by M. Bui
What happens when you put 12 publications, an array of zines and merch, and a bunch of lovers of literature all together in a cozy space with a bar and a stage? You get a room full of like-minded creatives and a festive feast of literature, complete with readings, drinks, and wonderful company with those who share in your love for language art and books. At least, that’s what I felt as I immersed myself in the scene at Meet the Mags Volume 2 in the heart of Denver a few weekends ago (yes, the specific evening happening to align with 4/20).
Never before had I felt so inclined to indulge myself in a literary world with many other like-minded people. The Meet the Mags event rounded up and featured 12 of Denver’s hottest independent lit mags at Syntax Physic Opera, offering an inviting space to chat, share, read, and listen to readings from the various publication there. Our very own Inverted Syntax was here featuring our latest print issue and later with a reading by none other than Kathy Fish (published in our print issue). This was the event to be at especially if you’ve been looking for a sampling of the literary scene here in Denver or simply to learn more about this hidden but rumbling culture of independently published literature.
The quaint and charming space of Syntax Physic Opera, found right along 554th and Broadway is the perfect spot for such an event. The warm lighting, artistic architecture, classy decor, and friendly bar with a vast selection cocktails and dishes helped make the music venue an enchanting literary haven. But it was those who filled the space that brought it to life: readers, writers, artists, lit lovers, fashion designers, coffee enthusiasts, and so much more, all with our loaded arsenal of zines, mags, merch, and more. From our numerous, varied backgrounds, everyone here came together to share in our common love of the literary culture.
I spent most of my time perusing each publication and thoroughly enjoying meeting with the people behind the scenes, learning about each publication and about the editors themselves. We chatted about everything from our magazines’ visions to the peculiar printing presses we use to the day jobs we find ourselves in when we’re not creating art. Typically, when we read published work, we sometimes forget about the hard work involved in the process of putting out a print issue; we may forget that there are minds and hearts behind those words and art, so it was a refreshing opportunity for me to be able to interact with other people behind the scenes of independent publications.
Attending this event was a wonderful way to wrap up my semester long internship at Inverted Syntax. The community, creativity, and passion that filled the venue that 4/20 evening was truly a treasure for any resident of the literary world--I’m already looking forward to Volume 3 of Meet the Mags. I left the venue with an armful of zines, cards, and merch, and a brain full of artistic inspiration.
All previous photos by M. Bui
by Nawal Nader-French
Inverted Syntax is thrilled to be one of 12 Denver mags at Meet the Mags Volume 2 event this Saturday and we are especially honored to have the phenomenal author Kathy Fish read for us!
This is your chance to explore the literary scene in Denver and discover the city’s best independent lit mags and zines. It’s a free night of live readings, cocktails, and the chance to meet the editors, writers, poets and artists who make this town tick.
The Mags You'll Meet....
-Punch Drunk Press
-Coffee People Zine
-New Skin Magazine
-The Yellow Rake
Meet the Mags Volume 2 Event Details
Facebook Event Page
by Kathryne Lim
When I stepped inside the Telepoem Booth in Santa Fe and picked up the receiver, I was excited to engage with poetry in a whole new way. Elizabeth Hellstern’s imaginative idea had been transformed into a brilliant reality. The use of the disappearing phone booth is not only whimsical, but offers a touch of nostalgia, a nod to the days of gritty connectivity.
I heard about the project shortly after moving back to Santa Fe and was very intrigued by it. In the booth, I listened to Joan Logghe, former Santa Fe poet laureate, read one of her poems. Listening to the poem in a public, but also private, intimate space caused me to think about the ways we encounter poetry, and how poetry can be incorporated into our everyday lives.
The Telepoem Booth is an interactive, multi-sensory, community-based art piece that connects an audience to poetry through active participation. The viewing public is invited to enter the Telepoem Booth, where they find a directory listing poets and their individual poems alongside an assigned telephone number. Once they choose a poem and dial the number on a rotary phone, an .mp3 recording of the poem recited by the poet plays through the receiver.
The Telepoem Booth debuted at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ, and was followed up with another booth in Flagstaff, AZ. A permanent Telepoem Booth, with 150 poems from writers in the area, is located in College State, PA. Recent Telepoem Booths debuted at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM and at Burris Hall on the campus of Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. The City of Santa Fe has acquired a permanent Telepoem Kiosk, which will feature 155 poems by poets in the area. Another booth is forthcoming at the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation in Santa Barbara, CA.
Poems are curated, usually through an open call to poets living in the region. Poets of all levels and stages of their careers are encouraged to participate. The individual poets and booths will eventually form a network, connecting poets and audiences alike.
On what inspired the project’s origins, Hellstern shared, “I was in love with touching the art objects when I hung shows, and wished that everyone could feel the pieces as intimately as I got to when they visited the gallery. When I went back to school for my MFA, I wanted to create an interactive art piece that people could touch as much as they wanted. As a writer, I wanted to make words more multimedia.”
What is most appealing to me about this project is the way it makes poetry accessible and inviting to an audience that may not otherwise reach out for it. As Hellstern says, “The booths create a strong sense of community in the poets and users and have created positive interactions with poetry that might not otherwise be possible. Our hope is that poetry can make a difference in the world.”
Anyone interested in having a Telepoem Booth in their area should contact the Telepoem Booth Organization for more information.
And check out these additional sources: