Sunday, April 7, 2019

New Category This Year: Mixed Genre, An Ungendered Genre

by Kaye Linden and Mary Bast

Bacopa Literary Review's editors coined the term diffusionism for writing that merges, blends, or removes the definitions from traditional genres. We've opened this Mixed Genre category for 2019 submissions and invite writers to mix up traditional genres, to write skewed or in shapes, with creativity, imagination, and clarity--meaningful writing with a powerful voice, offering readers a consistent evocation of justified emotion or imagery.

Examples of diffusionist writing might include a prose poem, a creative nonfiction piece written in one long sentence, creative nonfiction or fiction written in lists, prose narratives with intermittent broken lines, or shaped prose that offers a concrete image or images on the page that support the writing's themes. Other examples might include a poem written backwards, or from right to left, bottom to top, or in a series of boxes.

As always, we seek great writing and originality, our main criterion for success the voice of the piece and its impact on readers.

Where did the term diffusionism come from?

While creating a lecture on diffusion, Kaye--a Registered Nurse--considered the comparisons between physiological diffusion and writing across genres. In the simplest of chemical terms, "diffusion" is the movement of molecules from a higher to a lower concentration, a scattering of particles across borders. While researching further, Kaye came across the term applied to the diffusion of cultural ideas across geographic borders.

Mary added that the word's original meaning was from the Latin diffundere (pouring out), and in general refers to the spreading of something more widely. Of two particularly relevant definitions, one refers to "the action of spreading light evenly from its source to reduce glare and harsh shadows," the other to "intermingling of substances by the natural movement of their particles."

We apply this concept to the intermingling of genres and genders, driven not by low or high concentrations, but by natural movement from creative energies:
Reducing the "shadows," expanding the light.
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Submissions at Bacopa Literary Review's Submittable page are open until midnight on May 17 for Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Haiku, and Mixed Genre (no submission fee this year).


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