MAKE Literary Productions, NFP MAKE Literary Productions is partially supported by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and individual contributors. Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:47:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This Means That: Gabriela Jauregui Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:44:39 +0000 Review: Disaster Drawn by Hillary L. Chute Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:56:13 +0000 Review: Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve by Ben Blatt Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:13:08 +0000 Review: Whole Earth Field Guide Tue, 02 Jan 2018 18:01:15 +0000 MAKE #17 Thu, 28 Dec 2017 16:53:32 +0000 Review: Extreme Domesticity by Lillian Lu Tue, 26 Dec 2017 22:27:03 +0000 MAKE Holiday 2017 Sat, 16 Dec 2017 18:46:07 +0000 ]]> MAKE #17 Belonging Sat, 16 Dec 2017 18:40:28 +0000 This Means That: Ezequiel Zaidenwerg Tue, 28 Nov 2017 02:15:46 +0000 Review: Graveyard Clay by Máirtín Ó Cadhain Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:10:56 +0000 Review: Hospital Series by Amelia Rosselli Mon, 06 Nov 2017 18:04:27 +0000 Review: Origins by Reiner Schürmann Fri, 03 Nov 2017 18:33:45 +0000 Double Review: Afterlives and Medieval Europe Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:13:36 +0000 Review: Ghostland by Colin Dickey Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:15:04 +0000 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:12:45 +0000 Head over to for the more details! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact: Sarah Dodson | | cell: 773.552.7440 Fourth Annual Lit & Luz Festival Brings Acclaimed Mexican Authors and Artists to Chicago or a Week-long Series of Events MAKE Literary Production’s Lit & Luz Festival of Language, Literature, and Art, now in its fourth year, is a cultural exchange between writers and visual artists from Mexico City and Chicago. The festival runs October 17- 21st and takes place at venues and universities throughout Chicago, with the finale, a “Live Magazine Show,” presented at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport. Here, collaborative teams debut their multi-media creations at this celebratory event. This year’s festival theme, “Belonging,” asks participants and audience to consider what makes us part of a community, a city, a country? The festival boasts a stellar line-up of Mexican writers and artists, including Cristina Rivera Garza, two time-winner of the prestigious Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Prize, as the Writer in Residence; Premio Iberoamericano de novela Elena Poniatowska-winning author, Emiliano Monge; Sexto Piso founding editor and The Zero-Sum Game author, Eduardo Rabasa; the poet and author of he novel Formol, Carla Faesler; and world-renowned visual artist, Amalia Pica. We’ll also be joined by Lit & Luz co-director and novelist Brenda Lozano, recently name as a top Latin American writer under 40. A unique feature of the Lit & Luz Festival are collaborations between the Mexico and Chicago participants. In the months leading to the festival, participants team up to learn about each others’ practice and work, and together, create a 10-minute-or-less piece or presentation which debuts at the festival’s finale. This work is then re-staged at Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo in February 2018. We’re proud to announce the 2017 Chicago participants include sculptor and performance artist, Danny Giles; The Grip of It author Jac Jemc; poet and Director of National Programs for Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival, Nate Marshall; writer, director, and Free Street Theater Artistic Director, Coya Paz; and poet, novelist, and essayist, Erika L. Sánchez; and multimedia artist and educator, Selina Trepp. Beginning with an opening reception on October 17th at the newly opened Ace Hotel Chicago the festival will present over ten free readings and conversations at venues including the Northwestern University, University of Chicago, ACRE, Sector 2337, Wright College, Loyola University, and more. The finale at Co-Prosperity Sphere is a ticketed event that also serves as a fundraiser. Partners include Northwestern University, Ace Hotel Chicago, the Consulate General of Mexico, Chicago Sister Cities, and many more. ]]> Review: Queer Philologies by Jeffrey Masten Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:21:12 +0000 Review: Blue Yodel by Ansel Elkins Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:41:54 +0000 Review: Adjusted Margin by Kate Eichhorn Tue, 23 May 2017 17:16:49 +0000 Review: The Work-Shy by BLUNT RESEARCH GROUP Mon, 01 May 2017 16:18:13 +0000 Double Review: Literature After Euclid by Matthew Wickman, and Mathematics in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art by Robert Tubbs Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:44:38 +0000 MAKE X Release and BarBookQue Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:24:52 +0000 Homegoing by Yaa Gyaasi Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:13:51 +0000 MAKE X: A Decade of Literary Art Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:30:54 +0000 MAKE 17 Submission Call Thu, 09 Mar 2017 21:04:33 +0000 Double Review: Cowed by Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes, and Animal Trials by Edward Payson Evans Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:47:13 +0000 Review: Goat’s Milk by Frank Ormsby Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:47:28 +0000 Lit & Luz 2017 Mexico City Mon, 06 Feb 2017 04:35:21 +0000 Review: Newcomers Book One by Lojze Kovačič Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:19:38 +0000 Newcomers

