Blog Archives

The Return and the Departure

Dear Lovers of the Aubade who fight to never leave,

We’ve had a slight jumping off since the summertime. Many of you have emailed about when the new issue will be coming out. Many have wondered why we haven’t had as many posts as usual. Many have developed new-found passions for optometry and are pursuing a lucrative career in the medical field. To all of you, I apologize.

Tragedy has hit many members of our staff lately. It has convinced us to grab onto our knees and dig our nails into the skin. Loss begets nothing more than reaching for a glass and having it drop before you can catch it. It’s the unfair it could have been different than this circumstance.

Know that what we’ve seen will make us better for you. What drives us to serve you is the love for art and communication and to make your experience on this lovely, lonely planet the best it can be. While we won’t be in full capacity until 2014, don’t forget about us. We won’t forget about you.

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“Flower” by Abigail Allen

Today marks the publication of Yorick Magazine‘s fifth issue. We have harbored 44 unique writers and 9 artists since we began in 2011, and we are dogged to harbor more. Enjoy this new issue. It’s pretty.

Sincerely yours,
Alex Grover,
Editor-in-Chief,
Yorick Magazine

A Much-Needed Submitter-Contributor Appreciation Post

Dear people who cross the digital expanse and pray their submitted work gets in,

You are the champions of the literary world. If you do not view yourself as “equal to” or “greater” than the literary magazines you support, then you are looking at this culture all wrong. What is a magazine without its submitters? What does it really mean to submit?

gaptoothed

Courtesy of The Gap-Toothed Madness, a wonderful presentation of a blurb I wrote

Let’s look at the definitions of “submitting” for a moment:

sub·mit  (sb-mt)

v. sub·mit·tedsub·mit·tingsub·mits

v.tr.

1. To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.

2. To subject to a condition or process.

3. To commit (something) to the consideration or judgment of another.

4. To offer as a proposition or contention: I submit that the terms are entirely unreasonable.

 

(Courtesy of http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Submitters)

If applied to writers, the first definition imagines the submitter as a small kingdom who yields to an empire greater than itself. So, by this definition, writers are lesser than and must abandon themselves and their values for what they perceive as the greater good. Of course, by obeying the empire, these writers can bring glory and fame to their name.

That’s a disgusting perspective to have, but we’ll continue.

The second definition is more appropriate, though it seems to waylay the emotional ability writers have and need to submit their work. It is not just a “condition” or “process.” This definition forgets that it’s a love for the work. It’s a respect for the work. Therefore, it’s a love, respect, and need for the writer.

As the fourth definition doesn’t seem truly applicable, the third definition ascends to be our best bet. Writers committing (prose or poetry or artwork or photography) to the consideration or judgment of a magazine. Consideration seems to have a more positive connotation than judgment. Yet, while this is the most salient definition of “submitting” for the writer to bear in mind, the question for all writers to consider is “Does this magazine have the authority to judge my work?”

I will be the first to say that literary magazines do not and should not carry the pomp they brag of. The word “magazine” comes from the French word magasin, which translates to “storehouse.” Does the word translate to “publication that reaps the benefits of its contributors and is more important than them”? No.

Moreover, a storehouse must be filled with goods to function. Without the goods, there would be no storehouse. However, without a storehouse, the goods cannot be distributed. Nonetheless, I believe the ones who share their goods with the world are the better people at the end of the day.

Do I contradict myself by posting a shameless advertisement of Yorick as the picture in this post? No. It’s my job to shamelessly advertise my magazine. It’s a storehouse for crying out loud. How else are Greek citizens going to know to come here for their oil and fleece skeins?

I’ve talked with several individuals in the immediate literary community who are committed to caring for submitters. Jeremiah Walton, of Nostrovia fame, is continuously working to create projects like The Traveling Poet so that writers have more opportunities to be heard. Brittany Wright and Richard Barnhardt at The Gap-Toothed Madness have created a newsletter for their submitters and contributors detailing new ways to submit work. It’s magazines like these that appreciate the writer.

So, submitters: you are not the worthless creatures you believe yourselves to be. You are not the mercenaries who struggle to make a living by providing service to an emperor. You are the artifacts that the acolytes struggle to collect. Some artifacts are undiscovered, some are found and made public.

Whether admitting it or not, the acolyte, a wretch in torn cloth, dreams only of finding the best.

– Alex

 

Marching across/ the Bridge on the River Kwai

Dear Storywriters, Storyhearers, and Pythonians,

The Summer 2013 reading session is over. To those who submitted, wonderful work so far. We’re still evaluating your pieces and will come to a decision. To those who didn’t submit, shame, forsakenness, misdeed upon your household! Or your wifi. Whichever affects you more.

You can always submit to our fine little literary magazine at yorickmagazine@gmail.com. If you missed the deadline for the Summer 2013 issue, why not submit for the Fall 2013 issue?

Do it. This is a warranted challenge. So is the following:

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“I Can Make it to the Gate in 3 Seconds, Can You?” by emilydickinsonridesabmx

As we run from attack dogs and march in tune, we realize that submitting work is a tough process. It’s equitable to raising children and sending them off into the world to get jobs—except your children can get rejected and you have to revise them to make them perfect.

Sounds pretty dystopian to me.

But it’s what writers do. All storytellers need to strive to find their medium. We don’t all have the honor of telling our tales to a tribe by the fireside in the desert. We don’t all have enthusiastic grandchildren who honor us with their ears. What we do have is the Internet.

The first magazine I successfully submitted to, Postcard Shorts, is a sweet affair with remote flash fictions that take your mind away for a few minutes, roughly. It’s an enjoyable publication and a reminder of why we write. Escape. A chance to travel to a new world, one not too far away but not so subtly in an inaccessible dimension.

That’s a lie. We submit to become famous. You want to be in an echelon where strangers will glorify your work and your friends will say, “Wow, I grew up with that chick, and now she’s a famous novelist/ short story writer/ poet? I really suck.” However, you can always relieve non-writer friends by reminding them that your pay affords the pens and paper you write with.

So escape and fame. What else? Here’s a thought: we’re all writing to concoct the same dream with different pieces, chemicals, people. A complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end (unless you’re one of those absurdist-surrealist compatriots, and to you I say write on). Detective solves a mystery. Lovers solve the mystery of love. Gloomy poets solve the mystery of isolation with more isolation. It’s completeness we seek; passengers on the same boat, towards the same lonely island, we take up different cabins believing we’re original.

So march on and whistle.

Submit.

Can you submit before the vicious dog reaches the fence in three seconds?

Yes. Absolutely yes.

Remember that even though our songs sound different, they follow the same tune. Go buy yourself some caviar, you peasant. You’ve earned it.

Love,
Alex

Artist Spotlight: Nick Kita

Interview by Alex Grover, Editor-in-Chief
Transcribed by Sam Levenberg, Staff Writer

Months ago, I trapped a young photographer into a long conversation that he probably didn’t want to have. He had the misfortune of having his work accepted in the Spring 2013 issue of Yorick, so I knew that his artistic insight would be beneficial to our dear community. When I successfully cornered him, he gave me the “dark eyes,” the look of frustration when you can’t get out of dodge and you subtly admit defeat. Here is an abridged interview with Nick Kita, possible double agent, definite swagger.

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Nick Kita, Photographer

Alex: Where has photography taken you in life?

Nick: Socially, it’s pretty cool what being a photographer does at a college. Just this weekend I was able to go and photograph Profstock and being at, being at the front of the stage everyone is dying for your attention. Everyone wants to go home and see themselves and it’s pretty cool. You know I never, I never really wanted to bend for people to become their friends, so it hasn’t made me exuberantly popular, if that’s the right word. It hasn’t made me the coolest kid on campus, but it definitely helped me be at the front of some social experiences and that’s pretty cool. Business wise—it’s pretty funny, because I never intended to take it toward a business aspect. I always liked photography, I’d always thought it was a cool thing to do, but I guess I’ve been blessed with somewhat of a raw talent because everybody, not everyone, let me rephrase…

Alex: (laughs)

Nick: …enough people talk to me and go, “Wow, you’re a really great photographer!” and I say, “Thank you.” I appreciate that, but you are the biggest critique of your own work. So, people have been pushing me toward it, to take it towards a business standpoint, and for me as a nineteen-year-old just turned twenty-year-old kid, I was comfortable making $9.50 at my Smoothie King and selling all those retail products. But when you can work six hours and make $500 easy, and that’s the lowest you’ll make, it’s kind of hard not to say, “Wow! I really love doing this! Why not make money doing it?” So business is coming second for me, but it’s going to be a priority and it’s going to keep me afloat whether or not it takes me deeper in the future with photography and that’s where most of my income will come from, or if it’s just a hobby that can help me buy cool stuff.

Alex: (laughs) Yeah. Well, you talk about this raw talent—what do you think that means? And what, how do you see yourself refining that raw talent?

Nick: I think it’s more raw talent for me in the way I’m trying to define it. I have an innate ability to see the beauty in the mundane. So, when I see something that normally someone would look at and say “Wow, that’s not that beautiful, that’s not cool,” I can see myself in a different light, in a different aspect, from a different perspective and make it beautiful. I can…with all my social experiences and how my first passion people, my second passion is experiences and my third passion is success. So, I’ve grown to know how people act and what usually comes next in a series of event, series of conversations and I can, I can predict when that perfect shot’s going to happen. But again, that can just come from practice with photography.

Alex: Yeah, so it’s almost this weird, precognitive, artistic…

Nick: …disposition that I have.

Alex: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah.

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“i play even though i know my sound falls on deaf ears,”
Nick Kita

Alex: It comes through in your work no matter what. And just to jump around, it definitely shows in your piece, “i play even though i know my sound falls on deaf ears.” It’s just very, it’s just very moving because everyone around him is static and there he is at the center. Tell me about that piece.

Nick: Yeah, just to go back to what I said before, finding the beauty in the mundane. What I wanted to emphasize the most in that piece is how this old man, one of our elders if you will, is sitting there, he’s most likely retired, I don’t know his name, I didn’t ask his name, I probably should’ve reflecting on this, but everybody in this world, we always move so fast. Here we are on a vacation, a vacation location, a getaway, and everyone is running past this beautiful artistic expression, they don’t notice him. People who are sitting behind him are on their cellphones, they’re looking in other directions, they’re talking to their partners and stuff like that, no one really stood and stopped to embrace the moment that he was providing for us. So I saw that, and saw that he was a very talented man, and I wanted to capture the picture. Though he is not named in the photo, I don’t know his name, I heard he plays there for, he’s played there for years and if I ever went back again I would most definitely ask for his name, maybe do a story on him, photojournalism, that’s something that interests me. That was a very cool, very cool guy. It was more or less to emphasize how quickly we move and how we overlook some of the coolest things. They’re right in front of our face and we walk right past never giving them a chance to blossom and bloom and become this great thing.

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“Our Time Has Come,” Nick Kita

Alex:  Your other piece was very interesting too. It’s almost, it’s almost kind of eerie, it was “Our Time Has Come.”

Nick: Yeah, yeah. What I was really trying to portray there was this existentialist type of artwork where, what I was going for was the very spiritual—I’m just totally kidding. It was a foggy day.

