“The Potter’s Wife,” by Camille Harper, is the portrait of an artist as an old man, presented by his wife, who is watching his slow demise. Here is a snapshot of a life in decline and of love overshadowed by sorrow and tragedy. There are no more Muses.
“My husband keeps up the charade well, just as I do,” says the wife. “He hasn’t had a show in years.” The subtle absurdities of this deteriorating home are soon replaced by a devastating realism embodied by tragedy. While the potter’s wife searches for signs of artistic life in her husband’s clay-covered hands (“hands that paid for this house”), “it is impossible to not notice the shaking.”
Harper’s story is both beautiful and bleak. It is a reminder of the intersections of art, the body, and life. Creation and destruction coexist. When we learn of the source of the potter’s sorrow, we start to sense the strength of his wife. She, too, has suffered. She, too, searches for signs of hope. We, too, see the shadows of the past.
“The Potter’s Wife,” by Camille Harper, appears in Volume 2, Issue 1 of Underground (2011).
10. The glory of being published- There’s a certain feeling you get when you open up a book or magazine and see the words you’ve written. It’s the final step. It’s what you dreamed of. Now you can say, “I’ve been published.”
9. Fame- We know, you’re tired of going home and always getting asked, “What’s going on in your life?” Now, instead of mumbling, “Not much, Aunt Tabitha,” you might mention that you are a published author/artist. NBD!
8. Immortality- For generations to come your name and work will be in the Underground archives for future students look back on and be inspired by.
7. Bragging Rights- Put it on your CV, your resume, your Linked In, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Tumblr, your professional website–you can even put it on your My Space if you’re feeling nostalgic!
6. Being a Part of Something- Underground is not just a publication, but a family. When you become a part of our creative community, you meet other people who know what you’re going through and a door opens to a whole new world. Who knows what you’ll find?!
5. Deadlines- We’ve all been there. You’re workshopping tomorrow, but that poem isn’t finished. For some reason your story is in Kansas when it should be London. You load up on candy, energy drinks, and memes to pull an all nighter. It all works out and you come out with a great piece. Deadlines can help push you to create. Knowing our submissions are not open forever might just be the push you need.
4. It’s Addictive- Once you submit to Underground you’ll be familiar with the process, the butterflies will be gone, your adrenaline will kick in and you’ll be wishing submissions for the next issue were open already. Who knows? Maybe you’ll gain the confidence to submit to one of the big literary journals…and get accepted!
3. We Love Your Writing- We love hearing what you have to say. Through exchanging our works we inspire each other and build off the momentum of creative energy. Join the conversation!
2.Them Feels- There’s nothing better than checking your email and instead of being told your library book is over due (again), you’ve got an acceptance letter in your box! It’s a rush of adrenaline every time, followed by a warm fuzzy feeling of pride and joy. It’s definitely something to celebrate.
1. Underground will soon be in the New York Public Library archives! The NYPL is our first official subscriber, so your work will be kept safe for years to come! We know your work is special and you worry about submitting to the right place. Underground is proud to be the right place. Let us help spread your word. You deserve to be heard.
Now that submissions are open, you’re probably trying to scramble to come up with your next amazing poem or write down that short story idea you’ve thought about all summer. Sometimes writing can be difficult and that’s okay, even our literary heroes had their share of trials and tribulations in writing. Here’s some advice for when the words don’t come easy, or sometimes at all.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
2. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
3. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
4. “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
5. “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
6. “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
7. “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
—Henry David Thoreau
8. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
9. “You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
10. “A word after a word after a word is power.”
And one extra secret bonus track, for when you do write something, and it’s good, and we accept it:
“The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.
In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don’t know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn’t consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don’t have to make things up any more.”
Check out authors Collin Kelley and Erica Wright at the Georgia Center for the Book this Thursday evening. They’ll be discussing mystery writing and their new novels. Collin Kelley is a local Atlanta poet, playwright, and novelist. Erica Wright received her M.F.A from Columbia University. Get more info at http://www.georgiacenterforthebook.org/Events/show.php?id=886. The Georgia Center for the Book at DeKalb County Public Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street in Decatur, GA, 30030.
We are Georgia State University's art and literary journal and creative collective run entirely by undergrads from our downtown Atlanta campus! We exclusively publish GSU undergrads from all campuses — submissions including but not limited to: creative writing, non-fiction, poetry, photography, and art of any medium. We thank you for seeing what we're all about!