"One day I realized that I was looking forward to it all the time." — Introducing Connor Grogan, the new NOÖ/Magic Helicopter Press intern!

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It’s crispy leaf school time again here in Western Mass, and that means a new intern for NOÖ and Magic Helicopter! We’re delighted to bring Connor Grogan onboard to help out. He’s going to be doing some copyediting, some book reviewing, some interviewing, and some special projects of his own, including starting an audio-based online journal and a poetry reading series themed around adult literacy.

Connor lives in Amherst, Massachusetts and studies at Hampshire College. He’s a Poetry Reader at BOATT, and his own work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Willard & Maple, The Legendary, and BOAAT.

We asked him a few questions, and he gave some great answers!

***

You grew up in New Hampshire, which is a state—if I understand correctly—that used to have a living mountain, a giant stone creature, that terrorized the gentry, leading to the New Hampshire slogan “Live free for God’s sakes it’s coming.” Can you please explain New Hampshire?

I grew up in a small town (around 800 people) called Hill. Given our (lack of) size, we frequently flew under the giant’s radar. As for the slogan, fear of being squashed under foot seems to have encouraged a fairly lax/care-free attitude towards seatbelt/helmet laws (read: none). We do have lots of really pretty granite, though.

Once you ordered a sandwich with sun dried tomato pesto, except you thought you were ordering a sandwich with sun dried tomatoes and pesto. Can you please advance a general theory of sandwiches?

My dad’s favorite sandwich is a Reuben. My Step-Grandfather’s (this always feels like such a curious linguistic/genealogical construction) favorite snack was a Ritz Cracker with Peanut butter, & Ketchup, & Onions which I suppose could be considered a kind of open-faced sandwich. As for a more general theory, I fear that any limitations I try to place on the Sandwich Form will eventually begin to leak (just like my soggy sandwich with sun dried tomato pesto!). So in lieu of an airtight definition, here’s a list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sandwiches.

A serious thing you’re interested in is adult literacy and education. That’s awesome! How did you first get passionate about this line of education, and can you tell us a little about your plans/ideas for melding poetry with adult literacy?

I started volunteering with the Literacy Project in Northampton, MA a couple years ago through work study at Hampshire College. The teacher that I worked under was super cool & super fun to work with. One day I realized that I was looking forward to it all the time, I even started substitute teaching a little bit with them. This is preferable to washing dishes or going door-to-door which were the only other jobs I’d done up to that point. Since starting at the Literacy Project I’ve worked with adults in other capacities, like as a Direct Support Professional at KFI in Bangor, Maine where I hail from (ever since the granite giant died).

Working with people to help them develop an increased sense of agency/autonomy/choice/&c. in their lives is very much in line with my politics. & art, for me, is inherently political so it’s not too big of a leap to mesh the two. Since we’re always already in writing, literacy is especially important. I don’t have any solid plans yet, but I’d like to see an increase in the number of literary outlets that are working with an eye towards art produced by people in Adult Ed. Programs/Prisons/Institutions and persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

I have a tendency to over-explain things.

One time we were having lunch, and your friend came up and said you were one of the best poets she knew, not just in school but in general. And I barked “EVALUATION TIME IS OVER!” in what I thought was a sort of Will Ferrell-ish “loud joke” voice, but I think your friend and everyone at the table felt genuinely afraid/embarrassed, including me, if I’m being honest, here at question four, as it usually takes me at least four questions before I really get honest. Can you tell us about the most honest poems you’ve ever read or written? What about the most dishonest?

For what it’s worth, I thought the joke was effectively communicated. I don’t know what my friend thought, though; I’ll have to ask her. This is a tough question. I don’t know if I can even speak/write meaningfully about the honesty of other’s poems. Which only leaves me with my own & I don’t know if my poems are very honest. Sometimes, lately, I try to write poems that incorporate interactions I’ve had with the people that I supported as a DSP. Sometimes honesty is really tricky. One time in a poem I wrote about masturbating, that felt pretty honest at the time. Yesterday, I wrote about “hav[ing] a masochist body,” this also felt pretty honest at the time (do I only feel “honest” about having written sex things?). Everything else is pretty much as honest but never feels remarkably so. Maybe I should work on that. “Honesty” has never felt like a meaningful lens of approach to a poem for me. Maybe I should work on that, too.

