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 temperamental Spring/Summer (Upover) and Fall/Winter (Downunder) 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.
Of course, as we always say, we Hatters (not all Americans) 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 first item of BIG NEWS concerns our new bi-monthly Poetry, Prose & Anything Goes Reading Series
at The KGB Bar. Our first reading, on April 7th, was PACKED! Our second reading (on Thursday June 1st) will feature future contributors, poet Edwin Torres and lyrical fiction writer Dawn Raffel. Actor Doug Shapiro will read selected works by non tri-state area writers published in our first five issues.
We're also presenting an Issue 5 launching party-reading on Sunday May 21st at The Four-Faced Liar in the West Village. We NYC resident editors will read along with two contributors, Jennifer Prado and Bob Heman. We intend to repeat this when we launch Issue 6. Local and visiting staff will read along with two contributors.
BIG STAFF NEWS: We were sad to say good-bye to Marja Hagborg as an editor,
but we hope to see more of her cartoons tickling our pages. We are very
pleased to welcome our brilliant new Director of Digital Multimedia Fusions
(whew!), Canadian Professor DON BERGLAND, our Cartoon Editor PHIL NELSON
(creator of "Coconuts" & my co-conspirator in "The Perils of Political
Polly"), our Non-Fiction Editor, journalist and poet PETE DOLACK, and our PR Director/Editor, poet AMY MARIE BUCCIFERRO.
Our FIFTH ISSUE is, as usual, full of delightful literary surprises: 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 (including visual poems) by a colorful flock of cerebral and emotionally out-of-control prose writers. In addition to the usual unusual, we're pleased to present Dr. Don Bergland's hysterical multimedia extravaganza, "The Mad Hatters' Mental Theatre," an exhibition that Don will update in each future issue. We are also happy to present poems by four avant-garde French poets in a special section we're calling "La Boite," which means nightclub in French. Most of the poems were translated from French to English by the inimitable French-American "innovative" writer, Raymond Federman, whose tongue-in-cheek quasi-fiction-memoir IF is contained in this issue. Ray's our FEATURED WRITER for issue 5. That's why his whatfic is more than twice the length of our stated minimum. So much for policy. Naturally, the Mad Hatters do NOT believe in following policies, even their own.
As expected, we're publishing the winning entries to our Dangerous Alice contest. Congratulations to our first prize winner, poet Ann Walters (yes, it's Ann again - and no, she's not related to or in dayglo fragmente with any of the mad hatters), and winners Corey Mesler, Ania Vesenny, and Kathy Kubik. Don't forget to check out our current
contest, FISH AND PLANE, which features two story-inspiring paintings. And watch for our next contest, THE WRONG ROOF, which will kick off on June 2nd.
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 politically-socially charged paintings by Ukrainian artist Serhiy Kolyada. Associate Editor Alla Michelle Watson has conducted an interview of Serhiy, which we're pleased to present along with his paintings. The powerful and disturbing "Stop Torture Now" issue 5 cover artwork is by our multi-talented friend and honorary working stiff Marty Ison. Composer Ben Tyree has created appropriately angry and frightening music to accompany the image. Speaking of music, much thanks to our resident musicians and composers Ben Tyree,
Guthrie Lowe, Paul Toth, Brian Hutzell and Steve Kane!
We are also presenting new columns by our book reviewer CB Smith (aka Castor Bayley) and Editor Pete Dolack, as well as guest columnists Richard Andrews, Tamisue Jones and Helen Ruggieri. Crazy Jane (Advice to the Lovelorn), Elizabeth Smith (The Modern Buckaroo's Guide to the Western World) and Liesl Jobson (Mad Hatters' Indaba) have
updated their columns.
Thanks again to our most wonderful mad hatterish webmaestress Shirley, who's added many original touches to both text and design. Without her, we'd disappear into the past imperfect tense.
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 5, as in all previous issues, are accompanied by custom-composed music or recorded recitations by the authors. All writings come with striking custom-made visuals, mostly by volunteer artists. In this sense, Mad Hatters' Review is truly a collaborative project.
How did we come to be, at least in our current carnation? You'll have to look at my archived Editor's Raves. After more than a year on the Internet, I don't feel the need to rehash our history. Maybe this editor will be carted off to a torture chamber for fans of the U.S. Constitution. But hey, we're going to enjoy the ride while it lasts and we sincerely hope you'll join us in spirit, if not in deed.