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Events

Wann ist es Zeit, die Toten hinter sich zu lassen? Auf einer Fotografie, abgedruckt in der New York Times während der Jugoslawienkriege, konnte man Bosnische Serben sehen, welche auf ihrer Flucht die mit dicken Seilen aus den geöffneten Gräbern gehobenen Särge ihrer Angehörigen auf den Dächern ihrer Autos befestigten; sie kannten ihre Feinde – trotz ihres enthemmten nationalistischen Wahns waren diese kaum anders als sie selbst – und wussten, dass diese die Gräber ihrer Ahnen schänden würden.

Scrima Viral Brecht-Haus

Immer wieder werden Flüchtlinge, die bei ihrem Versuch, den afrikanischen Kontinent zu verlassen, im Mittelmeer umgekommen sind, an den Stränden Libyens, Tunesiens und Italiens angeschwemmt, wo es selten Vorkehrungen gibt für Grabsteine, DNA-Datenbanken oder nummerierte Grabstätten. Angetrieben von Barmherzigkeit versuchen einige Personen vor Ort die Opfer zu identifizieren, Angehörige zu kontaktieren und den Leichen eine würdige Bestattung zukommen zu lassen. Doch wenn das Meer selbst zum Friedhof geworden ist, welche Bedeutung hat es dann, in fremder Erde begraben zu werden?

Lesung für das Brecht-Haus Berlin im Rahmen des Literaturfestivals VIRAL

Statorec inaugurated its Corona issue on April 16 with an essay by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Andrea Scrima, titled Corona ReportReturning from Italy at the end of February 2020, just as the first lockdowns went into place, she reflects on the beginnings of the pandemic and on the Bergamo/Valencia soccer game in Milan, the biological bomb that led to the virus’s rapid spread throughout northern Italy. The hallucinatory prose in William Cody Maher’s Double Featurepublished one week later, gropes its way through a labyrinth of internalized fear as human encounters are measured in terms of physical distance. In late April, Statorec editor David Dario Winner’s Daisy Assassin followed, which exposes the uncomfortable barriers of ethnicity, civic cooperation, and racism as experienced by someone going out for what is no longer an ordinary run. In Windows, Beverly Gologorsky’s quiet meditations probe the geography of pandemic isolation, while in Excerpts from Another Love Discourse, taken from a novel-in-progress, Edie Meidav weaves the virus’s sudden appearance into a larger narrative of love and loss. German jazz pianist Christian von der Goltz’s Halted Time listens to what’s behind the eerie silence of the virus’s global spread; Matthew Vollmer reflects on some of the more absurd aspects of lockdown in his kaleidoscopic Quarantine Diary; and Aimee Parkison’s dreamlike riff Masks and Guns captures America in all its dangerous absurdity in a cops and robbers game gone horribly wrong. In Corona Diary, former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Joan Juliet Buck masterfully assesses the wear and tear on the psyche as we attempt to feel our way through this strange time, while Alice Stephens’s After Ginger reflects on anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American sentiment in times of Corona—and how some things don’t seem to change. While in Rooms and Clarinets, Clifford Thompson reflects on Covid, racism, Malcolm X, lockdown, and discovering a new room within to make one’s voice heard, Alexander Graeff’s Perpetuum Mobile describes long-distance love and patriarchy in times of pandemic and Scott Martingell’s Poems in Times of Corona expose the little hypocrisies spoon-fed to us by the powers that be. In Speaking of Which: Work in Progress, Nigerian-American poet Uche Nduka probes racism’s dark and violent undercurrent in American society, while Rebecca Chace’s Masks and Gloves looks at white privilege and “I can’t breathe” in times of Corona. Barbara Fischkin’s essay Autism in the Time of Covid details one man’s lockdown in disabled housing and Jon Roemer’s Uncertainty Ever After explores what it means to be a writer in precarious times. 

As of early June 2020, we are close to completing this issue (in blog format), with approximately six more pieces in the pipeline. Authors to come: Eboné Bishop, Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Cheryl Sucher, Caille Millner, Joan Marcus, Mui Poopoksakul, and Roxana Robinson.

True to its mission, Statorec (“Statement of Record”) is motivated by the urge to record a variety of voices going through the same experience, but in very different ways—before the drive to return to normality becomes so strong that the time of lockdown, of charts and graphs and epidemiological factoids, will eventually seem like a bizarre dream. It’s this we find ourselves thinking about the most: how our reality shifts with each new outrage, and how little we understand about the way these events are changing us in the long term. As we undergo a kind of grinding down of reality in the process of adapting to unheard-of change, what motivates us to publish this issue is the feeling that there’s a fragile chance to be seized, if only we could sustain our attention and belief long enough to act on it.

The term “strange attractor” derives from a scientific theory describing an inevitable occurrence that arises out of chaos. Edie Meidav’s introduction and the thirty-five pieces collected in this new anthology offer imaginative, arresting, and memorable replies to this query, including guidance from a yellow fish, a typewriter repairman, a cat, a moose, a bicycle, and a stranger on a train. Absorbing and provocative, this is nonfiction to be read in batches and bursts and returned to again and again.

