Last Thursday, Daniel and I were able to sit down for a few hours to continue to work on the premier issue of vandal, set to drop late March. We met at Hastings and sat at the only table open–in the children’s section. So after playing with the toys [which took up more room than the books] and hushing our consistent use of curse words, we finally got down to work.
We reviewed the submitted work and decided what poems we would publish, then budgeted what pieces we were still set to recieve. The theme of the first issue is Gaza.Sderot, covering the humanitarian crisis that exploded this past winter. We have been sharing different articles with one another, trying to create a diaglogue between the two of us to frame the work we want in this issue. I shared with him the article from Medea Benjamin, published on commondreams.org and we both loved it, though it was scary and made our skin crawl even more than most Gaza stories.
Her email address was listed at the bottom of the article, and so I thought I would just email her an ask if we could reprint her article and pictures. She wrote back immediatly, wished us congratualations on our new project, and let us have access to all of her work and personal journals! She took one 14 day tour of Gaza last month and will leave again next Friday. vandal will publish entries and photographs from both trips. Benjamin is a great role model for women activists and we are so honored to have her support. Look forward to more work from her in upcoming issues.
Other features of issues 1.1:
–Essay and interview from Nomika Zion.
–Fiction/poetry from Jimmy Santiago Baca.
–Photo essay from Prince Giorgio Guy Tarraf of Lebanon,UNESCO Youth Ambassador for the Culture of Peace.
–Fiction, short story from Emily Raboteau, our newest Advisory Board member.
–Interview and selected poetry from Suheir Hammad, Palestinian-American poet, author and political activist. Hammad is the author of Born Palestinian, Born Black.
[Suheir Hammad will be in College Station this Wednesday/Thursday. Daniel and I will be taking her to dinner, asking for her support as an Advisory Board member]
–many poems from up and coming, amazing poets from across the US.
Preview poem [to be printed in our first issue]:
I love the dark circles under my eyes.
I want my tragedies to be public; I want the ascetism of nights spent awake with the ceiling to flash from my sockets and capture the minds of the boys I pass while walking; I want my smiles to be miracles breaking the blackness written on my face; I want pictures of me to fail to expose from fear of showing the kindness and the wrathfulness of the god in whom I believe; I want to smile and murder in the same breath; I want to be called the nocturnal poet, and the sleepwalker, and the ghost, and I want my names to shudder in the thrill of a despicable infamy while I smile, and even laugh; I want my names to be written in golden ink on the filthy walls of men’s bathrooms, and in dreams across the backs of the eyelids of sleeping boys.