As the West awakens from the stupor of The Age of Ideology, people are turning to cultural and artistic means of expressing in order to fully articulate the idea of the new age dawning, because art allows us to experience a simulation of it and then understand it in depth through metaphor. These also inspire us with not just hope, but hope in our own hands.
One of the projects leading this culture wave of Right-wing thought is Atop the Cliffs, essentially an online poetry journal in text and audio form. I was able to snag a few moments with Arthur Powell, progenitor and maintainer of this project, to ask about it and its place in the rising realist culture wave.
What is “Atop the Cliffs” and how does it differ from “A Man Apart”?
Atop the Cliffs is a home for New Occidental Poetry. That is poetry produced by people across the Dissident Right/New Right/Alt Right. A Man Apart fulfilled a personal desire to publish my own poetry at a time when I felt frustrated with the New Right. Atop The Cliffs is about building a culture of Right wing poetry. My own poetry is included, however I desire to inspire others and publish people from across the Right. I’ve also come to understand in the technological landscape of today a website is only one part of a project. The reality is many people interact on other websites like Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube and so we are building a presence there as well.
John of folk/punk artists Lilou & John talks about the necessity for a “cultural wave” of Alt Right or at least realist Right cultural products such as music, art, literature, and movies. Do you think such a thing is possible, and how would it be achieved?
Yes I do think such a thing is possible, but it’s important to keep the end goal in sight. That we one day wish to exist in a time and place whereby cultural products are not necessary to classify as “Right” or “Left.” To that end art created need not be explicitly about Right wing political subjects. It should speak to Truth, Beauty, and Justice above all else. As for achieving it — the Right, especially those still attached to the label of Alt-Right, must move past eternal critique. Creation is the next part of the journey, we see elements of it today with the “fashwave” aesthetic. However like any early movement there are quality issues. Perhaps what most concerns me is that the dominant cultural products so far are very fleeting: memes, Pepe cartoons, all meant to be consumed in seconds. No one should be treating these as Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” 100 years from now. So there is a start, but it must be built upon. For example oil painting will forever be superior to adding neon colors to a photograph of a European statue with an edgy slogan.
Can you tell us which writers you have published so far, and what is in store?
It’s still in the early days for the project, in a way I have been a little saddened that much of the outreach I’ve made have resulted in “I don’t write poetry” and the unspoken implication that they do not intend to try. Hopefully that will change! I’m very happy to have the involvement of Ephrem Antony Gray the “Poet Laureate of NRx.” Paul Washington is another author we’ve published who I believe has been published on Amerika as well. What makes me most happy is we’re getting submissions from people who have simply been inspired — this is what makes the project worthwhile. To have someone who isn’t a “somebody” reach out with an original piece of poetry. Moving forward as we raise the profile I intend to reach out to some better known names and hope to publish them as well. Growing the YouTube channel with readings and cultural discussion is another mid-term goal.
What makes a good poem, on the Right? Is it content, style, spirit, or some combination of those?
As I alluded to before there is plenty of great art produced that does not require a political label attached. The main issue of our time is that the Left’s materialism and ideological self-loathing has permeated so much modern art and culture. Bluntly put much of it is depressing or confusing and does nothing to lift us up or inspire real emotion. I don’t think there are set stylistic rules for a good poem on the Right however I do think a good poem on the Right speaks to some universal Truth regardless of content.
How do people stay on top of what you are doing and what should they look for?
Our main website is www.atopthecliffs.com. We publish new poems and poetry readings there. All those are automatically pushed to Twitter where we’re moderately active so following us there is a great way to stay informed and access new content. For our readings we’ll be moving more over to YouTube. And we are on Instagram. If you’d like to submit a poem you can reach us at [email protected].