CFP: The Ugly Couch: A Journal/Zine (ongoing, journal)

full name / name of organization: 
Shahin Ismail-Beigi
contact email: 

_The Ugly Couch_ is seeking submissions for its inaugural and subsequent
issues. This journal intends to link the interdisciplinary, dialogue-based,
academic journal to the do-it-yourself, community-based, unpretentious zine.
Instead of providing special issues that may manipulate and prematurely edit
the potential contributions, the journal allows for the submissions to
dictate the makeup and foci of each issue. That said, dialogue about certain
subjects may occur and percolate several issues. Instead of providing
another space for rant-heavy, not thoroughly researched/ non-dialectic
articles one finds in several zines, the editor seeks well articulated
pieces that are aware of their subjectivity and yet critical. Special issues
are invaluable, and rants are enjoyable for both writers and readers;
nonetheless, _The Ugly Couch_ imagines a different kind of prosodic space.

_The Ugly Couch_ received its title form an epiphany the editor had a year
ago. Having been born in the early 1980s, he realized during much of his
early years was spent around an ugly couch his family owned. He noted that
many of his friends had similar experiences. Then he backtracked and
realized that "the ugly couch" has been prevalent upon the American scene at
least as early as Levittown. Therefore, a magazine with said name could
provide a space for people who shared that experience to converse about
their ideas, stories/histories, and homes. However, he did not want the
journal to be exclusionary, and duly noted that an ugly couch is inviting
and welcome to anyone. An ugly couch is not too good for anyone, and anyone
could try to be comfortable upon an ugly couch. Therefore, the journal seeks
contributors and readers from varying backgrounds, vantage points, desires,
and zip codes.

To be clear:

_The Ugly Couch_ is seeking submissions (writing or art that can keep its
vision in black and white) for not only its first issue, but subsequent ones
as well. This is an invitation to provide essays one would give to a journal
(10-25 pages, MLA format, etc.) shorter versions of said essays; reviews of
books, movies, cultural artifacts, sites; interviews, op-ed pieces,
intriguing marginalia, lists, journal entries, open letters, quandaries,
suggestions, idiosyncratic references, travel tips, retellings of
conference/classroom experiences, retellings of daily events, creative
writing, recipes, hyperboles, and the like.

If you are an academic wanting to transcend the refereed, MLA format, you
are invited to do so. If you are as intrigued by your drafts as you are by
your final pieces, you are asked to provide or conflate the two. If you
would like to talk about anything without a pedagogical, critical, or
pedantic voice, please do. If you prefer the classic journal-ready essay
format, we welcome you, too. If you desire to refer not merely to the dozen
accepted critics/theorists in your field for your paper, but to the
multitude of relevant voices, be they from "irrelevant" sources, I applaud
you. The space is yours, and as many scholars, filmmakers, and even DJs have
shown, the essay is a site for change, hybridization, and surprise.

If you would like a list of ideas the editor would like to have individuals
cover and converse amongst each other with, read below. It is merely an
openly suggestive list. Should it not be of use, do not hesitate to
contribute what you deem to be relevant and singular. Again, the journal
will follow its contributors, not the other way around.

*"Is it too early to mourn? Is it too late to Rhyme?" : Hip-Hop's Hopes,
Hybrids, and Dispositions (Quote from Talib
Kweli's record Reflection Eternal)
* Home/ Homing: in Literature, Film, Art, and Personal Memoir (analytic
and/or personal)
* "The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.": Storytelling in all of
its forms (critique, prose)
* "I am Commander and Chief of My One Woman Army.": Politics and the
* "Playing the poet game": The Relevancy and Power of Creative Works &
* "I was thinking last night about Elvis.": Myths (Re-)Considered
* "I'm a stranger here myself.": Displacement, Alienation, The Open Road, et
* "By midnight I love everything alive!": Close Readings, Observations,
* "They never knew the color of the sky.": Op-ed pieces, etc.
* "Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike": Travel Stories and Tips
* "My name is Luca.": Auto/Biography's Second Life
* Arcade(s) Projects: Notes, Marginalia, etc. from Musings, Observations,
* "I have one word for you, Benjamin: Plastics.": Cultural Mis-readings of
the Other

Please spend some time with _The Ugly Couch_ and consider us for your next
writing project.

For submissions, concerns, and quandaries, please contact:
The Ugly Couch
Shahin I.-Beigi, editor
35 Maywood Apt. 2
Worcester MA 01610
(508) 890 5694

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Received on Wed Sep 29 2004 - 15:57:41 EDT