Fourth Genre, an MSU Journal

Fourth Genre Issue 14.2 coverFourth Genre is one of only a few strictly nonfiction journals, sharing the genre with literary journals such as Creative Nonfiction, River Teeth, and The journal, operating within the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) department here at MSU, publishes a variety of nonfiction authors with work ranging from essays in all forms to memoir to writer as reader, all written in a variety of styles and voices. Writers published in Fourth Genre include Ander Monson, Brenda Miller, Michele Morano, Ned Stucky-French, and Ryan Van Meter, to name a few.

The great thing about Fourth Genre being housed within the WRAC department is that it affords the opportunity for students to be exposed to and involved with a national literary journal with award winning writers and editors. Students interested in the publishing world get first-hand experience while working with people that have years of experience in the field. I had the opportunity to interview Kathleen Livingston, an MSU graduate student, about her experiences working for Fourth Genre to get an idea of what it is that students can take from this nonfiction press. (more…)

Typewriters Making a Comeback?

Growing up in the 1990s, I was never really exposed to typewriters as an actual, functioning form of writing. However, loving old things, when I would see a typewriter in an antique store, I would have to type a few letters on it. There is something extremely satisfying about typing on a typewriter that just isn’t there when typing on a computer. Maybe that is one of the reasons that typewriters seem to be having a surge in popularity as Open Culture says in their article “The Enduring Analog Underworld of Gramercy Typewriter.”

The article shows a video about the owner of Gramercy Typewriter, a shop in New York City where they sell and repair old typewriters. The shop is purposely anti-computer, everything being indexed on cards and logged in a filing system. Paul Schweitzer narrates  the story of his career in typewriters in the video shown below:

A New York Story – “Gramercy Typewriter” from Prospect Productions on Vimeo.

In an age of newness, nostalgia seems also to be at an all-time high. Fashion, furniture, language, food: it is all returning and referencing an older time, a time where technology was not so all-encompassing as it is now. Is it possible that by disconnecting from the digital world and using a typewriter instead of a computer, writers could tap into a bygone era of creativity? I think Paul Schweitzer would definitely think so, and perhaps that is the draw of the typewriter. And the clicking of the keys is pretty fun too…