Alex: (laughs)

Nick: It was a foggy day and I told my RA, Ojas Patel at the time, I said, “Yeah Ojas, yeah come on, I love fog.” I really wanted to do this low-key photo shoot and so we walked over to the back of Edgewood Park Apartments, and there’s this light shining down, and I said, “Go ahead, jump, make it look like you’re levitating.” And it took about twenty shots just to get that one shot. I mean, as funny as, as much meaning as can be put into one photo, a totally…pointless, floorless meaning can be given. I mean there’s just, there’s just no meaning, no meaning for that photo, it was just a spur of the moment thing and I was like, “This looks cool, let me take it.” But the title again, as I went and reflected on it, it could mean so much to so many people. He’s in the shape of a cross, Christians could interpret it that way, and they could think, “Oh, it’s Jesus rising up.” Say I took that photo and I, I didn’t reveal it until Easter, you know, it’s, there are so many ideas that can be derived from something, and it’s all really what you see in art, and it’s what makes art and music and these creative expressions that you, that humans can create, that the human population can create, that’s what makes it so interesting to me. Now, my interpretation, I just, I simply know the facts. How I want it to be interpreted? There simply is no wrong answer. Take what you need from it.

We talked for roughly two hours, and in that barrage of ideas and ideals in April’s chill, I felt this cool connection to this fellow whose job was his passion, whose passion was an organ much like his heart. This next part was the last bit we suffered through, but I might just have enjoyed it the most.

Nick: Photography is part of me now, and it’s not like I can separate business from my normal life. I can’t separate work from my normal life because I love what I do. I try and be as humble as possible, because, I have no, I don’t have anything to back up me being the best. I just have my creative art expression, I just have my portfolio, and some people like it, some people love it, some people hate it.

Alex: Do you ever think that you’ll be the best?

Nick: To some people, yeah, absolutely, I’ll be the best to some people. I’ll be the worst to some people. It’s all, it’s all (sighs) it all depends on which spectrum you look at it from. Maybe I’m the best to my father, maybe I’m the worst to my mother. Who knows. Δ

Submit your artwork and photography to yorickmagazine@gmail.com.
Deadline is August 1st.

Support Lit! 5 Magazines to Get You Started

Dear Wendigos and Other Beasts of Folklore,

Wendigo Trail, by Amir Syed

Wendigo Trail, by Amir Syed

I hope you’re doing well out there in the Blogosphere. I’ve heard it’s cold sometimes.

The poems, stories, artwork and photography we’ve imprisoned in our first issue from this year are screaming to get out and into your heads! If you haven’t seen our literary brig, go to our ISSUES section and take a gander at our literary magazine.

Here’s the fun part of this post—and definitely not the self-marketing in-your-face advertisement blurb—as I’d like to make a shout out to some literary œuvres de grandeur (see that! French!) that you should know about. They’re all very, very cool publishers of the best, the best of the best, and the best of the best bests, and deserve 96% of your attention. The other 4% can be zoned out. That’s totally fine.

Click on the pictures to visit their websites!

1. The Gap-Toothed Madness

This lit mag based in Sacramento, CA is already a strong contender as a fantastic and sophisticated compilation of work from around the world. One of their featured writers is actually a Yorick alum, Fred Pollack, one of our Spring 2013 issue’s poets. With amazing cover art and a printed magazine you can order here, this publication has a lot to smile about. This madness is currently accepting work.

The Gap-Toothed Madness - Lovely!

The Gap-Toothed Madness – Lovely!

2. Undergroundbooks.org

With a cryptic “Welcome Home” that makes me rethink where I’ve been these past two decades, Undergroundbooks.org deals in the cryptic and the utterly wonderful. Featuring eclectic poets and several neat ebooks, this online publishing house of silken onyx has scored a subterranean following as well as my heart. Some types of prose and poetry you may submit are prison diaries (if you’ve recently been to prison), poetry made through animated gifs, and children’s books, which will be tested on the editors’ children, among the more typical stuff. This underground dwelling is currently accepting work.

Undergroundbooks.org - Lovely!

Undergroundbooks.org – Lovely!

3. Hobo Camp Review

A four-season camp full of weathered raconteurs, this magazine is in its seventeenth issue. If you’re looking to read earthy realities and salient truths, come here. Some notable work to mention is by Melissa Prunty Kemp and James Tyner, among an amazing camp of “road-weary storytellers” that will surely send your dreams to the forest. This hobo camp is currently accepting work.

