Disclaimer: The views expressed by the editor are not necessarily the same as those held by the editor. Indeed, when pressed, the editor is likely to deny any opinions whatsoever.
Welcome to the Fall/Winter (Upover) and Spring/Summer (Downunder) 2006/07 issue of the Mad Hatters' Review. As Hatters, we're always touched by the ravages of these arduous times, discombobulated by toxic psychosocial fallout, compelled to rage, exuberate, pontificate, move, swoon, decry, denounce, elucidate, amuse and entertain. There are dangerous ideologues and crusaders in proliferation, idiot leaders who recklessly and callously disregard life, greed-crazed multimillionaires committing myriad nefarious acts, as the planet grows moodier and moldier. Indeed, we're growing numb from the poisons dumped on us by the afore-mentioned greedy bastards. We American Hatters and friends continue to wonder how many of us will end up on the No Fly list. The totalitarian foot is stepping hard on current history and its boot is caked with excrement as the ice bergs melt. And let's not forget the horrific genocide in Darfur, as well as the increasing death toll in Iraq.
Of course, as we always say, we Hatters see the world as an asylum in which absurdity speaks to the truth, surrealism to reality, chaos to order, and nonsense to sense. We believe that "[t]he reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." (George Bernard Shaw)
Our new bi-monthly Poetry, Prose & Anything Goes Reading Series at The KGB Bar is going extremely well. We hope to include videos of most if not all of our stars. In this issue, we are happy to present a video of poet and contributor Edwin Torres's reading on June 1st. Thanks to our video artiste Associate Editor Elizabeth Smith.
Here's a very flattering review of our September reading, featuring Debra Di Blasi, Samuel R. Delany, and Ron Silliman: www.cruelestmonth.com.
We'll present our Issue 6 Launching Party-Reading on Sunday October 15th in the West Village and our final KGB Series Reading on Friday November 17th.
STAFF STIRRINGS: We are happy to welcome back Marja Hagborg as an official staff cartoonist, and two new staff composers/musicians, Benjamin Rush Miller (who sometimes plays original sax compositions at our readings), and poetry contributor Suchoon Mo. In addition, Steve Kane has returned from a sabbatical, at least for this issue. And three wonderful artists have joined our Art Department: DK McDonald, Lit Editor Peter Schwartz, and the enigmatic X-8.
Finally, Matthew W. Maxwell and Elizabeth Smith agreed to be elevated to positions as Associate Editors. As soon as their salaries were upgraded to CEO level, they left for the golf course and haven't been seen since.
SAD STAFF NEWS: The exceptionally gifted artist (and exceptionally fine homo sap) Paul Slapion, who created our bannerhead and other works of art, died in June. We've erected a permanent exhibition of some of Paul's creations, with a link to his website. His very good friend Bozarian has contributed one his own images as cover art. Also find Bozarian animations in this issue.
Our SIXTH ISSUE is, as usual, full of literary surprises and feats of daring: the habitual gaggle of poems from the absurd to the lyrically divine -- sufficient to give our readers goose-bumps, of course; offbeat, risky, mostly stylistically edgy, beautifully crafted fiction and whatnots by a colorful flock of cerebral and emotionally out-of-control prose writers, including a Frenchman and a Swede. In addition, we're pleased to present Episode 2 of Dr. Don Bergland's hysterical multimedia extravaganza, "The Mad Hatters' Mental Theatre." We are also delighted to include a special section of writings by three avant-gardish Australians (see Antepodean Antics) selected by our Australian Lit Editor Brentley Frazer.
Our FEATURED WRITER for issue 6 is Debra Di Blasi, who came all the way from Kansas City to read in our KGB Series reading in September. You'll find a fascinating interview of Debra by Lit Editor Marc Lowe. I would also like to pay special tribute to the very fine and famous poet David Meltzer, who was good enough to send us some of his gems. Not that everyone in this issue does not merit a special tribute. I could go on and on and on.
Our extraordinary Art Editor Tantra Bensko has once again done an amazing job lacing our pages with dazzling illustrations by an array of exceptional artists. Check out the slideshow of their works. This issue's gallery contains the emotionally harrowing, powerful paintings by Lynn Schirmer, a victim of cult abuse/torture and brutal government sponsored mind control experiments. Don't miss Tantra's interview of Lynn.
We are also presenting continuations of columns by our book reviewer CB Smith (aka Castor Bayley), Editor Pete Dolack, Crazy Jane, Associate Editor Elizabeth Smith, and guest columnists Richard Andrews and Helen Ruggieri. I'm pleased to introduce a new guest columnist, D. A. Eis and our own whacked out Webmaestress Shirley Harshenin, who's added many original touches to both text and design. Without her, we'd disappear into the past imperfect tense.
And not to mention, new book reviews by CB Smith and guest reviewer and fiction contributor, the lyrical Norman Lock. And the winning entries in the Fish & Plane Contest. And the music collection. And our cartoons. And our New York Comedy Show, interspersed with real Yiddish virds!
As I said in my inaugural rave, we strive to offer intoxicating tastings from all corners of the world (as if this planet had corners). We aspire to become no less than addictive. And we aspire to pay contributors one day. Most pieces in Issue 6, as in all previous issues, are accompanied by custom-composed music or recorded recitations by the authors. All writings come with striking, mostly custom-made visuals by guest and staff artists. In this sense, Mad Hatters' Review is truly a collaborative project.
a Mad Editor-in-Top Hat concoction
MAD HATTERS' APPLE FACOCTAIL