Review: The Hermit by Lucy Ives Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:07:40 +0000 Reginald Gibbons Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:45:17 +0000 MAKE X: A Decade of Literary Art Sat, 31 Dec 2016 22:42:24 +0000 Review: The Limits of Critique by Rita Felski Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:22:04 +0000 In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe Tue, 04 Oct 2016 20:02:06 +0000 Review: The Experimenters by Eva Diaz Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:17:09 +0000 Review: The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner Fri, 16 Sep 2016 15:39:56 +0000 Review: The New Math by Christopher J. Phillips Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:42:33 +0000 The Massive, Strange Shape of a Story: A Conversation with Melissa Goodrich Sat, 03 Sep 2016 18:42:16 +0000 Review: Scott Laderman’s Empire in Waves Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:17:12 +0000 Lit & Luz 2016, Chicago Wed, 03 Aug 2016 01:33:04 +0000 Review: Robert Glück’s Communal Nude: Collected Essays Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:44:21 +0000 Review: Modernist Fiction and Vagueness by Megan Quigley Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:25:50 +0000 Review: Barbarian Days by William Finnegan Mon, 11 Jul 2016 19:13:26 +0000 Review: Trees, Woods and Forests by Charles Watkins Thu, 07 Jul 2016 16:01:57 +0000 Poetry on the Patio Sun, 26 Jun 2016 18:10:21 +0000 Review: A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation by John Corbett Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:09:31 +0000 Review: The Castrato by Martha Feldman Mon, 30 May 2016 12:36:09 +0000 Review: A Manual for Cleaning Women Sat, 30 Apr 2016 12:01:43 +0000 David Buuck & Marcelo Morales Cintero Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:29:34 +0000 Review: Dreamland of Humanists by Emily Levine Tue, 05 Apr 2016 17:39:32 +0000 Review: The School of Solitude by Luis Hernández Wed, 30 Mar 2016 18:55:33 +0000 Bette Adriaanse Fri, 26 Feb 2016 19:10:55 +0000 Rus Like Everyone Else (Unnamed Press, 2015). While in Chicago she read at the Lies Fiction Reading series at Café Mustache, where I got the chance to talk with her some about her work. She was a wonderful reader, with sharp comic timing and a way of conveying that she, too, was often surprised by the events she narrated, but what could you do? Her visual art seems in many ways to complement her writing: she makes use of bold, vibrant colors in her paintings, and her sculpture gives one the impression of human and animal forms transmuting into complex, absurd machines. She was kind enough to agree to the following  interview, conducted via email during the remainder of her tour. How did this book come about? You’ve published a couple of sections as short stories in magazines previously. Was the idea originally for a novel, or were these shorter pieces that fit together and got bigger? The very first part of this book I wrote when I was doing my Bachelor’s at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam—I was studying at a combined visual art/writing department—as a short story called “Rus and the Seagull.” This story was about a young man named Rus who works at an office but is unable to behave in the way that is expected of him. His manager tries to steer him in the right direction by giving him extensive advice on what is acceptable in a corporate environment, but Rus is unable to fit in. At the time, I liked the story but did not know what to do with it. Later, when I started the part-time Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford University, I took on a side job delivering the mail. From the experiences I had bringing letters, bills, and warnings, and meeting the people I delivered the mail to, other characters started to emerge. These characters were people who were caught in some kind of urban isolation. The character of Rus also came back to me. I started to realize who he was and how he ended up in that situation at his office, behaving as if he just landed on earth. He was a young man who had lived a sheltered life in an unregistered, illegally built apartment. His mother homeschooled him, and when she abandoned him she left him a debit card that he uses to get his daily coffee and groceries. Even though he lives in a big city, he never interacts with it. Structo, a British literary magazine, published one of the first chapters from Rus, where he has just received his first tax bill ever and tries to return it at the post office. When I read this chapter and another chapter about a socially awkward secretary at the Structo launch party, the response from the audience was great. People seemed to recognize something of themselves in the characters, which gave me a real boost. I continued writing down whatever scenes came to me, realizing they were all connected and this would be a novel. How their story lines would tie up, I didn’t know yet. I made small drawings for each scene I wrote, and started moving chapters around, deleting bits and connecting bits. When I realized all the characters would be at or near a War