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Citizen J on Tour



Citizen J small

“‘Stylishly gun powdered’ and slickly political, Olszewska’s addictive poems are fast, fidgety, and charmingly noirish. Hyper wordplay makes for dangerous gunplay; ‘this isn’t a game/for blanks.’ Beware Citizen J.”

—Robyn Schiff, author of Revolver and Worth

14.95 + 3, shipping this September










Last Wednesday, Tadd posted a note announcing that Curbside Splendor is taking Artifice on as an imprint, and that I have signed on as editor. Those are true things. Curbside and Artifice are an ideal match, and I couldn’t be more excited about working on the next phase in the expansion of this little magazine.

What changes for you, writers, designers? None, for the moment. Artifice 5 is ready to go to press—Tadd and I have been sending out acceptance letters for a while now—and as soon as it goes, work on 6 will start. Submissions remain open. Those of you who didn’t hear back from us this round, please don’t withdraw. We still have your work and are considering it for the next issue. Thanks to all for your patience.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be filling five new editorial positions at Artifice. We’re looking for people who know what we’ve done so far and what gets us all excited, but who also have clear sight in all directions. We’re looking for people who have some kind of magazine or journal experience. We’re looking for people who live in Chicago, though living somewhere else will not be a dealbreaker in every case.

We need:

– 2 content editors to help with choosing pieces for Artifice 6 and beyond

1 PR editor to manage our Facebook and Twitter accounts, pitch and coordinate events, and be the nice one

– 2 assistant editors to screen incoming submissions, stuff envelopes, and surprise us with freakish confidence and ability

Please send letters of interest along with any other material you think might boost your chances to jobs [at] artificemag [dot] com. As is the case with most small literary magazines, right now we can pay our editors only with love and respect and some free stuff.

I want to thank Tadd for the opportunity to continue the work that he and Rebekah started, and the privilege of working alongside him on the forthcoming issue. Also, thanks to Victor David Giron at Curbside Splendor for bringing us on and for all his support. Final thanks to all of you who have ever sent Artifice your writing or bought a copy. More issues and new projects to come.

❤ Peter

Editor’s Note

Hey guys. It’s been a while. This transition phase we’ve been in has taken a little longer than expected. That’s okay. Sometimes good things come out of longer than-expected transition phases.

For example: Curbside Splendor, that rockstar of Chicago publishing, is taking on Artifice Magazine as an imprint. This will mean better distribution and a more regular schedule, not to mention the fact that the folks at Curbside are awesome to hang out with.

For another example: Peter Jurmu is coming on as an editor. Peter’s worked as fiction editor at Redivider and Catch Up Magazine. He’s been working with me on Artifice 5, and he’ll be taking over as Ed-in-Chief for Issue 6. I’m pretty thrilled to have him come on our staff. He’s a fantastic editor and, like the folks at Curbside, a lot of fun to hang out with.

As for me, I’ll be hanging back a bit, working on Artifice Books, helping out occasionally with the magazine. I love this magazine, but I never intended it to be my project alone. I’m sincerely grateful for the people on staff and on our board who have helped out over the years: Ian McCarty, Alvilde Falck, Kaisa Cummings, Laura Donnelly, Roxane Gay, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Elizabeth Lyons, Colin Raymond, and Kathleen Rooney. And particularly to Rebekah Silverman, who started Artifice Magazine with me, and helped make it so much of what it is, and what it will continue to be. I am glad that I have been able to be part of such an exciting project, and I am glad that it will continue to have a life outside of any one person.

Pride (In the Name of Dissent)

Yesterday, I sat across the room from the most decorated Olympian of all time. Michael Phelps was playing poker at a private table with his friends and girlfriend. When Phelps walked in, I initiated a round of applause. In a room of fifty to sixty people, no more than six people joined me. I asked my tablemates why they weren’t clapping. One replied that he doesn’t clap Americans.

The difference between nationalism and national pride seems vague at best. Like many online natives, I find nationalism to be a stale and musty concept. National borders don’t impact my life in any significant way. By opening my laptop, I am given access to communicate with every English speaking nation on Earth.

In ‘real life’, my social group is multicultural and multi-ethnic. For the most part, we lean towards a cynical consensus on matters like the Royal Family, the Conservative Party and ‘traditional’ British values. Within our group, I’ve certainly never felt compelled to identify myself as British or English, let alone debate the semantics of their difference. Yet in this Olympic fortnight, that same social group has been caught in a maelstrom of national pride.

Pride is a messy, inarticulate emotion. This is well evidenced in the nonsense lyrics of U2’s classic power ballad Pride (In the Name of Love). The song is supposedly about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I for one did not realise.

In researching this article, I conducted a few interviews with my friends. When I challenged them to justify their pride for our Olympic athletes, they unanimously resorted to tautology. They are proud because they are. Obviously. As I probed further, they began to distinguish between the notions of individual pride and collective pride. Most concluded that pride on someone else’s behalf is no more than happiness. Undoubtedly, this capacity for compassion is crucial to proper moral and human behaviours, but it also carries a rather dangerous implication, since pride for some necessarily means shame for others.

Other friends took a different line when pressed, becoming strictly analytical. One explained that his taxes have contributed towards the funding of each athlete’s training. He is therefore somehow complicit in the success of that individual/team, even if only by the most tenuous extension.

We know that pride can be blinding. We learned that in Nazi Germany. We learned that in Iraq. We learned that in Penn State. Watch here as young, bright minds riot in support of a paedophile.

In this fortnight, there has been no mention of this danger. Here, The Independent run an article lambasting Morrissey for pointing out the jingoism surrounding Olympic euphoria. He is labelled a sensationalist for noting the lack of a dissenting voice in the national press.

Somehow, international competition justifies what is no more than a tribal and territorial response. To be part of something, to know ones place: it all somehow enforces the prized maxim of the western world – Know Thyself. A wisdom that refutes space for abstraction. A wisdom too stubborn to not understand. Know Thyself and with that pride, you shall never have to be humble enough to concede, wise enough to relinquish, or small enough to be lost. You are what you are. Don’t you ever go trying to change.

Pride can be a force for good. When uniting an oppressed people, there’s a lot of emotional force that pride can harness. Otherwise, idgi.