Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and been enjoying the first issue thus far. We are in the process of working on issue two and we are very excited for what we will be sharing with you all in the next few months. While this project is a labor of love and we will never charge anything for the issues, we will gladly accept donations of any amount if you appreciate the work. Donations can be sent to our paypal account through the email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks again for all the support you all have shown thus far.
PEN Center USA’s Emerging Voices Fellowship is here to help you claim those words. Apply to be a 2016 Fellow and receive a professional mentorship, participate in public readings around Los Angeles, and surround yourself with a network of published authors to start building your literary community. Repeat after us: you are a writer. #Apply2016
Download your application online at www.penusa.org. Questions? Get our application tips here https://goo.gl/A9sB2c.
All The Crap You Keep Inside Grows Sunflowers
By Keith Niles
All the crap you keep inside grows sunflowers and
bell peppers and opium poppies that brood in the
richest darkest loam for weeks and months in the
suppression of the sadness of your unfulfilled visions
before something gives way to the sun and the
heart blooms black and bursts forth with awful
truths. I’m afraid I may have a nervous breakdown
before long, the seeds are too strong and these
flowers are those no one wants to see, they bring
death to things and sadness to the land. I’m sad, I’m
sad, and I just really can’t say right now, you know,
the garden needs all the quiet it can get, the
garden has a need, it needs to grow.
On Saturday January 31st, an intimate and attentive audience had the opportunity to witness a public reading of the first of six installments of Chiwan Choi’s new novel Ghost Makers. The reading, which can also be construed as more of a performance, was captivating. What Choi, a prolific poet and storyteller, has presented thus far proves to be just as powerful as anything we’ve come to expect of him in the past. For those who missed it, the story follows a narrator who is flawed yet good-hearted, trying to make his way in the world. There were some flashbacks to a few key moments in the narrator’s childhood, such as a night in the snow where the child discovers his dog laying dead, only to lay with his friend for the rest of the wintery night.
The initial offering spans three different countries and a number of years. The story, which is filled with beautifully poetic language, has an autobiographical air to it, giving the audience the feeling of peering into Choi’s soul – but who’s to say which moments are fact, and which are fiction? A scene between the narrator and his lover was especially poignant with its analysis of the troubles we often find ourselves in relationships and the beauty of the moments that just seem to work. The narrator is knocking on the door to his lover’s place. He gets no response and heads over to her bedroom window only to find her sound asleep. Slipping through the window he sets down two subway meal deals he had just purchased for the pair. Rather than wait for her to wake up, he goes back out the window and heads over to a bar. After about five drinks she calls him asking where he had been. The discussion leads him back to her place where he discovered she ate his sandwich. The conversation quickly evolves into talks of a wind-up elephant he once bought her. Even though he was drunk and she ate his prized sandwich, the level of care and intimacy the two shared made the situation feel comforting and right, like one of those few moments in life where you know that you are with someone who understands you, even if the rest of the time is a complete mess.
This project, which is in collaborative with Katz’s Deli, will continue through the entirety of 2015. Throughout the year Choi will spend one month working on the novel, and then presenting his progress by giving a reading at a different publicly accessible location until its completion. In addition to the performance aspect of reading a novel in progress, there is also the Buddhist-like quality of the “performance” as well. After every reading, Choi will destroy the chapter he had labored over tirelessly once he has finished sharing it. Per his contract with Katz’s Deli (which was also read prior to the start of the event), he must destroy the work in a different way each time. The inaugural chapter was destroyed via burning the typed pages in a barbeque. After the reading, audience members are asked to respond to the prompt “what do you remember” at a video, audio, or typewriter station. It is these anonymous documentations that will ultimately be published at the conclusion of the year. The next reading will occur at yet to be announced time and place sometime in the month of March. While every section makes for a larger part of a whole, the sheer nature of its inception will surely allow for each piece to work as a vignette as well.
Welcome to Angel City Review. We have a lot of exciting things in the works. First and foremost this website is finally live and public. We will be having a reading to celebrate the release of the inaugural issue mid February (details will be announced shortly). We would like to take the time to thank everyone who has contributed to the making of this project – from the contributors whose donations have allowed us to not break our pocket books, the writers who will be featured on our digital pages, and the amazing staff who have worked tirelessly to put together something new and exciting.