We say the new product, not a, because we don’t want to put just one more literary journal out on the market. We want a product so different and exciting it’ll blow people away from the moment they see it– let alone read it.
This means starting with a dynamite cover. Our “packaging.” Nearly all lit journals today have professional-looking cover art. Our task was to best this.
We did this by in-depth research of the best artists, of all kinds, in the Detroit area. We preferred having a Detroit artist A.) for the hipness/edge factor B.) because Detroit is the center right now of an arts explosion; fantastically talented artists gravitating to the coming-back city for the opportunity it provides– and the city’s edgy-jagged atmosphere.
We didn’t limit our search to Michigan folks. We perused work online from as far away as Liverpool– which itself seems to be an arts hub right now.
From graffiti artists to designers of comic books or posters or album cover art, we cast a wide net. We desired not simply good art– but trailblazing art. Several very good options were out there. We settled on the best local young artist, in our humble opinion. Or at least, the artist whose work was the most colorful, most pop, most striking. Most attention getting. It grabbed our attention! That artist was Alyssa Klash.
The cover’s a winner. But what of the “product” itself? The literary journal’s contents?
Aha! For that we had no worries. We’d already published on our web site (www.newpoplit.com) several terrific writers– from Thomas Mundt and Jessie Lynn McMains to Kathleen Crane and Brittany Terwilliger and Wred Fright. We pushed them to send us stories that were even better than those they’d previously given us. They came through big-time.
To those returnees we added newbies (for us) like Robin Dunn and Terry Sanville, and the quirky/crazy lit phenomenon Alex Bernstein. In addition, we had a very strong interview with purveyor of DIY everything Delphine Pontvieux, AND a series of art/prose pieces by Dan Nielsen, who has since joined the staff of this fledgling-but-ambitious project. (More about him in another blog post.) Who are we leaving out? Our token poet, Colin James. One poem– but it’s a good one, holding its own with the dynamite stories around it.
We don’t exaggerate about the stories. You’ll see when you read them. They’re as good as any stories being published anywhere. (We believe two of them are better than any stories being published anywhere.) Moreover, they fit our aesthetic. We designed this journal for the new reader. The stories are fast, fun, and have punch. They are NOT for people with endless time on their hands to dawdle for hundreds of pages over going-nowhere prose from the likes of a Jonathan Franzen or Hilary Mantel. Our stories are too good, too exciting, for the mandarins of a collapsing literary establishment. Our stories are for people on the move themselves, living in the NOW. For people who themselves are creating excitement, and will not settle for less than the best in beer, brunches, styles, or literary products. (Yes, our new literary journal has style.)
Not that we didn’t have difficulties putting our hybrid new animal together. Formatting it took longer than we expected. Not to worry! We WILL have a limited number of preview copies at the Allied Media Conference coming up. A chance to grab an advance look at what the literary future looks like. If you’re attending, get to our table early!