classes. I ran raging fevers, had horrible migraines, fatigue, muscle pain, weakness, and so much more. They ran test after test, before they finally diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome right before I graduated high school. I was told college would be near impossible, but I made it happen. I carried almost straight a’s the entire time I did my bachelor’s degree, and I worked multiple jobs. I learned to manage my illness and my life, but most importantly, I expressed myself the only way I knew how: through my writing. I learned that when nothing seemed in control, I could put the pen down on paper and gain a sense of understanding. I used writing to take back over my future. I’ve just started graduate school, and I’ve always wanted to help other people achieve their goals, their dreams, and learn to cope with what life deals them. That’s why I started The Unprecedented Review. I wanted a place for new artists and writers to get their feet wet, and a place where more experienced writers and artists could share their wisdom and offer a hand to those who are first starting out. I wanted to help quiet voices become loud. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I have enjoyed creating it. Thank you, Jenna Neece


Poetry Section


Poetry Spotlight with Audrey Carroll Audrey Carroll (Featured) posted one keep shape please!

Audrey T. Carroll is a Queens, NYC native whose obsessions include kittens, coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Rooster Teeth community. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Fiction International, The Fem, Feminine Inquiry, the A3 Review, and others. Her poetry collection, Queen of Pentacles, is available from Choose the Sword Press. She can be found at and @AudreyTCarroll on Twitter.

Interview 1. What is your writing process like? Do you write early in the morning or late at night? Do you write every single day or occasionally? I’m in academia, so I write around my student/teaching schedule. Most often I’ll write my poetry in the morning and my prose at night. If I’m in a project (writing a novel or working on a poetry collection concept), I’ll write every day. I try to take a little bit of a break between big projects, but most days I write. Generally, I’ll think of poetry lines for a day or two before I start writing the poem. For novels I’ll try to write notes for a bit before starting—I’m definitely in the planning camp of things. 2. What inspires your poetry? My poetry is most inspired by my experiences, especially considering my identity narrative obsession. It might be as small as seeing a natural setting and thinking about what that stirs in me spiritually. It might be bigger, like me trying to come to terms with my disability. 3. What was the biggest challenge for you when you began publishing? My biggest challenge was getting a feel for the flavor of a magazine before sending something their way. I also didn’t have as much work to send out, so my ability to choose pieces that would be a good fit for a particular lit mag was extremely limited.


4. What advice would you give other poets trying to break into publishing? I would advise 1) writing a lot, 2) reading as many lit mags as possible, even if it’s online free issues, and 3) getting involved in places like Twitter by following lit mag editors, jumping in on writing chats, etc., which is a great way to articulate what you think about writing and see what you can learn from others. 5. If you could only write one more poem in your life, what would you write it about? I would write it about learning to explore your identities and letting different identities co-exist within yourself without feeling uncomfortable with that reality. 6. How do you want to be remembered in the world of poetry? Or in other words, if you could write your own obituary for your poetic legacy, what would you want it to say about your work and yourself? I want to be remembered as an advocate for poetry as a vehicle of empathy, as a way to reach out and understand each other and ourselves more fully.

Poems by Audrey Carroll


Sensory Cues I fear my children will think womanhood reeks of chemicals— the lacquer of nails & cloth rich with red hues in ink blot petals in my youth womanhood was heavy perfumes, labelled things like Pure Seduction & Happy & Rush was scalding pots of coffee, permabrewing, only way anything got done ‘cause energy’s a luxury was the wilting dandelions picked from our front lawn gathered in plastic cups of water, presented like two dozen I’m Sorry Roses & staining fingerprints golden


Something Borrowed How does pearl stitch lace without splitting where seams do not belong, weighing? Tapering at the waist, glass embraced by sterile white, unclean unseen, hidden in the boning of corsets, hidden in folds of moon silk, even softness structured (unnatural mimicking natural) when all she wants to do is breathe.


My Name By Baisali Chatterjee Dutt Like a threat. Like a curse. A gift.

Stop! Stop right now! Enough with the labels, the clichés, the epithets and all the other sad, tired words you use to describe me.

Scream it from the rooftops. Whisper it in the dark. Mumble it while you’re sleeping, play with it when you’re bored, or just, mix it in your whiskey-soda and drink it up in one gulp.

Sexy, stupid, babe, wife, fat, whore, daughter, angel, slut, goddess, Madonna, Sita, loser, mother, lazy, bitch...

