Welcome Surrealists!

It’s been a while and a while before that. So, I thought I would introduce myself to newcomers making their way here from the BBC3 interview that aired today, “I Arrive Without Leaving–A Discussion on Women Surrealist Poetry.”

I am a writer, a lit nerd, music and art lover. I studied Art History in college with an emphasis on Poe and French Symbolism, Dadaism and Surrealism. This is when I first began my studies of the women surrealists, but I had fallen in love with Mina Loy at the end of high school, which I shudder to think was about 22 years ago.

I get bored easily, so I am enthusiastic about a lot of different things. I think that is reflected in my eclectic career in publishing over the past 18 years. But for the sake of algorithms, let’s say I’m a Weird Surrealist Grrl who likes to write about women’s history and lost history in general.

My work has been translated in France, Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and has been published in the U.K. and Australia. It has been nominated for the Pushcart, Colorado Book Award, Best of the Net, the Hugo Award, and World Fantasy award (twice). Recent bylines include Literary Hub, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, The Debutante: Women Surrealists Art Journal, and BBC3.

My recent works/projects are:

Calls for Submission, my weird historical fiction collection from Pelekinisis, which you can buy here.

33 1/3: Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle, out January 2023, and available for pre-order here.

The Lillith Assimilations: An Exkphrastic Appreciation,” will be appearing in modern surrealist painter Carrie Ann Baade’s forthcoming book, Carrie Ann Baade: Scissors and Tears.

Most of my writing on surrealism is internalized within my fiction, which you can find in the above mentioned short story collection. In the BBC3 discussion, I discuss my need for a Women Surrealist Survival Kit. This was for an essay/listicle turned manifesto that was publish on Literary Hub in 2017. My other writings in this vein include a meditation on Leonora Carrington and Brexit for the amazing feminist surrealist arts journal, The Debutante.

I am not terribly active online. The best way to keep up with me is either by subscribing or dropping a comment on this blog, subscribing to my Substack, or following me on Twitter where I check DMs @BasBleuZombie.

Thanks for visiting!

Appearances: I Arrive Without Leaving–The Story of Women Surrealist Poets (BBC3)

Today is a little unusual. I will be on BBC3 at 18.45BST (1:45EST) as part of their Sunday feature: “I Arrive Without Leaving–The Story of Women Surrealist Poets.” I will be talking about Mina Loy, Claude Cahun, and my mini-manifesto about building my own Surrealist Survival Kit that was published at Literary Hub in 2017.

Here’s the run down:

“Drawing on rare recordings including an interview with Leonora Carrington as well as readings of poems by Méret Oppenheim, Joyce Mansour, Gisèle Prassinos, Claud Cahun and Suzanne Césaire, Alexandra examines how these women writers’ confronted issues of gender identity, the erotic, colonialism and power structures using the tools of surrealism to reimagine the world.

With contributions from contemporary surrealist poets and writers Penelope Rosemont, Beatriz Hausner, Rikki Ducornet, Selena Chambers, Aja Monet and Professor Robin DG Kelley.”

I want to thank the episode’s producer Sarah Cuddon for having me on this illustrious panel and I hope the episode inspires many more people to build their own women surrealist’s survival kit!

Publishing Notes: Literary Hub and my Women Surrealist Survival Kit

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An essay I wrote about my “Surrealist Survival Kit” for Literary Hub.

I’m doing a mini-Guest Blog tour for Calls for Submission, and my first stop is at the incomparable Literary Hub! I am very pleased to share that “The Women Surrealists Helping Me Through Our New Political Reality” is now live.

My original intention, and pitch, for this piece was to be a discussion about the last ten years effort at a Women Surrealist Revival. An effort I believe is at its apex, what with the Leonora Carrington centennial, a first ever monograph of Eileen Agar, and the two new Claude Cahun books coming out this summer, including Exist Otherwise, the first English biography of the gender-bending photographer.

But as I started drafting, the essay took a different and much more personal route. I’d been re-acquainting myself with these artists since the election, and fully realized in the writing of this piece how they were helping me reassess and reaffirm what I believe the potential of art truly can be.  Something I had been struggling with all year, and as a result lead to a lot of dead ins and head-wall banging.

But as I started to look at what and who I had been dipping back into–Carrington, Cahun, Césaire, Kahlo, and Mina Loy–all women who commented on the political by drawing upon the personal, I realized I had to step up and go there myself. The Revival turned into Survival.

So, here then, is an achievement of a few things. First, it is the first finished thing I’ve produced since the election; Second, it is both a celebration of the internal resistance of the past, and advocation of its exploration in the future; three, it’s on LITHUB!

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out, and if you liked it, please share it widely with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!