Top 5 Emerging Writers Under 40

In response to the now-infamous New Yorker list of “Top 20 Under 40” writers “to watch,” Black Heart has compiled a list. Not a similar list, exactly, but a list of some of our favorite so-called “emerging writers,” people who write regularly in one genre or another, and who we just happen to think rock.

You’ve probably never heard of most of them, but you should learn their names. Because someday, a helluva lot more people are going to know them.

In alphabetical order by last name (because we’re impartial like that), here are the guys and dolls that kick the most ass in the least possible time:

  1. Jimmy Callaway – A Californian crime fiction writer, and the publisher of such blogs as Let’s Kill Everybody! (on films in the slasher genre, and why we should care about ‘em) and Attention, Children. Sequential Art (on the highbrow subject of comic books and the grown men who love them), Callaway’s got a punk-rock way with words. He’s also a cool guy and a straight shooter, and you can read his “Make Mine Small Press” right here.
  2. Daniel Allen Cox – The Montreal-based author of Shuck, as well as the eagerly anticipated Krakow Melt, Cox is decidedly our favorite porn star-cum-author. (Pun most certainly intended.) Working every angle to his advantage, Cox currently writes the “Fingerprinted” column for Capital Xtra and gives great oral. We mean sound bytes, you dirty mofos, but given his history, we suppose we can forgive your gutter minds. Read his short work, “Tumble Dry (or How Many Quarters it Takes to Stay in Heat),” in issue #4 of our print magazine.
  3. AV Flox – Now steering the wheel of the LA-based erotic supersite Sex and the 405, Flox is by far the most creative member of the literotic intelligentsia to have graduated from Black Heart’s original class. We love her words, her self-portraits, her boldness, and even her muse-like inspiration of other artists. Actually, we love pretty much everything about her, whether it’s her musings on social media at OMG. OMG. OMFG!, more filth and wisdom at Naked City, or any of the many other sites she’s sexed up with her quality content. Mwah!
  4. Amelia Gray – A fellow Austinite, Amelia Gray has written a short story collection called AM/PM (you can read a free mini-book version here) and hosts the local reading series 5 Things. She has a second collection entitled Museum of the Weird due out this September, and basically, she’s one of the only writers in this supposedly “weird” town responsible for keeping up her end of the kooky quotient. We dig her work, and look forward to seeing much more of it (maybe even on our site?) at regular intervals in the future.
  5. Gillian Sze – We don’t much cotton to poets ’round these parts, but Gillian Sze has claimed a soft spot in our black hearts. With poetry that feels like miniature fiction more than subverted song lyrics, her work has graced the pages of a variety of lit mags, as well as 3 chapbooks and her first book, Fish Bones. With a new book, The Anatomy of Clay, due out in spring 2011, maybe poetry’s got a shot at our claiming our hearts for good.

Photo credits: Jimmy Callaway by Laura Draper, Daniel Allen Cox by Dallas Curow, AV Flox by Rath and Some of The Streets are Calling, Amelia Gray by Mary Sledd, Gillian Sze by Calvin Thomas Photography