Editor Interviews | Chloë Thompson


Chloë Thompson is a proto-southern queer poet eating from the hands of her loved ones on the dusty floors of Maryland and in the deep greens of Oregon. She is the author of the self-published poetry collection Badzooka Joe and makes albums. she opens the crypt at LoveSexGodTalk and is the Bean Bag Captain at Open Seas Coffee.

Pardon me for taking your needle, pardon me for threading the needle with your body, pardon me for love, pardon me for I am what I am, and I do not know what this means.

Leonora Carrington

What does this quote mean to you?

I’m deeply religious in the way that I believe in bodies and the unknown, and I’m always looking for works of literature outside the Bible that manage to find a way to make the physical and the disappearing remain prescient. Many different kinds of faith seekers came before me and used their words to explain mystical traditions, selfless acts, and transcendence of the body. Artists like Carrington remind me that all the ideas we have about what words and bodies can do can never be finalized; but instead, constantly create warmth as they remain in a state of continuous germination. The flesh, the word, and knowing need each other. I also just really like this quote because it reminds me of a great drill song called “I Am What I Am” by an incredible Chicago rapper named King Von who was tragically murdered in 2020. This congruency of words, mirroring throughout time, is an essential reminder that all art is atemporal and begins communications within worlds that are not expected to overlap.  

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

I’m going to make this embarrassingly Christian really quick and then get to some “real” books… if I’m going Old Testament, the Book of Ruth. I read this story because it reveals the sanctity of loving whatever kind of mother you got and of sleeping at a lover’s feet. If I’m going New Testament, 1 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians is a sacred text that is part of a huge black intellectual tradition wherein the scope of oppression could be dimmed in comparison to the vastness of love. This letter of the apostle Paul gives me faith in my Blackness because black people have somehow managed to turn a damning letter demanding that believers shore up their spiritual praxis into a love note that requests seeing others as one sees the self. I could fall asleep in this passage, specifically 1 Corinthians 13, and feel like I was floating on a little pink cloud. In fact, I may have had this experience before. In some form.I have been chastised by friends and mentors alike for being a little too into long books by old white men but I aim to be truthful so I will name them here. I am an avid Dostoevsky reader because he taught me that you can lay a world out and tear it down piece by piece if an audience is willing to take the plunge with you. The Brothers Karamazov taught me the beginnings of my faith and began my pursuit of the archetype of the “holy fool”; clueless yet imbued with God’s grace. I think everyone should read Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism (which is by Anonymous, but it’s definitely a white guy) alone with a highlighter and a notebook because it is important to stake out claims for knowledge by yourself, if only sometimes. Anything by Sylvia Wynter or Sianne Ngai carves out the edges of my happy place because I know they both would want me to think fiercely for myself yet in unity with others. And my favorite book ever is Liliane by Ntozake Shange because we speak the same language, plain and simple.

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

I think for the past 9-10 months the current state of the world for me has solely been writing and art (due to Magickal Negro Dissociation Tactics), in which lies its/their value. Art’s consumption defies the logic of the societal constructions we arbitrarily throw up. And art makes everyone way more humble than anyone presumes they can be. Art is a constant kick-in-the-face that tells you non-stop that everything you think about yourself and the world around you was either told to you or through you. Art itself even defies the logic and constructions we erect around it. I didn’t think that theory could be art until I read The Theory of the Young Girl. I didn’t know that the distance videos my friends send me of their beautiful faces were something so special until I taught myself to recognize that created, captured beauty. The magnitude of appreciating a finely created thing disintegrates a lot of the obstacles between people and refocuses us, if even temporarily, on the magnificence of being. Like, oh wow man, you made this? For that one little moment, I can forget the hyper-technological and violent world we live in. It’s less that I even forgot it and more that I recognize that art creates an itty-bitty new world, which we can choose to live in. Even for 3 seconds. That’s an imagined-future; a created change.

