T R E E T V O I C E
An Independent, Non-Profit Literary Journal ISSN 1618-2146
STREET VOICE intends to be a journal committed to "littérature engagée", not to be confused with agit-prop. It hopes to provide a platform for poets, for writers, both known and unknown. It advocates a debate on whether or not literature can (and perhaps should be) "useful." It is dedicated to a concept of the integrity of the author that does not see him "serving" political ends while we would like to put in doubt an idealistic concept of the "autonomy of the arts." We know that form matters in the arts but we do not see it as an end in itself. Art, just as life, is not separate from meaning, from projects - especially in today's "globalizing", conflict-ridden world where injustice, domination and servitude abound, perhaps more than ever. Literature and the arts can hardly remain neutral in this historical situation. Pretending to be satisfied with purely formal experimentation (important as it may be) is not different today from the limitations of writers content to "talk about trees."
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Writers rarely have an audience in mind, these days, except when they address in the most cunning and commercialized way a target group of likely customers.
Still, even while writing for herself or himself, or an audience of one, the writer or poet may well be a concerned individual, aware of many of the dilemmas and unsolved questions, that is to say, the contradictions of a society she or he is a part of.
Literature, like other arts, may well register aspects of reality in its own ways.
It may safeguard its authenticity and come across as both beautifully intense and clear-sighted while, at the same time, it is not necessarily turning a blind eye to the needs of a population.
Not pandering to an audience, the writer may indeed take it serious.
Isn't it possible that while taking care not to be instrumentalized by any one, literature can still succeed to be useful, to address real (and often neglected) needs?
Perhaps they are specific needs, rooted in the specific histories, calamities, and unsolved problems of different societies, in the North and the South, the East and the West.
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STREET VOICE advocates an increased intercultural exchange. It advocates involvement, or engagement,while posing the question how this can be achieved without ending up producing empty phrases, or suggesting questionable and even discredited "solutions."
While asking authors to "reflect" on more
than form and to stick simultaneously to a necessary authenticity
and an honest regard for
Aware how poetry is "a world apart," we still know and in fact emphasize that poets live in a world of conflicts, a society that is not a phantasy.
Joan Chen J. Weidenfels
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STREET VOICE is a non-commercial, non-profit internet journal set up to present contemporary poetry as well as short prose and book reviews.
The 'lingua franca'
relied on in STREET VOICE at the moment is English but texts in other languages
are accepted, as well.
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welcome. If published by STREET VOICE, the copyright
remains with the author(s).