Say my name as if you’re in love. Say my name as if you’re drunk. As if you’re nursing a broken heart. As if you’re on the brink of an orgasm. Go on. Say my name. It’s beautiful. Unique. Perfect. And me. It’s me. All of me. Wholly and solely.

Need I go on? Just, say my name. Go on. Say it.

And I want you to say it.

Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it unique? Isn’t it perfect? For me? Go on. Say it. Say my name. Like a prayer. Like a threat. Like a curse. A gift. 11

About Baisali Chatterjee Dutt Baisali Chatterjee Dutt, a former columnist and agony aunt for 'Mother & Baby' and contributor to various other magazines, has compiled and edited two volumes for the 'Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul' series. She has authoured ‘Sharbari Datta: The Design Diva’. Her other passion is theatre and she has performed with top English theatre groups such as 'ART' and 'Theatre Club” in Bangalore, Raell Padamsee's 'ACE' productions in Mumbai, Kolkata's Red Curtain and Spandan. She is currently a drama facilitator at The Creative Arts Studio and South Point School. Born in New York, educated in Bangalore and Delhi, she now lives in Kolkata with her family. You can write to her at


The Bug By Ceilan Hunter-Green The Bug for John Donne Check out this bug. Check out how tiny it is. Check it out: it slurped on me, and it slurped on you, and now all our blood is all slurped together in its teeny tummy, and that doesn’t mean anything about us. It’s not yucky, it doesn’t make you a sleazy slut, knocking boots with all and sundry. Its vein juice is now made of double vein juice, but you still won’t do the underpants jitterbug with me? Our red petrol’s all mixed up inside it, keeping it alive, we’re having our honeymoon inside that thing, even though your parents don’t like it—it’s sexy, right? You probably want to send me to the great porn shop in the sky, but then you’d be sleeping with the fishes too, wouldn’t you, since we’re both packed inside that bug, if you think about it. Oh, okay, you killed it. Pretty cold. You got it all over your finger, gross! What did it do, anyway? Just gulped a little of your life sauce. Didn’t hurt you, really. You could still kill it. That’s pretty much what doing the mattress mambo with me would be like. Wouldn’t even feel it, and when it’s over, what’s the difference?

About Ceilan Hunter-Green Ceilan Hunter-Green is a poet, artist, and editor from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., currently living in England. A graduate of Gonzaga University, she has been published in Reality Bites and Love and Outrage and appears in the anthologies Lilac City Fairy Tales: Marry a Monster and The Periodic Table of Poetry. She loves nature, ghosts, monsters, and guilt, and updates fairly regularly.


The Chatelaine By Emily Leider She made her brother’s bed for him, swept his room, emptied his shoes of sand, handed over dimes and quarters found in dunes. Her brother pocketed the change, bopped her with a broom and laughed. Now she presides in a sea-side clapboard scolding the slattern drifts, making bad beds behave. With a broom she disciplines the floor. A tankard sits on the mantle chockablock with coins. Change, pesky and hard jangles her restless sleep.

About Emily Leider Emily Leider ‘s poems have appeared recently in “Caveat Lector,” SLANT, and “december.” She has published biographies of Mae West, Rudolph Valentino and Myrna Loy. Her book of poems, “Rapid Eye Movement & Other Poems,” was published by a small press in San Francisco.


After By Jennifer Davis Michael After he left, she lay in the cooling sheets, feeling the sweat evaporate, hearing the long-awaited rain begin. Naked, she stepped onto the night-drenched patio, and danced around the wrought-iron furniture, the silent dance of a long thirst quenched. She lay on the chaise under the cloud-muffled moon, and let the raindrops slide across her body, each finding its own course.

About Jennifer Davis M ichael Jennifer Davis Michael is Professor and Chair of English at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where she teaches courses in poetry, especially of the late eighteenth century and the Romantic period in Britain. Her poetry has appeared in Mezzo Cammin and the Silver Birch Press New Voices series. Her poem “Bell of Silence,� set to music by Nathan Davis, has been performed by choirs in New York City and La Jolla, CA. She has also published a book of criticism, _Blake and the City_.


