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Anna Joy Springer

Anna Joy Springer received her MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University, and is now Associate Professor of Literature at University of California at San Diego, where she truly loves teaching courses in Experimental Writing, Graphic Texts, and Postmodern Feminist Literatures.


“There is only oe Anna Joy Springer. Only one. Her words take me from kitten to monster and back again in a way only she can do. I love this book.”

– – Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre

"How to describe the charm, wit, innocence and energy in AJS's Red Relic? With intelligence and heart she enlarges a little the things a novel is capable. How very lucky I am to have read it!"

– Carole Maso, author of AVA and Break Every Rule

"My god this book is beautiful. Each moment. A breath in a forest, a breathing beneath the bark of trees. A way to see that has remained shadowed, in shadows, under shadows, such sentence. each sentence a journey"

– Doug Rice, author of A Good Cuntboy Is Hard To Find



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The Vicious Red Relic, Love

AJS’s work here is like an acidic trance.


Anna Joy Springer’s The Vicious Red Relic, Love is a grotesque, deteriorating castle. A self-made castle that like the resilience of outlying sheds remains as it (and the life it is describing) is falling apart.

AJS calls the book “a fabulist memoir” and I agree that in it there is the esteemed norm of “memoir”-tone being turned by choice or necessity into something beautifully disgraceful. There is a rigor of bends in this book. Bounties of fracture: “Scar[s] on the mouth of a cave.”

In addition to other very exciting aspects, the book exceeds many of the usual limits of book and bleeds into the heat of contemporary gender and identity. This is one of the reasons that this book has made itself a primary for me. “I’m not a woman and I’m not a man. So, no matter what I do, I lose. But I want my loss to count” or “we had sex and she was the most beautiful woman in the world, and the wise whore (as all whores are), and me the dumb hermaphroditic girl /  boy, and I was jerked off and devirginated by this whore because I was going to learn how to be a boy whore” or “femininity is wounded masculinity.” I mean, really? This writing just turns me on. The blatantness. The naming. The pain of becoming and being revealed by way of the prurient requirements of our relations. The viscosity of the gaps and the radicality of “things made hybrid without their consent.” This writing is entirely bodily even as it taxes and puts pressure on current political identities (ie: “queer”) in order to progress them.

In AJS’ brilliant book we are sucked into a new kind of nature. If not new it is a nature that has been underground or out of normative view. A nature where violences of many kinds are mandatory and once they are engaged act as a sort of respite. “After practicing my violence so often, the practice seemed to tilt toward virtuosity.” Here stimulation and violence slowly become synonymous.

AJS’s book is mixed media in every facet of the term. There are collages, sketches and snippets from synopology articles. There are old diary excerpts and fragments of myth. There is an origami tin foil friend / confidante / guru often referred to as “winky.” There is “Gil” the bindery-needing lover. There is fear of aids. There are feminist declaratives and extravagant “conceptual-emotional experiences” of many kinds. AJS’s work here is like an acidic trance. “Let them ride through the nights on the backs of bright smears.” A kicking queer king becomes us by way of this amazing beast of a book!

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