Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: J. A. Tyler

Q&A With Michael Stewart

by Amanda Kimmerly 08.03.2011

The Hieroglyphics, Michael Stewart (Mud Luscious Press, 2011)31-year-old Michael Stewart wrote a novel/la that, like the work of fellow Mud Luscious-er J.A. Tyler, is difficult to classify. Spanning 80 pages, The Hieroglyphics is novella-length, with some paragraphs as compact as one sentence–do we call it prose? Poetry? Should time even be spent packaging imagination into neat, pristine categories? Fiction, after all, is not simply a storage unit!

Shifting the focus to content: The Hieroglyphics is a reinterpreted version of Horapollo Niliacus’s Hieroglyphica. Discovered in 1419, Hieroglyphica totaled 189 explanations of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Since gaining popularity, however, its authenticity has provoked many questions from Egyptian scholars and inspired new translations in the academia environment. Stewart’s version is a mix of his own research and unique vision of an ancient, misinterpreted world, with heavy emphasis on linguistic tricks and startling images, the type of writing that causes as much pause as reading a book of proverbs.

Stewart teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.  The Hieroglyphics can be found through Mud Luscious Press.

Amanda Kimmerly: What inspired the idea to re-write Horapollo Niliacus’s Hieroglyphica?

Michael Stewart: A friend who was studying the book in grad school (she was translating it) kept sending me these amazing sentences. After the first dozen I thought, I’ve got to do something with this.... more »

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Review: A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed

by Amanda Kimmerly 06.30.2011

A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have FailedSome stories don’t need a strong narrative. Some stories wash over you, under you, carry you with them until the tide lets go, and that doesn’t always mean when it reaches the shore. J.A. Tyler’s second novel, A Man of Glass & All The Ways We Have Failed, is a different kind of storytelling. It breaks all rules of traditional plot and narrative, and instead relies on its staggering language and imagery to move the reader steadily from one page to the next. Call it prose, call it a poem, call it a mirage, if it seems necessary. It isn’t. Here, labels fall between cracks, like sand. Your mind will abandon reality and physics, but this certainly isn’t sci-fi. It’s a love song. It’s a snapshot. It’s a man and woman aching to communicate but never saying a word. Maybe one is dead. Maybe they lost a child and never fully recovered. There is evidence for both, but it’s still not the point. It’s the emotion that matters, the description, the different elements in the earth that they both become as a result.

“Winter came early into us he says, and she would now had she heard him that this means they are... more »

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Q&A With Molly Gaudry

by David Duhr 10.12.2010

We Take Me Apart


Former Fringe contributor Molly Gaudry is the author of We Take Me Apart, published by Mud Luscious Press in 2010. Recently she and I chatted over email about anapest and enjambment and all that fun poetry stuff.


Q. We Take Me Apart was the first in MLP’s novel(la) series. Can you tell us a bit about its origins? My copy is a second edition; was there some reworking of it to fit J. A. Tyler’s concept for the series?

A. This is an interesting question. We might have to get JAT’s input. What I remember, though, about the manuscript’s origins is this:  I had a car full of everything I owned and I drove it to Chicago for AWP. I guess that was February ‘09. After AWP, I drove to Philadelphia. It was on that long drive that I said to myself, aloud, over and over, “We take me apart. We take me apart.” And I kept thinking “Who is ‘we’?” And in Philadelphia, I accepted the key to the room I had rented and began to write this very long poem that was part found text (from Anatomy for the Artist), part prose, and ended up about ten pages, single spaced. 

I was like, “What the... more »

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Q&A With Sasha Fletcher

by David Duhr 09.15.2010

when all our days are numberedSasha Fletcher is the author of when all our days are numbered marching bands will fill the streets & we will not hear them because we will be upstairs in the clouds, published in 2010 by Mud Luscious Press. Fletcher is the Assistant Editor at Gigantic and is currently in Columbia’s MFA program.

Recently he and I chatted over email.


Q. The cover of when all our days are numbered labels the book a “novel(la),” but it often reads more like linked poetry. It’s not a traditional narrative with traditional story progression, but there are recurring themes, and there is a definite build toward a conclusion. How would you classify this work? Are we reading abstract fiction, narrative poetry, or what? Or do you find classification irrelevant?

A. I view the book as one piece of writing rather than a series of linked parts. It flows from one page, one image or thought, to the next and then back in on itself. The book does tell a bit of a story, at least about a relationship and about dealing with the idea of getting carried away and the necessity in life for some sort of grounding.

In terms of classifying the book, the publisher is calling all of... more »

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J. A. Tyler Discusses "Terry & Tawny & Lucinda"

by Fringe Magazine 07.12.2010

J. A. Tyler tells us about ”Terry & Tawny & Lucinda” and its larger work, Water.


For Ben Segal & Erinrose Mager’s forthcoming book The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature I wrote an imaginary blurb for an imaginary book–then I decided that I wanted to write that book instead of leaving it to the imagination. My blurb was for a potential title called All These the Violent Children. This would be a book entirely about children killing one another. “Terry & Tawny & Lucinda” is one portion of that work, which is now just the prelude to a much larger novel titled Water.

Water is a book that begins with a rain that has no stop. It begins with a variety of children in a school with no teacher in a land with no parents, each of them killing and opening up one another in a surreal and imaginary landscape. That is what you have in Fringe and may read another excerpt of in a forthcoming issue of New York Tyrant. The book then goes to the stories that these children tell one another in the dark of a broken moon. Some of these just appeared in kill author and several more are forthcoming in Caketrain.... more »

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Terry & Tawny & Lucinda

by J. A. Tyler 07.12.2010

Tawny is a girl and a girl is a flower. A girl is a rhythm. A girl is a train riding tracks. more »