By Patrick Guilford.
On April 26, James Lough, Professor of Writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design, will have a reading and release of his second anthology of aphorisms: “Short Circuits: Aphorisms, Fragments, & Literary Anomalies”.
While Lough and Stein were at a conference, they spoke on a panel for aphorisms. Towards the end of the panel, one person asked, “Why aren’t more aphorisms being published?”
According to Lough, the aphorists collectively agreed, “We don’t think we have an audience.” Taking it as a challenge, Lough and Stein set off to create an anthology of aphorisms, which became their first collaboration, “Short Flights”.
“Not just any statement can be an aphorism,” says Lough. Aphorisms, as defined by literary expert James Geary, are usually considered to be sentences that are literary in nature and have a twist.
But Lough has a different definition. “It has to have two layers to it: the surface meaning and the underneath or deep meaning… It has to have doubleness.”
While the first book was just aphorisms, with “Short Circuits: Aphorisms, Fragments, & Literary Anomalies”, both men included other forms of short writing. “This time I thought, ‘Well why don’t we do anything that’s super short?’ So, there are very short poems, maybe two or three lines, there are, what we would call mini-essays which are probably four sentences max. Little paragraphs. Some of them are called paragraph-orisms. And there are micro-fictions.”
Short form writing was not always his preference. “The fact was, yeah, I teach full time, I have three kids…time has always been an issue for me…So, one of the ways that I’ve adjusted to that is by writing short,” Lough said.
Asheville poet, Eric Nelson, and SCAD painting graduate student as well as writing undergraduate, Zara Bell, will be reading some of their short poems, aphorisms, and mini-essays alongside John Lough.
The event will take place at the SCAD Museum of Art Theater at 5 p.m. on April 26.