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

I started writing poetry because I needed to make sense of being a freaky black girl around a bunch of hayseeds and rednecks. I made a voice. I didn’t care if my voice sounded like theirs and a million other people(s) just as long as I knew it was uniquely mine. Now I’ve been a lot more places and seen a lot more things and I still run along with the same credos. My voice, if it looks like anything, probably resembles a stalactite. Or a stalagmite. Just a lot of layers of something. Maybe sedimentary rock? I know that knowing that I really wanted to be a person who had something to say was the ember that became a fire in my belly. Now I’m a woman who won’t shut up and I’m really, really proud of that.

What is something that matters to you?

Faith, land, beans, grace, rain, hip-rolling, prayer, divination, the phrase “making love”, humility, radiance, the fusion between earth signs and fire signs, dreaming a little dream, waking up in the morning to another day.

Anything else?

What’s the real difference between esoteric and exoteric? Anybody know?

Editor Interviews | Morgan L. Ventura


Morgan L. Ventura (They/She) is a Sicilian-Irish American expatriate living between Vancouver, Canada, and Oaxaca, Mexico. Originally hailing from the (haunted) Midwest, Ventura was an archaeologist in their former life, but converted to anthropology and folklore only to now become a speculative poet, essayist, translator, and fiction writer. Their poetry and translations have appeared in Strange Horizons, Augur Magazine, and Ghost City Review, among others, while essays can be found in Geist Magazine, Folklore Thursday, and Jadaliyya. Ventura’s poem, “Extinction No. 6,” was nominated for both the Rhysling Award and Canada’s National Magazine Award for Best Poem. Find them on Twitter: @hmorganvl.

If I abandon this project I would be a man without dreams and I don’t want to live like that: I live my life or I end my life with this project.

Werner Herzog

What does this quote mean to you?

I’m a big fan of Werner Herzog, and I realize that people respond to his cinema and writing like marmite: you either hate him or adore him. In order to understand me, you must understand Herzog – what drives his passions is a particular philosophical orientation toward the world that upholds the concept of dreams and dreaming. We may see dreaming as a passive act, or as an action that is often unknown, misunderstood, even irrational, but dreaming is also critical to envisioning new futures, fresh perspectives on not only what the world is but what it could be. Just as I’m nothing without my dreams, a world that’s stopped dreaming would also indicate the end of possibility. 

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

I’ve always been a voracious reader – haven’t we all? It’s a difficult question to answer because I’ve consumed countless books and stories in the form of novels, anthologies, and the internet. As a child, I loved Michael Ende’s the Neverending Story, which is essentially a fabulist story deeply concerned with psychology, self-worth, and corruption. It asks the reader to find themselves in the story, to take charge and become the person they could only dream of, and then presents the classic temptation of pure, unadulterated power. Whereas I was less captivated by the second half of the book and thus the parable, I became obsessed with the idea that a whole other world reflecting our deepest desires and fears could exist, and, even more, would cease to exist when we grew up and began to forget. This is another book – maybe this is a very German way of thinking – that positions dreaming as key to being human, almost critical to our survival. 

On an entirely different (and more recent) note, I always am reading Samantha Irby’s writing because I need that kind of levity (code: give-zero-shits attitude) in my life. If you haven’t read her blog piece on her substack, Bitches Gotta Eat, called “Block People and Pretend They Died,” you absolutely must do that right now. Carmen María Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties left me breathless, and as a survivor of sexual assault, the way she deals with violence is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I finally felt seen and understood after reading Machado. I carry with me a copy of Seamus Heaney’s, Seeing Things (1991), which is both spiritually moving and otherworldly with lyrical verse such as “The stone’s alive with what’s invisible…”. But my favorite collection of poetry right now is If All the World and Love Were Young, by Stephen Sexton. I picked up a copy while visiting Belfast, Northern Ireland, and it’s just the most astounding, tender, and luminous chapbook I’ve ever read. Wrestling with the grief of losing his mother, Sexton wrote a series of elegiac poems channeled through Super Mario World. Read it. 

