What We’re Reading: Online Local Literary Round-Up
This week I’m perusing the world wide web… or at least the local online literary world. Full disclosure: The Minneapolis/St. Paul literary scene being the tightly-knit community that it is, I happen know the people behind each of these websites, and you either have, or will see their names floating about on Hazel & Wren here and there. But I think knowing them and their projects so well makes talking about them easier. Each are quirky, unique, and bring their own distinctive voice to the immense literary world. Here, my dear reader, fill up on these yummies.
Whole Beast Rag. Hazel & I must confess, we love the two ladies spearheading this new literary magazine. With their slogan of “publishing provocative ideas since 2012,” these two women are making some smart, adventurous choices for their first issue, Hunger (which you can find online here, and can order a copy for yourself here). Featured writers include Lightsey Darst (who Timothy reviewed a while back, and whose poetry Wren fawns over whenever given the opportunity), and some forceful newcomers (such as Ticky Sowdenham, whose saucy-pants fiction piece “Oven Women” made its way through our monthly online Open Mic a few months ago before being submitted to WBR. See, good things can happen to faithful Open Mic-ers!)
Midway Journal. We got to cozy up to these folks while sharing a table with them at AWP-Chicago earlier this year. Named for the Midway area between St. Paul and Minneapolis, this online literary journal was created by a bunch of Hamline folk, although it has since branched out its staffing roots. Their aesthetic is in the sense of place, and in bridging/crossing boundaries, just like the Midway. Keep a hungry eye out for their newest issue, going live at the end of this week! They just closed their first-ever literary contest, coined “Monstrosities of the Midway,” which they promoted through one of the most devilishly fantastic Facebook campaigns that I’ve ever seen. Check it out for yourself here.
LitSeen. For all you Twin Cities folk, this is a wonderful new resource that has popped up to make living in the literary Twin Cities even more plush and collaborative. Founders Robert and Stephanie have found a niche in the midst of literary organizations like Rain Taxi and the Loft Literary Center, local non-profit publishers, and book reviewers like us. How? They review literary events, with a distinct eye for creating intelligent, reflective discussion about the event. Too often I’ve left an event that I attended on my own, wishing I had someone to have some juicily nerdy literary discourse with. Now, I do. Thank you, LitSeen!
What new online treasures have you unearthed from the spidery web, local or not?