Houston Literary Magazine Tries to Convince the IRS It's Not Porn

Categories: Art

Purveyors of filth
NANO Fiction, a bi-annual publication of "flash fiction, prose poems, and micro essays of 300 words or fewer," is holding a fund-raiser.


So it can prove to the IRS it isn't porn.

Eric Todd, an associate editor, says NANO Fiction is trying to qualify as a nonprofit, but the IRS won't have it.

"In the fall of 2009, three months before our first nonprofit application, we published an issue featuring the photography of Traci Matlock and Ashley Maclean," he says. "Traci and Ashley's work has appeared in a wide variety of galleries and art publications both locally and nationally, and, while their photos often include sexual themes, only the most willfully obtuse could call them pornography."

The IRS being "willfully obtuse"? Who ever heard of such a thing?

Matlock and Maclean no longer work together, but their work -- sometimes done as "Rose and Olive" -- was featured in the documentary People Love Photos.

A 180 magazine review of the picture said:

They are delightedly examining the joys of sexuality and youth.

While they had a hard time keeping a straight face when saying it, they did explain that they were using their photography as a way of examing the world, and the body as community.

So yeah, there is nudity, but it's not hard-core porn. Except, apparently, to the IRS.

NANO Fiction's appeal of the IRS decision was rejected, and now the organization must re-apply -- which comes with an $800 fee.

So they're holding a fund-raiser August 26 at the Joanna Gallery.

"We're throwing the fund-raiser in August not simply as a celebration of our fifth year of existence, as the flyer and press release will suggest, but also as an effort to simply remain solvent," Todd says. "501(c)(3) status is essential for a literary journal of our size to maintain itself, as we're largely dependent on subscriber donations, which we cannot accept without a nonprofit tax designation."

If they would simply stop showing Triple-X hard-core depravity with absolutely no redeeming social or artistic value, maybe they wouldn't find themselves in these straits.

Update: NANO board president Kirby Johnson tells Hair Balls the situation may not be quite as straightforward as Todd explained.

The idea that NANO Fiction was denied nonprofit status for publishing pornography is a misconception that stems from an early inquiry from the IRS. The case was complicated, but we are looking forward to reapplying this fall.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Sounds like a very good plan to me dude

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault