Author: Brent Raycroft

Trigger Warning by Brent Raycroft

Anti-Genre #5 reflects on our latent sources of discomfort, disorientation, and disarming. Brent Raycroft explores the “danger of the public sphere,” or the many inchoate ways that memory collides with present-tense acts. *** Trigger Warning After the spoiled spoiler alert that we die in the end and the fine print reminding us anything can happen between now and then, what need for a trigger warning? I can understand it on the news — we need to be told just when to turn that shit off. And yes, let Facebook throw greyest of gauzes over the blood. But if it’s an evening of fiction or poetry? Did we go in thinking we’d be comforted only? Sweat it out if you can. Weep inside, your stomach hollow. Worst case scenario, make a scene. Stand, when all are seated. Leave politely if you sympathize. And if you’re angry ask, demand, the writer tell you why they chose to be so mean. For who would admit right up front that the best they can do might drive a sensitive person from the room? Or if that were the agenda — a shocking confession, a strange experiment — who would volunteer to telegraph the jump-scare and ruin it? Even ancient cuts are fresh, and the pressure of a word can cross a threshold we did not expect. That’s the danger of the public sphere....

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Creative Writing and Toxic Masculinity: In Praise of the Dumpster Fire

Recent events at Concordia University in Montreal – the suspension of two creative writing teachers, the buzz leading up to it, and the attendant reaction – intersect with my life in several ways. I have no new revelations, but I did have friends in that creative writing department back in the 80s, when, according to some, the culture of toxic masculinity had its origin. And I knew one of the men in question quite well during the 90s. A final, recent twist is that I’ve published poems in the literary journal whose editor-in-chief is the other professor relieved of...

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