CURSES OF LOVE By Leah Mueller Romantic gestures have little in common with obscene ones except they both involve genitals. When I was ten, I lay in a bunk bed in overnight camp and saw the words “I fucked Sally here” scrawled on the ceiling above my head in scary black letters. I thought this meant that somebody had reclined on the mattress, furiously cursing Sally with all his might. Finally he couldn't stand it any more, so he took a marker and vented his spleen on the wall with angry strokes. It wasn't until the following summer, at another camp my best friend told me that men and women rub their genitals together, for kicks. It confused me that a man would use the word “fuck” to describe something fun and then scream it in a fit of apoplectic rage at somebody he hated. My friend explained she found out about sex from reading “The Naked Ape” by Desmond Morris, and said that sometimes the act was violent, even when both people were enthusiastically consenting. I swore fervently that I would never have sex, that any romance in which I might become involved would consist of deep conversation


and nothing moreand should I ever decide to procreate, my own children would be test tube babies. That vow began to erode only six years later and has been eroding ever since, but I still don't know why we say “fuck you” to people we would never fuck under any circumstances.

About Leah M ueller Leah Mueller is an independent writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of one chapbook, “Queen of Dorksville”, and two full-length books, “Allergic to Everything” and “The Underside of the Snake". Her work has been published in Blunderbuss, Sadie Girl Press, Origins Journal, Talking Soup, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, Cultured Vultures, and many other publications. She is a regular contributor to Quail Bell magazine, and was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival. Leah was also a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest.


Brains enough By Bruce Sager If I were a woman, I’d wish for casual beauty, brains enough to hide it, breasts tipped like two pink eyes looking heavenward towards the eyes of god. I’d wish for a man whose hand is never a hammer. I’d wish for a man – between sessions of love so hot Apollo would sweat – who’d break me up, who’d choke me with laughter. I’d wish for the impossible: for love, for heat to last. And when it cooled, a forest. I’d wish for a forest spread so far beyond our lawns that when I wandered into it no one could find me, ever. I’d bury myself in leaves and live on bird’s eggs, on berries. Years might pass. When I’d had enough I’d show up at home, at midnight. You know what I want, I’d say. And he’d know. By Christ, he’d know.

About Bruce Sager Bruce Sager, a recent winner of the William Matthews Poetry Prize, lives in Westminster, Maryland. His work has won publication through competitions judged by Billy Collins, Dick Allen and William Stafford. Currently available through Amazon: Famous, winner of


the Harriss Poetry Prize. Forthcoming from Hyperborea Publishing, Ontario: TAU (poetry) and Hoby Blue Banks in Exactly 1,000 Words, More or Less (short stories). Forthcoming from BrickHouse Books, Baltimore: What Language Would Please Its Ear? and Swale (both poetry)


Dear Aunt Ella, By Mary Ellen Talley Singer sewing you created tailor’s dream whether in blue serge or taffeta organza. Did your police matron uniform and pumps signify power over female inmates to avoid skirmishes? You kept adopting babies wayward women couldn’t keep. Your long lean jaw clenching daily cigarettes, your raspy laugh and swig of scotch. Shielded by the scapular of the Sacred Heart you wore, you crafted an heirloom baptismal gown for my daughter. I delivered hand-picked blueberries to your door – you told me choose a crystal vase. Sharp as shards of glass, my first caregiver when childbirth spent my mother. You said you almost didn’t give me back when her health returned.

About M ary Ellen Talley Mary Ellen Talley is a Seattle, Washington poet whose poems have most recently been published in and Kaleidoscope as well as in recent anthologies, The Doll Collection, All We Can Hold poems of motherhood and Raising Lilly Ledbetter Women Poets Occupy the Workspace. Her poetry has received a Pushcart Nomination. She has worked for many years with words and children as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) in Washington public schools.


Hands By Whitnee Thorp I pray into the early light, entranced with my own, smooth hands, that have not built the life I had imagined. My Mama’s hands were rough from shucking corn, snapping green string beans, and soaking in cloudy dishwater. Her hands, wide and callused, propped my brother and me on her broad hips when we were too tired to walk, yanked us from climbed trees, or smacked our legs when we tattled. At Bible study, she clapped to the rhythm of the Holy Ghost, and squeezed Daddy’s thick knuckles during quiet prayers, breathy hymns. Once, when I had a fever, late at night, she rubbed bits of ice on my dirty-child feet. I’ve tried to reimagine every night before sleep envelopes me and the next day is conscious those hands when they made clover necklaces for grandbabies, pulled lambs from wet wombs, rubbed the swollen fingers of dying parents, and sewed mismatched buttons onto plaid work shirts.


