Q (Nicolle Elizabeth): Dear Carol. What is Mad Hatter Review‘s history and how does the Fictionaut group help people to learn more about it? What essentially, is Mad Hatter Review all about?

A (Carol Novack): The first issue of the Review was born in March, 2005. At that time, it was a quarterly. Currently, it’s an annual.

Creating a group is a good way of exposing writers to a journal with which they’re unfamiliar. By inviting Fictionaut writers I haven’t “met” before to my group, I’ve accumulated interest in my journal. I’ve also added MHR editors as administrators and find that enthusiastic contributors are eager to spread the word. We have a contest running through the end of June. Contributors, as well as editors, have been promoting it.

Mad Hatters’ Review offers a unique blend of (mainly collaborative) art, music, text (poetry [including visual/conceptual works]), fiction, columns, creative non-fiction, drama, whatnots, wit & whimsy’s), plus films/new media/video’s and audio’s. Each text is accompanied by custom-made art and audio, either composed by a volunteer musician, or recited by its author. We favor literary works that demonstrate a love for language play and flow, mature intelligence, and humanistic/sociologically/philosophically astute perspectives, texts that might be called “edgy,” “experimental,” and “innovative,” and others that are simply very well executed. And we love sophisticated satires. Like good mad hatters, we eschew rules and trends.

Currently, we’re working on our 2011 Issue 12, while Issue 11, a joint effort with Bunk Magazine (new media maven Mark Marino), the huge Mash Issue, a.k.a. Mad Bunkers’ Review, is in the oven on slow bake. I’m excited about three features we’re presenting in Issue 12: Visual Music; Moving Words; and Contemporary Russian Writers.

Q: How is the group shaping up? Are people work-shopping? Sharing edits? Posting stories and helpful feedback?

The group is growing. I haven’t been around much to cultivate it, but I’m happy to see that our admirers — contributors and new others — are posting stories. There was an attempt to open a discussion on minimalism and irreality 6 months ago, but only one writer joined in. As for feedback, I feel that’s up to readers of stories to provide, either on the stories’ walls, or in private messages. Of course, they may always start related discussions on our group page.

Q: Tell us about yourself here!

I’ve been in re-location mode for the past year, soon to move from the urban wilds of NYC to a quiet house on the ridge of a mountain. No matter that I don’t have a driver’s license … yet. (How mad!) I’m looking forward to the emergence of my illustrated collection, “Giraffes in Hiding: The Mythical Memoirs of Carol Novack,” due to be published this June by (Crossing Chaos/) Enigmatic Ink Press (a new group on Fictionaut). My profile lists a bit about my former life (writers’ grant recipient in Australia, then criminal defense & constitutional lawyer in NYC, etc.) and a bunch of publications. See this recent interview and my blog for more details.

For many years, I hardly wrote anything but motions and briefs; returned to writing, rather unexpectedly and with a vengeance, circa 2004. I hosted a well-attended MHR “poetry, prose, and anything goes” reading series at the KGB Bar in the East Village for several years and hope to curate another series or two in the Asheville, NC vicinity. Perhaps I’ll also run a collaborative writers’/artists’ retreat and facilitate poetic prose workshops. In the not too distant future, I hope to finish a novel and novella and continue working on a multi-media epic of sorts. A few collaborations are in the intention stage. I’m anticipating a film based on my prose poem narrative “Destination” by the incredible artist who created the cover of my book.

Nicolle Elizabeth checks in with Fictionaut Groups every Friday.

  1. nicolle elizabeth

    as always a fun review
    no idea why i put an m dash in workshopping
    must be spring

  2. finnegan flawnt

    thanks nicolle for featuring mhr which i think is one of the most exciting mags out there that transcends the scope of a mag without giving up on storytelling & literature. Carol is a formidable captain of the crazies and also a marvellous editor – the co-creation going on at mhr is inspiring and i suggest we kick off a discussion of this publishing concept in the group. Mhr will have three of my mad children on board, too, which makes me happy. Hats off to mhr and edna.

  3. finnegan flawnt

    check out the marvelous mash-up issue at http://bunkmagazine.com/madbunkers/layout/

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