When did you first realize language could make people feel things?

Probably a long, long time ago before my memory. But the better answer is: Freshman year of college in a bathroom stall reading poems that the interns [read: RAs] had put there. There were some pretty cool W.S Merwin poems & these other ones by a guy I’d never heard of that I related to a lot better, like, in a way that I didn’t know (or had forgotten) that language could do. I googled this mystery poet and bought [Ben Mirov’s] Ghost Machine later that week & started taking workshops. 

***

Please welcome Connor and watch for the great stuff he’s going to be contributing!


A crisp breeze is a perfect excuse for a new NOÖ Weekly! This time around, we’re spotlighting the work of new Bay Area press Called Back Books, with a NOÖ Weekly guest edited by Sharon Zetter and featuring Brian Teare, Colby Gillette, Jenny Drai, Maxine Chernoff, Adam Fagin, Cassandra Smith, Lucas M. Rivera, and Trevor Calvert. Check it out!

A crisp breeze is a perfect excuse for a new NOÖ Weekly! This time around, we’re spotlighting the work of new Bay Area press Called Back Books, with a NOÖ Weekly guest edited by Sharon Zetter and featuring Brian Teare, Colby Gillette, Jenny Drai, Maxine Chernoff, Adam Fagin, Cassandra Smith, Lucas M. Rivera, and Trevor Calvert. Check it out!


NOÖ [15] is here! Featuring presentations of great books, some alumni spotlights, shepherds and crosses collaged, feather sisters, tossing phones into the water, animated knife piles, a girl who plays football named Tractor, shadow doves, batshit heroines, sunset cannonballs, peaceful blemishes, new gaps,#FUCKYESOXYGEN, and loving yourself at night.NOÖ is back and bigly.And hey, if you like it, can you share maybe a line or a piece of art or something else you like and post it or Tweet about it? Whether it’s someone new to you or dear as a good old pet whale, we’d love to spread the word about all the fantastic work in this issue!If you hate your computer screen, look for FREE (9 years and counting!) print copies of NOÖ [15] dappling across everywhere in a month or so! Don’t forget: you’re the best, and coconut mango sticky rice is great with wine.Thank you!Mike & NOÖ crew

NOÖ [15] is here! 

Featuring presentations of great books, some alumni spotlights, shepherds and crosses collaged, feather sisters, tossing phones into the water, animated knife piles, a girl who plays football named Tractor, shadow doves, batshit heroines, sunset cannonballs, peaceful blemishes, new gaps,#FUCKYESOXYGEN, and loving yourself at night.

NOÖ is back and bigly.

And hey, if you like it, can you share maybe a line or a piece of art or something else you like and post it or Tweet about it? Whether it’s someone new to you or dear as a good old pet whale, we’d love to spread the word about all the fantastic work in this issue!

If you hate your computer screen, look for FREE (9 years and counting!) print copies of NOÖ [15] dappling across everywhere in a month or so! Don’t forget: you’re the best, and coconut mango sticky rice is great with wine.

