Issue 19 – Spring/Summer 2019
Issue 19 features 96 pages of remarkable fiction, poetry and essays, including the winning and two shortlisted stories from the inaugural Desperate Literature Prize and interviews with the author/translator Ken Liu and the artist Tivon Rice.
It might appear a little quiet around these parts, but in fact we have been busy with several projects behind the scenes. The first of these to go public is a collaboration between Structo and the Amsterdam-based risograph publisher and bookbinder Otherwhere. It’s a collection of short stories called Yarn.
Featuring stories by Ethan Chapman, Jude Cook, Uschi Gatward, Paula Hunter, Siemen Ingelse, Avril Joy, Josh Weeks and Eley Williams, Yarn is not your typical book. Otherwhere love playing with form, and the collection takes the form of seven hand-bound cahier booklets and one concertina.
The collection runs to 200 pages, and is available now in a limted, numbered edition from the Otherwhere website. We couldn’t be more delighted with the final result—our thanks to Kay Brugmans at Otherwhere for such an enjoyable collaboration.
This isn’t the first time Structo authors have appeared in Otherwhere books: Travis Dahlke’s story ‘Hollow as Legs’ was released by the studio a couple of years ago. It’s another stunning piece of work and it seems that a few copies of this title are also still available on the Otherwhere site.
Vaguely literary things we’ve been enjoying
I’m a big fan of audiobooks – a great way to enjoy stories when it isn’t possible to pick up a book – and Librivox has a great catalogue. The works on offer are out of (US) copyright and are free to download, though they do advise you to check the copyright status in your own country before downloading. Anyone can volunteer to record (either solo, or as part of a collaboration), and there’s a friendly and knowledgeable bunch of people who help with things such as ‘proof listening’. I read for them a few years ago and had great fun collaborating on Pliny’s Natural History and some of James Boswell’s work. Reading aloud does make you consider the text very closely, I’ve found. — Elaine
A blog I’ve been reading for ten years – indeed, since it started! – is People Reading. In each post, Sonya Worthy snaps a photo of someone on the street reading a book. She then interviews them briefly and finds out what they’re reading and why. It’s one of my favourite sites on the internet. I’ve discovered gems I would never otherwise have found, such as God’s Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembène. People are always presented as readers first and foremost; she rarely delves into their private lives, unlike more modern sites such as Humans of New York. It’s lovely to see so many people out and about reading.
FutureLearn works with unis and cultural institutions around the world to create courses on some pretty interesting topics – all for free – from the comfort of your laptop or smartphone. They’re super accessible and are a great way to intro yourself to or brush up on subjects when you’re short on time and juggling other projects. I’m currently enjoying their course on Hans Christian Andersen with the Uni of Southern Denmark. Next up on my list is their Shakespeare course run by my old uni lecturer Jonathan Bate.