For this issue of 195, I will like to give a ‘nudge and a hat off’ to the experimental writing that we have published in our recent issues. Eleven Eleven publishes a variety of pieces that take different approaches to writing. This is one of my favorite aspects of Eleven Eleven–the pleasantly surprising style of each individual piece, and there is no better example of this than pieces that are experimental and playful.
Personally, I like writing that gambles, when it is in your face and unapologetic. I like writing that is funny; prose and poetry that can make you laugh-out-loud on public transportation. This is not to say that funny doesn’t pack an emotional punch, or have depth, but it’s always a thrill when words are playful on the page. I like to watch characters (or narrators) dance with their conflicts in non-traditional forms.
In honor of our issue 13 launch party, I will like to draw your attention to a few of my favorite playful, short pieces from our latest issue. One is Daniel Curzon’s list essays “Pets” and “Parties”. Curzon’s use of irony, double meaning, and slightly dark humor is impeccable. There is a subtle portrayal of desire in the list “Pets.” “Parties” takes a very tongue-in-cheek approach. In both lists, each sentence is every-bit as potent as the next. Sometimes the sentences build off the previous, and other times, it completes a previous statement.
From issue 12, I will like to point out Yvette Johnson’s “How To Win At Breaking Up” and “How To Win At A Party”. Johnson’s exaggerated sentences create a certain kind of surprise that keeps the reader guessing, but laughing. The different scenarios that the narrator gives are just out-there, so far out there (like selling a friend into white slavery); they are innovative and witty.
I am also a fan of Denise Duhamel’s “What To Say When People Ask What The Heck Happened To Your Ex” from issue 12. The reasons the narrator gives for her break-up are absurd, in the most humorous and interesting way possible.
So read, laugh and be surprised.
Samiat Salami, International Editor