Hobo Camp Review - Lovely!

Hobo Camp Review – Lovely!

4. Miracle E-zine

Sporting gorgeous artwork, poetry, fiction, film reviews, writing contests, and other special features (I particularly like the “Writer’s Guide to Reading” in Issue 6), Miracle is a miracle—not that its talented staff and writers can put together such great work, but that we can have such a beautiful publication to grace our existence. For their writers’ group, click here. This miracle is currently accepting submissions.

Miracle E-zine - Lovely!

Miracle E-zine – Lovely!

5. Decades Review

This is the kind of lit review you look for when you sink back in your couch, pull up your laptop, and browse for good, meaningful writing. The Decades Review is inspiring, full of great management, interviews, and, of course, pieces of fine literature and artwork. I hope this publication runs for years. This decade is currently accepting submissions.

Decades Review - Lovely!

Decades Review – Lovely!

Thanks for reading, folks! Support these magazines with your time, love, and memory. Reading the work of others, comrades, is as important as submitting your own work.

It’s a monster of a world without friends. Even for a wendigo.

Love,
Alex

The Pleasure in Poetry

by Samuel Levenberg, Staff Writer

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Poetry, by V.H. Hammer. View her work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vhhammer/

Heidi ho out there!

A few days ago my editor – the esteemed Alex Grover – asked me if I wanted to write a blog post for Yorick about what I like about poetry. A few things immediately popped into my head – how its beauty is only in words and how it can be about much of anything – but what I think I like most about poetry is its unpredictable nature. When looking into poetry, whether in a literary magazine, a textbook, on the internet, my own drunk scribbles or even just research about it in general, the gems I find concerning poetry always lift my mood.

Two gems in particular always make me smile when I see them. The first is a drunken scrawl I wrote about a month ago when I was having a conversation with a random girl I had just met. I mentioned I was a poet, so she challenged me to write a poem. I asked her for a word and she said to me “CRY.” I said “Okay,” and I wrote this for her:

Cold fusion does make

radioactive music.

YES, said the hero

I almost forgot this poem, because I’d written it on a napkin and given it to her so I thought I had lost it. But about two days after this night, I was taking a look at my jeans and saw something written on them. Wadda ya know, it was this poem, and when I saw that I couldn’t help but grin.

The other gem that always makes me smile is that there are 190, 899, 322 different ways to write a sonnet (thank you John Lennard’s The Poetry Handbook!) because for a while I was of the opinion that you could only write a sonnet one of two or three ways – in English, Italian or Spenserian forms. However, after reading these numbers in Lennard’s book and doing a close reading of “Ozymandias” by Shelley, my mind was opened to the adventures that writing sonnets can hold. So, whenever I look at this number I am reminded of this, and it makes me smile.

So, farewell. I wish you hope out there in the blogosphere in finding your own gems to smile at.

Best,
Sam “The Grimm” Levenberg
Intern (in turn)
Yorick Magazine

They Walk Alone and Are Totally Psychic

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Working Horses by James Colville

Dear humans,

It’s been a while. I’ve neglected you. Our wondrous layout editor, Lauren, has been accompanying you on our Tumblr, giving you updates when I couldn’t. I’ve been in a daze, spending time in Texas, setting up to go to the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and the release party for Apiary Magazine’s sixth issue, and preparing for an internship at a printing company in a few weeks. It’s not the most someone can do, but it’s what I’m doing.

First of all, thank you for the support in sharing our last issue. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, please do so! We had some great contributors who are working artists in an age where art lacks that supreme amount of support and popularity you find in a high school football team or Wal-Mart.

Second, wazoo! We’re accepting submissions for our next issue. This one’s gonna be jam-packed with new features, new designs, and new invisible penguins. Submit your work to yorickmagazine@gmail.com. Starting in June, we will be having a rolling submissions policy. That means at the end of each month, we’ll let our contributors know if their work has been accepted or not (for those who submitted in May, we’ll let you know by the end of June). This will be a better experience not only for the magazine but for those who may be waiting months to hear back from us. Now it’s only one month. Hooray.