Thank you!
Mike & NOÖ crew


Hi, this is Mike. Hope y’all are having a nice summer evening with not too many thunderstorms or missile attacks or dehydrated peas. I have two big pieces of NOÖ news, so I made an infographic for them. You can get the main news by looking at the picture above all this text. In all this text, I will explain the news emotionally.NOÖ has been around almost ten years, and while my love for NOÖ has not diminished, my energy for actually working on the darn thing has waned as my life has undergone major squiggles and changes in the last few years. This means that I’ve been taking a crazy long time to finish NOÖ [15] and an even crazier and longer time to interact with all the people good enough to reach out to NOÖ in many ways, such as by sending us work they made and cared about and wanted to see in NOÖ. If people thought about NOÖ at all, they probably thought it died! It is easy for things to die in our infinitely scrolling world, or get ignored, etc. But I want to say I really appreciate—always and forever—all of you reading NOÖ and thinking of us as a good place for your work and just generally being around NOÖ to hang out and encounter the world with us. In the nine years NOÖ has been around—as I’ve worked on it alone and with my friends Kyle Peterson and Ryan Call, as well as many other helpers and interns and submission readers and copyeditors, all of us volunteering our time—it’s found a lot of readers and fans and good folks, in its quiet weird free punk grayscale stapled way. Real talk: 99% of the writers I know, I met in some way initially through doing NOÖ! I honestly can’t imagine what my life would look like without all the friends and cool people I’ve met through NOÖ and all the amazing work NOÖ has been able to broadcast and share.You might guess this is the part where I say NOÖ is over, I’m driving the boat out to the middle of the lake and driving the boat back alone, etc, and actually I really wanted to do that, but after reflection and discussion with friends, I realize that what NOÖ does is still pretty cool and unique. There aren’t a lot of other free literary magazines as sneaky and exciting as NOÖ appearing both in print and online and popping up all over the country the way NOÖ does, thanks to the incredible network of support it’s built over the years. And just because I don’t have the same energy for it that I used to have doesn’t mean it should die just yet. So what I’m doing is handing it over to a new team of editors. Heading this team (in alphabetical order) will be:

Tyler Gobble — Editor in Chief (tyler@noojournal.com)Austin Hayden — Fiction Editor (austin@noojournal.com)Gene Kwak — Fiction Editor (gene@noojournal.com)Carrie Lorig — Poetry Editor (carrie@noojournal.com)Nick Sturm — Poetry Editor (nick@noojournal.com)

These are all people very dear to my heart, and I’m tickled to Pluto and back that they’ve agreed to nurture NOÖ back to health and make it better than ever. I’m going to stay onboard as designer (I still like that part!) and publisher (I have a pretty cool 9-5 job that helps me pay for NOÖ and keep it free), but all editorial decisions and correspondence will be handled by Tyler and crew. They already have a lot of great ideas about distribution, parties, and maybe even shirts*.*(We haven’t really talked about shirts).***Here are some good questions posed by a very aggressive hypothetical questioner:Q: YEAH YEAH THIS IS ALL REALLY CHEESY AND NICE (BARF) BUT WHEN IS NOÖ [15] COMING OUT?A: NOÖ [15] is coming out August 14th. You can see a tiny preview of the cover in the image above.Q: YEAH OK I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT, JERK. WHEN IS NOÖ [16] COMING OUT AND CAN I SEND YOU THIS AMAZING POEM I’VE BEEN WORKING ON ABOUT HOW MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS A CASHEW AND I FORGOT TO TURN OFF THE BLADED TIMER (I CAN’T TELL YOU WHAT A BLADED TIMER IS BECAUSE IT’S IN MY POEM, WHICH YOU BETTER PUBLISH BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING)A: NOÖ [16] is coming out November 3rd. You can send work here: http://noojournal.com/submissions.htm.Q: ARE THERE ANY MORE NOÖ WEEKLYS COMING TOO OR ARE YOU TOO MUCH OF A DWEEB, YOU DWEEB?A: New NOÖ Weeklys will be appearing after NOÖ [15]. Three are forthcoming, featuring the guest editorial efforts of Lauren Ireland, Meagan Cass, and Sharon Zetter & Lucas M. Rivera.***Thank you again for reading and enjoying NOÖ. 2014 is a lot different than 2004 when it comes to literary magazines, and I’m actually pretty stoked that the landscape is chaotic and cluttered and loud. That’s healthy. I’m hopeful that the beauty and energy of all the new editors will bring about a—wait for it, wait for it—new NOÖ (oh man) that still has a fun role to play in the campfire of independent literature we’re all huddled and high-fiving and ghost-whispering around.Thank you for reading, have a good night, and please shower Tyler, Austin, Gene, Carrie, and Nick with your cashew milk smoothies of good wishes.See you on August 14th, Mike

Hi, this is Mike. Hope y’all are having a nice summer evening with not too many thunderstorms or missile attacks or dehydrated peas. I have two big pieces of NOÖ news, so I made an infographic for them. You can get the main news by looking at the picture above all this text. In all this text, I will explain the news emotionally.