Memorial service in the City, I knew it would come together as a novel. It’s interesting that the idea for Rus began with that scene in the office. The synopsis on the book’s cover says that “Rus is forced to get a job and pay taxes, like everyone else,” which sounds as if the book might be a coming-of-age novel—we’ll see Rus maturing, learning how to be an adult, etc—but that’s rather defiantly not what the book’s about. Instead, when Rus is forced to get a job, it feels like a fall from grace. Do you have similar work experiences to Rus and Laura, the secretary character? I read Rus around the same time as I was reading a book on work resistance, David Frayne’s The Refusal of Work from Zed Books, and felt like there was a certain overlap of ideas going on. I haven’t read The Refusal of Work, but I’d like to. Before I wrote that first piece about Rus in the office, I remember I had an experience trying to return a damaged passport at the City offices, where the lady at the counter told me my reason to return the passport—”Damaged”—was not acceptable to the computer and I had to choose between “Stolen” or “Lost.” “This system speaks a language that hardly anyone understands,” she explained. “I cannot change it. You have to give an answer that fits in the system. If it does not fit in the system, it doesn’t exist at all.” I thought this was funny and it stayed in my mind for a long time; thinking about the systems in our lives, how regulated our work, our lives and our behavior are. Later, when I had that job delivering the mail, I noticed just how many people were struggling with modern life in the city. I delivered so many debt-related letters and letters from governmental organizations, from the court, from the taxes, from Job Support. People were caught up in systems or their particular situation did not fit into to the systems. I started thinking about the society we have created and about the progress we have made. In nature, when you are born, the only things that are needed for survival are finding food and shelter each day, and perhaps also to be part of a community. In our modern Western cities, we require much more. You need become somebody, learn to present yourself, make conversations, focus, understand and participate in complex systems. The work we do has become more complex as well, and we do not necessarily do work that has a direct outcome. Office work or work for big corporations requires social skills, an ability to focus, and urban survival tactics as much as it requires effort. For some people it’s great. For some people, like Rus, it’s a prison. We do get a lot in return for our modern city lives obviously: safety, comfort, health. But two of the basic things—your own shelter and a connection to a community—may have become harder to come by, perhaps. I did not want to write a novel to express my views on this, or to argue something. It was just something I tried to understand, and when I try to understand something I create stories, that is the way I can think clearly about things. When I wrote Rus’s story, I was curious what would happen to him and where he would end up. There are currents in our lives, depending who you are and where you grow up, that want to take you somewhere. I was curious where someone like Rus, if he did not resist the current, would end up. I’d like to talk about colors some. I was really struck by how often primary colors come up in this book. A lot of novelists tend to get at color by analogy: “It was the color of rust” or something is described as blood-red or whatever. You tend to go directly with “red,” “blue,” “yellow,” etc., without analogies or qualifiers, and I was curious why. Yes! Readers have been pointing out to me the abundant presence of colors in the novel. I was not aware that it stood out like that (except for the story of the secretary of course, when she stops seeing colors). The reason I do not specify the nuances in the colors, has to do with my preference for simple language. I think comparing a red to rust for instance, is not helpful at all, because rust has so many shades, and who knows what the lighting is like, etc. I want to appeal to the reader’s imagination, and ideally the creation of the story in the reader’s head would be an equal collaboration between what I put in there and what’s already in there. So if am not writing about anything exotic or new, I’d rather appeal to the storage of images in the reader’s head than describe exactly what it looks like in my head. They know what a blue sea looks like to them, or a green dress. They can pick any shade of blue for Mrs. Blue’s eye shadow, or any kind of yellow for the sun. This, hopefully, gives me a way to let the story seep into the reader’s daily life, in the same way the reader makes his or her way into the daily lives of the characters in this book. I like the idea that color analogies aren’t helpful—in many cases, I suspect they’re mostly a way for a writer to sneak in a metaphor or other commentary, rather than portraying the thing itself. Certainly I was struck by the directness of your language throughout Rus—it was one of the things that really appealed to me about the novel. The secretary who loses her ability to see colors—I’d expect that to be a tragic moment, but instead it seems to mark the beginning of her taking control over her life. The secretary is waiting for things to happen, but in reality things are falling away from her. The disappearance of the colors makes her realize she has nothing to lose.  