It’s always nice when someone “gets it.”
The most recent issue of Ping Pong, the HML’s literary and arts journal deals with themes of censorship, echoing the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that made Henry Miller’s classic Tropic of Cancer legal to read and sell in the United States.
As Editor-in-Chief Maria Garcia Teutsch notes in her opening letter, “speech is not free, someone has paid the tab for you.” And so the journal contains a variety of poems, artwork, short stories, and more — a cohesive appreciation of those who paid the tab and paved the way.
The online magazine New Pages read Ping Pong, and they “get it.” They understood Ping Pong’s goal of subtly merging the serious with the sublime, the “obscene” with the beautiful, all within the overarching framework of censorship and free speech.
Read the whole thing here; in the meantime, this following money quote elegantly capture’s Teutsch’s (below right) editorial and curatorial approach:
The issue is not all heavy-handed. Quite the contrary. There are many pieces that are not only thought-provoking, but artfully elicit smiles and laughter, both bitter and mirthful, as well. Yet even these lighter pieces explore themes of censorship and material that might be condemned if not for our forefathers of free speech.
Jeanine Deibel’s poem “A-Team: Swinging the Lead” is a delightful trip through the possibilities of alliteration. Some favorite lines: “My power animal is an antelope / I worship Angus idols / I curse in my alphabet soup.”
Even this—to curse in alphabet soup—is that not a subversion of a comfortable classic? Is such subversion necessary, imperative, even just plausible, to bolster artistic freedom? Throughout Ping•Pong, even moments of levity harbor serious and thought-provoking undercurrents.
Ping Pong can be purchased for $15 here or by calling the Library at 831-667-2574.