Berliners! Come this Friday to the Hopscotch Reading Room at 7:30 pm:  Kurfürstenstrasse 14, 10785 Berlin

Strange Attractors Berlin

Authors Andrea Scrima and Heather Sheehan will meet with Edie Meidav, co-editor of “Strange Attractors: Lives Changed by Chance” (University of Massachusetts Press), and moderator Madeleine LaRue for a reading and discussion at the Hopscotch Reading Room.  Followed by: musical guest Ben Richter on accordion.

“Each essay reckons with contradictions, consequences, and risks. The moving, muscular collection holds an unexpected sort of magic, a sparkling nudge to stay open to change.” —Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe

 

About the readers:

Edie Meidav, co-editoris the author of Kingdom of the Young (Sarabande), short fiction with a nonfiction coda, and three award-winning novels, Lola, California (FSG), and Crawl Space (FSG) the most recent. She is on the permanent faculty of the MFA for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Andrea Scrima is the author of the novel A Lesser Day (Spuyten Duyvil), which has also been published in German (Wie viele Tage, Literaturverlag Droschl) to great acclaim. She received a writer’s fellowship from the Berlin Senate for Cultural Affairs and is currently completing a second novel. Scrima writes literary criticism for the Brooklyn Rail, Music & Literature, Schreibheft, Manuskripte, Quarterly Conversation, and other publications; she is contributing editor to the online literary magazine Statorec and writes a monthly column for 3QuarksDaily. The work in the anthology is excerpted from a piece that appeared on her blog Stories I tell myself when I can’t get to sleep at night.

Heather Sheehan, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, thrives on a visual arts practice that informs her written works. Together with sculpture, performance, and photography, Sheehan reaches audiences within and beyond the boundaries of her adopted homeland in Germany, where her works are to be seen in contemporary art museums. When not in her atelier manifesting experience into form, Heather Sheehan inspires others with her boundless curiosity and belief in the healing powers of human nature. Visit her at www.heathersheehan.com.

Moderator: Madeleine LaRue is a writer and translator, and senior editor and director of publicity for Music & Literature. She lives in Berlin.

A great evening was had by all! 

Thanks to Joy Garnett, Margo Taft Stever, Chris Campanioni, Uche Nduka, Erik Rasmussen, Andrea Scrima, David Dephy, David Winner, and Tyler Gore for reading at the Starr Bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn in celebration of the new issue of STATOREC magazine. 

May 24, 2019 at 7 pm. 214 Starr Street / Brooklyn, New York / 11237

Slam readers 2

 

On a panel at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. Berlin Polylingual—Parataxe Symposium IV. 

me LCB

Photo: Graham Hains.

Ich möchte gerne mit einer Behauptung anfangen: Eine deutsche Nationalliteratur muss nicht unbedingt auf Deutsch geschrieben sein.

Zahlreiche nichtdeutschsprachige Autoren, von denen viele seit Jahrzehnten in Deutschland leben, haben ihre Verlage, ihre gesamte Infrastruktur, ihre Leser hier. Nicht wenige werden primär im deutschsprachigen Raum wahrgenommen; die meisten bewegen sich zwischen Kulturen und sind als Essayisten, Kritiker, Moderatoren, usw. aktiv im Austausch zwischen den Sprachen. Dies alles übt einen enormen Einfluss auf die deutschsprachige Literatur aus und beleuchtet auch Themen in der Gesellschaft und der Politik, die vielleicht nur von „vertrauten Fremden“ beleuchten werden können.

Und doch: angesichts der immer fremdenfeindlicher werdenden Atmosphäre, angesichts der Tatsache, dass die AfD die Kultur als Kampffeld für sich entdeckt hat und nun u.a. die Strategie der parlamentarischen Anfragen verfolgt, um sozialkritische Arbeiten zu diffamieren und die Kulturförderung an sich immer wieder in Frage zu stellen, ist eine derartige Behauptung höchst politisch.

— full text to be published soon.

 

With Martin Jankowski, Eugen Ruge, Anne Fleig, and Mitja Vachedin. 

LBC panel 2

LCB panel

Photos: Graham Hains.

I’ll be taking part in a panel today on language diversity in the literatures of Berlin.

Come to the Literarisches Colloquium in Wannsee! 

4:30 – 6 p.m.
PANEL III
: Berliner Futur – entropische Literaturen?
Keynote: Anne Fleig
Participants: Andrea ScrimaEugen RugeMitja VachedinAnne Fleig
Moderation: Martin Jankowski
Featured Poet: Amora Bosco

Read the full program here. Parataxe

Tuesday,  Oct 30 – 6:00 PM  STAT®REC SLAM #1 

Andrea Scrima;  David Winner;  Erik Rasmussen;  

Jennifer Franklin;  Phineas Lambert;  Uche Nduka 

29 Cornelia Street, NYC

STAT®REC SLAM #1 image

Come celebrate our first public event ever and applaud our intrepid readers! 