I had a period before writing this book when I felt a bit hopeless about the state of the world and I talked and thought about it a lot. It seemed to me at that time that everything around me became more grey. The sky, the sun, people’s faces. Not figuratively, but literally. I read somewhere once that when people are depressed, colors become less bright to them. Colors are one of the things that make the world fabulous. It you lose them, you might as well make a radical change in your life, which the secretary does eventually when she goes to the office, hides in the copy room and waits until everyone has gone. . . . (This is meant as a cliffhanger.) How do you think your use of colors in the novel is influenced by your work as a visual artist? I noticed a lot of vibrant primary colors in your paintings, as well. I have always been very focused on colors. If a yellow creeps in through the window or if the sky turns dark blue late at night I will be distracted from a conversation I’m having. This has influenced my visual art, or might even be the reason I am a visual artist. I think colors are closest you can get to describing deep abstract feelings. Making drawings has made me more attentive of exactly how a color fades or of the direction of a line, for instance. In Rus Like Everyone Else, the characters are caught up in man-made systems and situations, and some of them think a lot about who they are, what they should accomplish, and what their relation is to others. We can get caught up in these stories we tell ourselves. To me, the senses are a kind of antidote to the mind. Looking at the colors, listening to sounds, feeling the wind on your skin. You also mentioned that originally there were illustrations for this novel—why did you ultimately decide against them? When I was writing Rus, I also made drawings that I thought were going to be part of the book. I did not draw the characters or the things they did, but things the characters saw or thought about: views of the city, or cells in a plant. I made the drawings on layers of see-through paper, because I had this sense that the book would be about peeling away all the different layers that compose a life : our memories, our ideas about the future and our experience of the present, the dreams and the nightmares, the sights and the sounds, the functioning of body, the systems and institutions we are part of, the relationships we have. In the end, the drawings weren’t essential to the story. The people in publishing I spoke to made it clear that printing colored pages would be very expensive and I would have to find a graphic novel publisher or make it an art book. Since the drawings became less and less important, I left them out. How was the tour? Any particular highlights or stories? What was the best thing you saw? The tour was pretty incredible. The contrast to my daily life as a writer and artist was funny. I spend most of my days alone at a desk working on a book or sitting on the floor of the studio working on a drawing, maybe taking a trip to the supermarket. Nobody is very interested in what I am doing. The book tour covered nine cities in twenty days. Every day seemed to have a hundred times more events than a normal day in my life. The very best thing about it was to meet people in people in these different cities who have read my book and somehow connect to it. It’s been wonderful and touching to find out I have something in common with Bill in Iowa or Janet in Chicago. When I was eighteen I first read a book called The Light by Torgny Lindgren, and I felt I understood completely what the writer meant. I remember looking at his photo and thinking how funny it was that this man in Sweden and I had something, some way of looking at things, in common. Through stories and art, you can communicate ideas and feelings to someone in a way you might never be able to do in a conversation.]]> Lit & Luz 2016, DF Lake Michigan: Traducciones y Colaboraciones Thu, 25 Feb 2016 13:00:42 +0000 Review: The Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction Mon, 22 Feb 2016 18:08:39 +0000 Review: Seeing Red by Lina Meruane Tue, 16 Feb 2016 20:54:21 +0000 Review: Spontaneous Particulars by Susan Howe Tue, 09 Feb 2016 16:30:41 +0000 Lit & Luz 2016 Mexico City Mon, 01 Feb 2016 15:53:08 +0000 The Killers Mon, 01 Feb 2016 06:29:13 +0000 Review: The Work of Revision by Hannah Sullivan Tue, 26 Jan 2016 17:08:27 +0000 EJMcAdams Interview Mon, 25 Jan 2016 21:56:12 +0000 Review: The Notebook by Agota Kristof Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:58:45 +0000 the notebook]]> Review: Gut Feminism by Elizabeth A. Wilson Fri, 08 Jan 2016 18:54:05 +0000 An Interview with Jovencio de la Paz Fri, 08 Jan 2016 14:55:39 +0000 MAKE #16 ARCHIVE Thu, 07 Jan 2016 14:39:19 +0000 A Tale of Six Cities Thu, 24 Dec 2015 21:41:02 +0000 Support MAKE with an End-of-Year Donation! Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:36:46 +0000 In Correspondence Fri, 11 Dec 2015 14:40:15 +0000 Order MAKE #16, ARCHIVE Wed, 02 Dec 2015 14:16:23 +0000 MAKE #16, ARCHIVE EVENT Wed, 02 Dec 2015 13:56:24 +0000 An Interview with Claudia Peña Salinas Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:54:12 +0000 Fred & Tania Tue, 10 Nov 2015 16:56:50 +0000 “Fred & Tania,” by Tania Candiani with Fred Sasaki, 2014. Audio File. Duration:07:27.