Third, we’re going to be having some awesome posts on our blogs, including interviews with photographers and artists Nick Kita, Matheus Fiuza, Kevin Soojian, and James Colville. We also have some new staff to join Lauren and Olivia! Sam and Dean (coincidental if you watch Supernatural) will be, respectively, the new editorial assistant and social media manager.

Cool stuff!

We’re always looking for guest blog posts, so if you’d like us to review an Op-ed or general article on anything literary, please send it to us. I’m in the middle of one book review project, so book reviews by Yorick are on hold as of now. In the meantime, check out our Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook in the upcoming weeks.

Enjoy life, my fellow humans. Please watch out for horses.

Love,
Alex

It’s Here! Yorick Magazine Has Given Birth To Another Baby

Dear Folks, Yolks, and Volkswagens,

The new issue of Yorick Magazine has been placed on Earth by divine touch. 

It’s true! We mean it!

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Colored Coke,  Matheus Fialho Fiuza

After hours of deliberation, editing, loitering, lawyering, confrontation, galactic battle, voyeurism, and pandas, the fourth issue of Yorick Magazine is here! The Spring 2013 issue has been published, featuring the work of several wonderful poets, fictionists, and artists, including Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto, Jeremiah Walton, Matheus Fialho Fiuza, and James Colville. Take a gander, take a peek; send it to your friends, your uncles, your deer; serve it to your local Democrats Club for lunch, or feature it as the 19th hole of your town’s miniature golf course.

Excited? Enjoy your literary exploration. Don’t forget to like it on the Issuu page!

Thanks to all contributors! All acceptance decisions were tough to make. However, we feel that the pieces we chose were exceptional beyond the starry limit that we set.

Thanks also to you, our wonderful readers. You are members of a beautiful community. You support a work of love with your thoughts and eyes. Your warmth shimmers. For that, we’re grateful.

Love,
Alex Grover
Editor-in-Chief,
Yorick Magazine

“Snoissimbus!” Cried Kim Jong-Un

Dear North Koreans, South Koreans, and other Balkanized Citizens of the World,

Yorick Magazine is winding up its first harvest of the year for its Spring 2013 issue, which will be due in some time in late March or early April. We’ve gotten dozens of lovely pieces from writers and poets from around the world. If you like to submit writing to magazines, now is your chance to add your story into the frothy broth of our submission soup. 

Deadline for submissions is March 18th, 2013.

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      Kim Jong-Un applauds us.

We take poetry and short story submissions. We also take novel excerpts. We also take clown memoirs, disco aftermaths, parade streamers, Hawaiian treaties, and constitutions from legitimate countries (and not those threatening to blow us the hell up!)(Even though we’d do the same to you, you scary world).

If you have an eye for aesthetics, or even if you don’t, please feel inspired to submit photography. The moments you capture will be released within the confines of Yorick, so if they’re incredibly dangerous, do not worry. We do have the technology for such fine work. If it’s revolutionary, we will make grilled cheeses for the partisan warriors of the resistance.

You should submit art, too. Yorick beckons for original artwork, as the menaces of the image scribe tend to delegate wonderful nuances in image councils, who bear good will to the image world. Did you detect the metaphor their? The image metaphor? No? Yes?

Good.

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      Kim Jong-Un loves us.

Are you quibbling? Don’t! You’re doing us a favor by providing our phantasmagorical magazine with your poetry, art, photography, and short story submissions, along with the other fancies that you hide in your trunk of work. We are looking for tales in words and images (aha!), stories within walls, people in places we never thought they could roam. It’s a challenging proposition, but we mean it. We want your best, and we’ll accept your best.

Fair warning: if Kim Jong-Un submits his poetry to us, we will accept it bar-none. Sorry folks.

Remember, March 18th! March 18th! Submit everything! All of it! 

Cheers!
 – Alex, Editor-in-Chief