About W hitnee Thorp Whitnee Thorp currently lives in Rapid City, SD where she teaches on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the area of Creative Writing, English, and Speech Communications at Oglala Lakota College. She has a BA in Communications with a double minor in English Writing and Women's Studies from Western Kentucky University. She also has her MFA in Creative Writing from the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. Some of her publications include "PMS Poemmemoirstory", an international poetry anthology entitled,"Veils, Halos, and Shackles", South Dakota's Poetry Society's literary journal, "Pasque Petals", Northern Ireland's anthology "Poets Against Evil Trump", and Tom Hunley's "Poetry Gymnasium". She has attended the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts, and Disquiet International Writing Residency in Lisbon, Portugal, Wellstone Writing Residency, among other writing conferences, workshops, and training.


Green Witch with AIDS By Julene T Weaver I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am

I walk with my toes afire not safe within my walls I shoulder many dark secrets not a cavity I am as deep as the ocean not female song I am arching being not just partner to a man I am full unto myself not a female I’m a planet not a slut I’m a sacred virgin goddess whore not a stupid girl I’m a wise witch not a diamond in the rough I’m a rainbow over the sky not a crazy loon I’m a Cassandra singing

About Julene T W eaver Julene Tripp Weaver, has a therapy practice in Seattle. Her books are: No Father Can Save Her, and Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues, with writing from her work through the heart of the AIDS epidemic. Garrison Keillor featured a poem from this collection on The Writer’s Almanac, and in his anthology, Good Poems American Places. She is published in many journals, including: Anti-Heroin Chic, Gertrude, Cliterature, Menacing Hedge, Drash, Main Street Rag, Pilgrimage, Red Headed Stepchild Magazine, The Far Field, and HIV Here & Now. Find more of her work at and @trippweavepoet.


Art Section


Artist Spotlight with Laura Lark Laura Lark was born in Tucson, grew up in Chicago suburbs, and has lived and worked in Houston, Texas since then. Her BA, MA, and MFA in English, Creative Writing, and Painting, respectively, were earned at the University of Houston. Lark is the recipient of the 2004 Artadia visual art award for Houston, and has had eight solo shows featuring her visual art in commercial and alternative spaces in Houston since 2003. She has done residencies at the Mac Dowell Colony (2012) and the Virginia Creative Center for the Arts (2013). Her written and illustrated works have appeared in journals such as Intellectual Refuge and No Tokens. Her art criticism and parody advice column were hosted on Glasstire Contemporary Art Online from 2001-2011. Interview 1.

What is your artistic process like? Do you work early in the morning or late at night? Do you work every single day or occasionally?

Total early bird. I’m up at 6 and abandon everything, from art-making to errand-running, at 5 p.m. every single day. It’s strange: I keep businessman hours and don’t have to. 2.

What inspires your art?

Unbeknownst to one another, my grandmother, then my mother, served much of their bored homebound sentences in the act of sketching imaginary women and fashion models on the margins of newspapers, TV Guide, and magazines. Some kind of fashion drawing gene. A version of this was the first thing I did as an artist; I didn’t even know why until later. Whether It’s obvious or not, the true thing that drives my work is the narrative behind it. This is inspired by my favorite works of art and literature, and my taste hasn’t changed much since I was nine. Gods and goddesses of Greek and Roman mythology. Literary renditions of factual history. Lives of the Saints. Traditional fairy tales. All have always meaningfully guided my understandings of art, history, and human nature. 3.

What was the biggest challenge for you when you began moving forward with your art career?

Being female. It still is. I’m still female. My work doesn’t fit with most genres, even those professing to be feminist, so it’s taken a long time to be taken seriously. Some people get what I’m up to. More don’t. Prepare thyselves, ladies. 25

feminist, so it’s taken a long time to be taken seriously. Some people get what I’m up to. More don’t. Prepare thyselves, ladies. 4.

What advice would you give other artists trying to break into the business?

The Big Three: 1. Revel in success if and when you can, but we can’t all be rock stars. Statistically, less than 7% of artists with MFAs are still making art five years after graduating. If you’re one of the less than 7% and you’ve not gotten your due, hang in there. Like anything else, your vision and perseverance might get you in front of the right people. Maybe not. But remember--like the music and fashion worlds, art loves its trends. Pick up a stack of Artforum magazines from the ‘80s and see how many artists you recognize on the covers alone. And then walk outside and see how many women are walking around with shoulder pads to rival those of a pro quarterback. You get my drift. 2. Pick friends who regard—or will come to regard—you as much as you do them. And be genuinely happy for them if they get something you don’t. Even if you are doing everything right and your friends’ success takes them down a different road and you’re stuck at the bus stop, be happy for them. And envy doesn’t look good on anybody. 3. I’ve saved the most brief but by far the most important advice for last: I’ve wasted a lot of time and energy throughout my career by being angry and taking things personally. Don’t. For any reason. Ever. You’re welcome. 5.