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

Creativity is priceless, which is to say it is incompatible with the society we live in. The world is more or less stuck within the confines of an unbridled capitalistic system where any act of production carries a price-tag so that it can be exchanged and consumed. Art and the act of writing carry an intrinsic symbolic value – they exist, I believe, to not only bring beauty and illumination to society as we know it, but they’re also powerful tools of transformation. Ritual acts of creativity, art and creative writing helps us imagine new ways of existing. Without either, we would never be able to address structural and systemic problems, and on a less tangible level, we wouldn’t be able to nourish the emotional and spiritual dimensions of being human. If I could change how writing and art were received by other facets of society, writers and artists would be salaried, supported unconditionally with universal income because without us the world would be painfully dull. Try to imagine a day without music, without photography and drawing, poems, stories, films, and television. 

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

Writing and art helped me survive an inordinate amount of trauma. It’s helped me process and imagine other lives, other worlds. I find a lot of power in speculation, which allows me to put distance between myself and open wounds. Writing poetry and stories has strengthened me, it’s reshaped me and helped me realize that the answers to my questions don’t reside in the academy but rather through the twinned acts of creation and reception. 

What is something that matters to you?

Justice. Justice means a lot to me. Many of my poems – whether they be lamentations, requiems, or elegies – they all explore grief by interrogating the notion of justice. I’m not sure if justice can ever be achieved here, in this world, but I’m interested in what we call the three R’s in anthropology and archaeology: repatriation, restitution, and reparations. Some collectives speak of restorative justice, and I like this term, too. Art can be a powerful intervention, and creative acts – essays, poems, and most science-fiction – are often positioned as sociopolitical commentary. And while I find a lot of value in crafting narratives that eviscerate the current structures-that-be, I am actively engaged in projects of repatriation and restorative justice. One project, stemming from my doctoral fieldwork and co-directed with a friend of mine from Mexico City, returns the ethnographic fieldnotes of an anthropologist from the 1930s to the Indigenous community in Oaxaca where this anthropologist spent several years conducting research. She’d never translated or shared her work with the community, and so I saw repatriation and translation of these documents in Spanish and Zapotec as a mode of justice and way of correcting historical power asymmetries. The archive will now exist on a community curated website; after more than 80 years, they’ll control the narratives and have their history present to share however and whenever they like. 

Anything else?

I love sunflowers and cats, I watch the Mummy (1999) annually, and not-so-secretly enjoy Italodisco and dream pop.

South Broadway Press: Call for Editors

South Broadway Press

South Broadway Press is a literary journal based out of Denver, Colorado.

South Broadway Press is seeking an editor to review submissions to our online journal, South Broadway Ghost Society, as well as for our print publications.

About South Broadway Press

South Broadway is in reference to the South Broadway region of Denver, a long-wide strip of road that dives straight towards downtown Denver. South Broadway is lined with eclectic shops ranging from sex shops, to anarchist book stores, to local craft breweries, to dive bar concert venues. South Broadway is gritty, it is alive, it’s the kind of neighborhood where you will see the same faces again and again. This sense of inclusivity and eclectic attitudes has been a large influence on the tone of our journal.

In the role of editor, you can expect about 3-6 hours of work on any given week.

Unfortunately, we are unable to pay our editors at this time.

Responsibilities

-Review incoming submissions emails for potential publication on the journal, and/or in print.

-Format posts for publication on WordPress.

-Participate in communications regarding press operations.

-Be a representative of South Broadway Press in the local community and the larger literary community.

Qualifications

-Ability to speak and write clearly.

-A sense of professionalism, which means understand that you are in relationship with writers and other artists who are extending trust to us to take care of their work. Writers and journals have a symbiotic relationship.

Education and Work Experience

-One to two years experience in a literary editorial role is encouraged but not required.

-Experience with WordPress is encouraged but not required.

-No degree is required for this position.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please fill out this Google Form.

You can find out more about our team on our masthead.


South Broadway Press