Statorec, deemed “The impetuous radicalism of literary upstarts” by The New York Times and, more recently, “The snob’s solution to the Internet’s democratizing influence on the arts” by Entertainment Weekly, is an online literary magazine of fiction, poetry, criticism, and non-fiction that offers a statement of record to the new century. 

Our cultural and political agenda: Total world domination for artists! 

Come one, come all! And if you clap (and drink) enough, we’ll be back for #2!

 

Cornelia Street 29, NYC

Wonderful to be accompanied by the ever-perceptive and inspiring Madeleine LaRue of Music & Literature on the rooftop of The Circus Hotel in Berlin-Mitte. 

Here is the interview LaRue did with me for Music & Literature

Patterns of Erosion: A Conversation with Andrea Scrima

Circus with Maddy

“She sees a slip of paper lying on the street at the point of projected convergence, and she picks it up with a feeling that retrieving it is somehow necessary and crucial. That’s a key passage in the book, and it comes close to describing a relationship to meaning, in the way that you’re living in an insentient world, in a world of natural phenomena, man-made phenomena, trains and buses and buildings and streets, yet things are constantly happening that can suddenly seem to be saying something to you. The phrase I use in the book is ‘a language of happenstance […] in the din of occurrence.’ Searching for meaning in these chance occurrences—the superstitious see signs in coincidences, but you could also think of them as constituting a kind of language. But whose, and to what purpose? At the moment I’m reading Esther Kinsky’s Hain, a beautiful book that she’s called a Geländeroman—how would you translate that into English?—it’s not nature writing, but a meditative description of outdoor spaces that could be called wasteland or fallow land, something in between city or village and rural. Basically, the premise of the book—although I’m sure Kinsky’s intentions are more complex—is to reflect consciousness in the process of observation. Kinsky’s narrator studies a landscape that’s transitioning into a kind of poorly defined, semi-urban space—it’s a landscape, but it’s not idyllic: there’ll be a dump somewhere, or something broken down and very ugly. And through this description process, through this unbelievably painstaking, precise description that consists of the quietest, most strikingly poetic details, she reflects and clarifies her thought process, her process of remembering. There’s a passage mid-way in the book in which she actually begins speaking of a grammar in the landscape: a slash, a comma, a sentence answered by another sentence; birds as a flurry of punctuation marks. It’s extraordinary..”

Wonderful words by writer Lance Olsen: 

“Fantastic reading/conversation last night with the ever thoughtful, existentially attentive, compassionate, wise, wildly talented, & fascinating Andrea Scrima about her post-genre autre-biography, A Lesser Day, its just-released German translation, Wie viele Tage, the spatial dimensions of memory, her use of the slippery ‘you’ in the text, the problematics of helping bring one’s own work over into a second language in which one is fluent, & so much more.”

April 12, 2018

me & rebecca lettrétage

Moderated by Rebecca Rukeyser.

Berliners: I’ll be reading in the series “Literally Speaking” at BuchHafen in Neukölln on January 24. Along with Chris Chinchilla, Wlada Kolosowa, Rhea Ramjohn, and Isabelle Ståhl.

Come early, because Träci A. Kim’s series is usually packed! Looking forward to seeing you all. I’m beginning my reading with an excerpt from Marie-Luise Kaschnitz’s story The Fat Child (Das dicke Kind). 

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.28.31

Literally Speaking

Excerpt:

My mind snapped shut like a box. I turn, perplexed: but wasn’t something there a moment ago? Waiting, waiting, looking on as though at a mute child, hoping to pry out a word, or a smile: patience is the essence. The child stands dumbly before me, and I kneel down with a friendly mien. What was that just now, what do you have in your hand, I ask gently. The child’s eyelashes veil its downcast eyes. I saw you putting something in your pocket a moment ago, wouldn’t you like to show me what you have in your pocket? But the child stares at its toes, suspended in a glistening bubble of impunity. Say something, I blurt out, growing agitated, and the child raises a grimy fist to brush the hair out of its eyes, gazing at me in sullen apathy. I hear the sharp edge in my voice, I know this tactic will lead me nowhere, yet I’m vexed, I want to drill the child with questions: what are you hiding, what have you stolen? And hardly an answer, a feeble shrug, and I, growing desperate, give it back, give it back, feeling the hand itching to slap the face of this stupid, torpid mind: will you come to your senses, will you give me back what’s mine?

I’ll be reading from A LESSER DAY this evening at a place called ausland.

How much of our lives is contained in the places we’ve lived in? And does memory have a spatial dimension? As the narrator attempts to locate meaning in the passage of time as it inscribes itself into the myriad things around her, she discovers instances of illusion and self-deception—the flaws in human perception that reveal themselves when we examine the mechanisms of our own thinking: “The amnesia that follows, when the mind carefully buries its new discovery, only digging it up some time later when it’s certain of being alone, unobserved, turning it over and over, sniffing at it as though it were a dried-out bone.”

Together with Ben Miller and Charlotte Wührer.

Doors open at 7 p.m.

Lychenerstraße 60, 10437 Berlin

Bildschirmfoto 2017-06-25 um 15.14.49