This piece is a set of questions back and forth, a conversation made in the distance and interpreted by computer voices. It is intimate yet distant, funny and light yet sad and serious. It is like a primer to intimacy, or the act of meeting translated. “Fred & Tania” is a collaboration with the writer Fred Sasaki, and was commissioned by MAKE literary productions, Chicago.
Fred Sasaki makes fun-loving things. With his son and late father he is the author of the zine series, FRED SASAKI’S & FRED SASAKI’S FOUR-PAGER GUIDE TO: HOW TO FIX YOU. He is art director for Poetry magazine, gallery curator for the Poetry Foundation, and co-director of Homeroom Chicago’s “School Night” info-show.
The research processes of Tania Candiani take as starting point language, text, and the political implications of the domestic. Her translation strategies amongst systems–linguistic, visual, phonic–and practices, generate associations, where there is a constant nostalgia for the obsolete that makes consider the discursive content of artifacts and on former projections of future. She has gathered interdisciplinary work teams that contribute to achieve poetic intersections amongst art and technology. She was awarded by the Guggenheim Fellowship Foundation, and grant awarded by the National System of Art Creators of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts of Mexico (FONCA).
Lit & Luz 2015 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 03:45:31 +0000 Review: Severed by Frances Larson Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:00:32 +0000 Review: Why Literary Periods Mattered by Ted Underwood Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:58:57 +0000 Review: Lesabéndio by Paul Scheerbart Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:10:49 +0000 Review: The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:40:53 +0000 Review: Byssus by Jen Hadfield Tue, 29 Sep 2015 17:39:07 +0000 Review: Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:11:02 +0000 John Knuth Interview Mon, 21 Sep 2015 17:47:09 +0000 Review: Having It All in the Belle Epoque by Rachel Mesch Thu, 17 Sep 2015 13:32:02 +0000 The No Manifesto of Tribu No by Cecilia Vicuña Tue, 15 Sep 2015 20:16:34 +0000 Review: The Age of Secrecy by Daniel Jütte Tue, 15 Sep 2015 14:06:40 +0000 Review: Outline by Rachel Cusk Thu, 10 Sep 2015 17:39:22 +0000 Review: How Paris Became Paris by Joan DeJean Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:54:04 +0000 Review: Beast Feast by Cody-rose Clevidence Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:50:02 +0000 Irregular by Barrie Jean Borich Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:13:34 +0000 Review: Cloning Wild Life by Carrie Friese Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:45:43 +0000 Review: The Duke and the Stars by Monica Azzolini Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:43:47 +0000 Ice Cream Dream by Dustin M. Hoffman Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:14:44 +0000 Review: The Sellout by Paul Beatty Thu, 20 Aug 2015 17:44:51 +0000 Review: Honeydew by Edith Pearlman Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:38:24 +0000 Raúl Gómez Jattin Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:45:45 +0000 Magic by Daniel Maidman Thu, 13 Aug 2015 14:35:52 +0000 The Flower by Daniela Tarazona Velutini Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:19:26 +0000 Michael Says by Evan Morgan Williams Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:19:01 +0000 Review: Christian Bobin’s The Lady in White Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:52:10 +0000 In Conversation: Maggie Nelson & Tim Kinsella Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:22:11 +0000 Double Review: A Composer’s Guide to Game Music and Sound Play Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:28:05 +0000 Review: Kamal Jann by Dominque Eddé Wed, 15 Jul 2015 14:54:25 +0000 Jinx by Dmitry Samarov Mon, 13 Jul 2015 16:04:17 +0000 Review: The Labors of Modernism by Mary Wilson Thu, 09 Jul 2015 18:55:24 +0000