If you could only do one more piece of art in your life, what would you do?

I’m a genre-jumper. I draw, paint, write, make videos, and do the occasional performance. I rarely practice them simultaneously. As a result, my work combined looks like a group show. I always like what I’m up to or I wouldn’t do it at all, but I want to effectively combine these disciplines. I want to know what that looks like. The metaphorical solo show. 6.

How do you want to be remembered in the world of art? Or in other words, if you could write your own obituary for your artistic legacy, what would you want it to say about your work and yourself?

She made relevant work that remained relevant, because she spent her career presenting intimate, conceptual self portraits to viewers who were 26

She made relevant work that remained relevant, because she spent her career presenting intimate, conceptual self portraits to viewers who were prompted to recognize themselves, their desires, and attitudes regarding what they see in the mirror. All images copyrighted and courtesy of the artist and Devin Borden Gallery

Beautyrest 120"x86" Acrylic on Tyvek 2012


Bella 36"x24" Watercolor on Paper 2005


Cool Pink Leatherette 12"x9" Oil on Gessoed Wooden Panel 2016


Everlast 14"x9" Oil on Mounted Wooden Panel 2016


Gypsy 25"x24" Oil on Mounted Wooden Panel 2016


Artist Statements From All of us With Love, an exhibition featuring “Bella” (or “She Had Nothing but Positive Things to Say against Nature Until it Got in Her Face”), depicts one of five fictional characters, each representing various facets of the artist’s psyche. The different personae run from the self-satisfied to the savage and stand alone and/or were united in installation, video, narrative paintings, drawings, video for the show. The large scale acrylic-and-acrylic wash on Tyvek, Beautyrest, was inspired by a late 1960’s magazine advertisement, but was appropriated to visually retell the Roman myth of Diana and Actaeon. As part of an exhibition entitled The Liveable Forest, it questioned issues pertaining to objectification and Jacque Lacan’s theories of the “Gaze”. Beautyrest simultaneously invites and dares one to view. Who is the truly examined, objectified, and violated here? Who holds the power which is a relevant topic in myth and reality. Everlast, Gypsy, and Cool Pink Leatherette, oil paintings mounted on wood supports, were just a few of the works inspired by a year of subscribing to, carefully leafing through, and eventually culling images from every American fashion and bridal magazine directed at adult women I could find. The paintings here joined others in an exhibition entitled The Misuses of Enchantment. The title refers to The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettleheim’s 1978 book asserting the importance of myth and fairy tales in childhood emotional development. These stories, told in a safe environment, provide lessons and a happy ending, and prepare one for future difficulties. But what of the fables aimed at girls who grow into women and expect white lace and promises? How do they mold our self image and esteem? Cinderella and Snow White lead to the Tales of Tiffany’s and we wonder where we went wrong.


Sharon Sharpio For over 20 years, Sharon Shapiro’s figurative paintings and works on paper have been exhibited in numerous venues including shows in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and London. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at {Poem88} Gallery in Atlanta, GA; Brenau University in Gainesville, GA; and Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA. In addition to being published in catalogues produced for these solo exhibitions as well as a hardbound catalogue for a group exhibition examining female identity in contemporary art published by the University of Central Missouri, her work has been featured in three issues of New American Paintings, and as the cover image for Volume 39. Shapiro has been a resident at Jentel Artist Residency, Bann er, WY; Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL; the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Amherst, VA; the Ucross Foundation, Sheridan, WY; and the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, GA and is a past recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. Her work is in a number of important collections throughout the United States, such as The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA and the Tullman Collection, Chicago, IL. Shapiro holds a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and currently lives and works outside of Charlottesville, VA

Figure 1: Badlands


Figure 2: Heavy Breather


Reader Note: Thanks for reading! For more work or information, please visit Follow me on Facebook at https:// . Follow me on Twitter at UnprecedentedR or @UnprecedentedR .


Submission Info: Closed for Submissions until December to implement a quarterly issue. I appreciate the poets and artists that submit here, so I want to have adequate time to respond and spend with their work. Thank you for understanding.