NOÖ has been around almost ten years, and while my love for NOÖ has not diminished, my energy for actually working on the darn thing has waned as my life has undergone major squiggles and changes in the last few years. 

This means that I’ve been taking a crazy long time to finish NOÖ [15] and an even crazier and longer time to interact with all the people good enough to reach out to NOÖ in many ways, such as by sending us work they made and cared about and wanted to see in NOÖ. If people thought about NOÖ at all, they probably thought it died! It is easy for things to die in our infinitely scrolling world, or get ignored, etc. But I want to say I really appreciate—always and forever—all of you reading NOÖ and thinking of us as a good place for your work and just generally being around NOÖ to hang out and encounter the world with us. 

In the nine years NOÖ has been around—as I’ve worked on it alone and with my friends Kyle Peterson and Ryan Call, as well as many other helpers and interns and submission readers and copyeditors, all of us volunteering our time—it’s found a lot of readers and fans and good folks, in its quiet weird free punk grayscale stapled way. 

Real talk: 99% of the writers I know, I met in some way initially through doing NOÖ! I honestly can’t imagine what my life would look like without all the friends and cool people I’ve met through NOÖ and all the amazing work NOÖ has been able to broadcast and share.

You might guess this is the part where I say NOÖ is over, I’m driving the boat out to the middle of the lake and driving the boat back alone, etc, and actually I really wanted to do that, but after reflection and discussion with friends, I realize that what NOÖ does is still pretty cool and unique. There aren’t a lot of other free literary magazines as sneaky and exciting as NOÖ appearing both in print and online and popping up all over the country the way NOÖ does, thanks to the incredible network of support it’s built over the years. And just because I don’t have the same energy for it that I used to have doesn’t mean it should die just yet. 

So what I’m doing is handing it over to a new team of editors. Heading this team (in alphabetical order) will be:

Tyler Gobble — Editor in Chief (tyler@noojournal.com)

Austin Hayden — Fiction Editor (austin@noojournal.com)

Gene Kwak — Fiction Editor (gene@noojournal.com)

Carrie Lorig
— Poetry Editor (carrie@noojournal.com)

Nick Sturm
— Poetry Editor (nick@noojournal.com)

These are all people very dear to my heart, and I’m tickled to Pluto and back that they’ve agreed to nurture NOÖ back to health and make it better than ever. 

I’m going to stay onboard as designer (I still like that part!) and publisher (I have a pretty cool 9-5 job that helps me pay for NOÖ and keep it free), but all editorial decisions and correspondence will be handled by Tyler and crew. They already have a lot of great ideas about distribution, parties, and maybe even shirts*.

*(We haven’t really talked about shirts).

***

Here are some good questions posed by a very aggressive hypothetical questioner:

Q: YEAH YEAH THIS IS ALL REALLY CHEESY AND NICE (BARF) BUT WHEN IS NOÖ [15] COMING OUT?

A: NOÖ [15] is coming out August 14th. You can see a tiny preview of the cover in the image above.

Q: YEAH OK I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT, JERK. WHEN IS NOÖ [16] COMING OUT AND CAN I SEND YOU THIS AMAZING POEM I’VE BEEN WORKING ON ABOUT HOW MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS A CASHEW AND I FORGOT TO TURN OFF THE BLADED TIMER (I CAN’T TELL YOU WHAT A BLADED TIMER IS BECAUSE IT’S IN MY POEM, WHICH YOU BETTER PUBLISH BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING)


A: NOÖ [16] is coming out November 3rd. You can send work here: http://noojournal.com/submissions.htm.

Q: ARE THERE ANY MORE NOÖ WEEKLYS COMING TOO OR ARE YOU TOO MUCH OF A DWEEB, YOU DWEEB?

A: New NOÖ Weeklys will be appearing after NOÖ [15]. Three are forthcoming, featuring the guest editorial efforts of Lauren Ireland, Meagan Cass, and Sharon Zetter & Lucas M. Rivera.

