Does Burning Man have a literary culture, at all? The answer is no. But by this time next year – thanks to a new community effort – the answer might be “Yes.”
A pair of Burners named “What” (Courtney Sherwood) and “Wonton” (Wendi Anderson) have, in the best tradition of a do-ocracy, taken this aspect of our culture into their own hands: and want you to join them.
Literature is a big gaping hole in Burner culture. In a January post entitled “Why does Burning Man have no literary culture?” I wrote:
Burning Man has no signature writing style, derivative or otherwise. For all the hundreds of books and articles that have been written about Burning Man over 26 years, for all the scholarly papers, the blog posts … no particular verbal style has emerged. Saying “that’s like something you’d read at Burning Man” is nonsensical. Could be anything.
Burning Man has no particular style of poetry, no particular authorial “voice.” The Great Burning Man Novel has yet to be written – let alone to inspire others to write under its influence.
Why is that? Why does Burning Man have such an advanced visual aesthetic … one that truly is influencing the whole world … and absolutely no literary culture at all?
I’m honestly asking here. I don’t know. I’m hoping someone can tell me.
What and Wonton don’t have answers, but have decided to find solutions. The result is a new organization – and possibly a movement: “Get Lit(erary) At Burning Man.”
Okay granted I’m not too fond of titles with puns in them, but the idea is tremendous: it’s dedicated to connecting Burner writers with one another, promoting already-planned writing workshops and events, and instigating new events along the way. They’ll be leading Flash Fiction writing workshops on playa, providing reading opportunities, and offering other events – just for starters. Read more »