***

Thank you again for reading and enjoying NOÖ. 2014 is a lot different than 2004 when it comes to literary magazines, and I’m actually pretty stoked that the landscape is chaotic and cluttered and loud. That’s healthy. I’m hopeful that the beauty and energy of all the new editors will bring about a—wait for it, wait for it—new NOÖ (oh man) that still has a fun role to play in the campfire of independent literature we’re all huddled and high-fiving and ghost-whispering around.

Thank you for reading, have a good night, and please shower Tyler, Austin, Gene, Carrie, and Nick with your cashew milk smoothies of good wishes.

See you on August 14th, 
Mike


So what if it a last scowl of snow confuses your dogtooth pansies! Spring is maybe sort of finally in an inevitable-environmental-doom sort of way finally here, and with it comes a brand new color-themed NOÖ Weekly guest-edited by Carrie Lorig!http://noojournal.com/weekly.htmShe assigned seven of her favorite writers a color and out they came. Jared Harvey is Red. Donald Dunbar is Orange. Elisabeth Workman is Yellow. Edward Mullany is Green. Claire Donato is Blue. Bridget Mendel is Indigo. Cassandra Troyan is Violet.Do the look-see! And we promise that NOÖ [15] is coming, it’s taken forever, it’s 60 pages, and it will herald a big announcement about big changes for NOÖ.

So what if it a last scowl of snow confuses your dogtooth pansies! Spring is maybe sort of finally in an inevitable-environmental-doom sort of way finally here, and with it comes a brand new color-themed NOÖ Weekly guest-edited by Carrie Lorig!

http://noojournal.com/weekly.htm

She assigned seven of her favorite writers a color and out they came. Jared Harvey is Red. Donald Dunbar is Orange. Elisabeth Workman is Yellow. Edward Mullany is Green. Claire Donato is Blue. Bridget Mendel is Indigo. Cassandra Troyan is Violet.

Do the look-see! And we promise that NOÖ [15] is coming, it’s taken forever, it’s 60 pages, and it will herald a big announcement about big changes for NOÖ.


Undercastle by NOÖ [13] contributor Feliz Lucia Molina is out now from Magic Helicopter Press!Order your copy at Magic Helicopter Press’s website HERE.
Seriously guys, if I were a book THIS IS THE BOOK I WOULD BE.
It’s already got the attention of some really awesome poets:
"Really wonderful and important work. A great writer writing in the           most contemporary of mediums." — Kenneth Goldsmith
"My address is these poems. It’s amazing here! Dear Feliz, this is a love letter saying we’re about to give your book the Pulitzer Prize without the committee’s consent! Feliz Lucia Molina is the best kind of genius, she’s a poet, she believes in our phoenix rising!" — CAConrad 
To sample some of Feliz’s work read “Origami Casket" in NOÖ [13], 5 poems in The Scrambler. 

Undercastle by NOÖ [13] contributor Feliz Lucia Molina is out now from Magic Helicopter Press!

Order your copy at Magic Helicopter Press’s website HERE.

Seriously guys, if I were a book THIS IS THE BOOK I WOULD BE.

It’s already got the attention of some really awesome poets:

"Really wonderful and important work. A great writer writing in the           most contemporary of mediums." — Kenneth Goldsmith

"My address is these poems. It’s amazing here! Dear Feliz, this is a love letter saying we’re about to give your book the Pulitzer Prize without the committee’s consent! Feliz Lucia Molina is the best kind of genius, she’s a poet, she believes in our phoenix rising!" — CAConrad 

To sample some of Feliz’s work read “Origami Casket" in NOÖ [13]5 poems in The Scrambler


Anne Boyer’s “Buffalo Idyll #1" from NOÖ Weekly. Art from Das Puppendorf. Check out the rest of the Kansas City NOÖ Weekly edition guest-edited by Jordan Stempleman!

Anne Boyer’s “Buffalo Idyll #1" from NOÖ Weekly. Art from Das PuppendorfCheck out the rest of the Kansas City NOÖ Weekly edition guest-edited by Jordan Stempleman!