Electric Windmill Press

Electric Windmill Issue No. 005

Issue No. 005 

Friends and Contributors,

It is with great pleasure (and our palpitating hearts) that we present to you the much-anticipated, long-awaited Electric Windmill Issue No. 005, packed with poetry, fiction, and visual art from Jonathan Butcher, Bud Smith, Kevin Ridgeway, Timothy Pilgrim, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Robert Swereda, and others.

As you plunge into the current issue, you will notice that the presentation of our magazine has changed. We have discarded the choppiness and grunginess in favor of sleekness, simplicity, and clarity. If we are living up to our duties, the work we select should speak for itself and to the magazine’s aesthetic. We have long referred to this project as a “magazine,” not a “zine,” and our new design reflects that we take this project, its contributors and their works, seriously, not just as game pieces or inconsequential utterances, but as credible artists and works of art that deserve attention.

We hope to be regarded as, though unique, a voice among voices, a participant in a literary community that consists of the like-minded and not-so-like-minded–and proves to its participants and to the world that a rational discourse, a mutual and mature appreciation of differences, are not only possible, but preferable–and that anything less is unacceptable. Yes, a vastly diverse collection of voices can coexist in a small space without the ground trembling, bodies falling from the sky.

Much as creatives are often resigned to the cop-out that the human race is hopelessly doomed to self-destruct, while we have in the past been guilty of trumpeting these resignations, we no longer feel that it is valuable to spend much time pointing out what is wrong when we could use that time to find out what is right and figure out how to magnify it, multiply it. Positive reinforcement. In 2013, we encourage our readers, friends, and contributors to find out what is right–what works, what unifies, what educates, what facilitates understanding between disparate parties, what will propel us forward–and to use their artistic talents to give us more of that. We are certain there is hope, and that hope is more than a marketing campaign.

If you feel that there is not enough beauty, not enough unity, not enough honesty and sincerity, why not lead by example? It has worked for us; we established this journal and all you wonderfully talented people have participated, and a handful have continued to participate since nearly the outset, which says to us that if you demonstrate the courage to stand up publicly for an idea, even if it has always seemed like nobody else agrees, suddenly you will find yourself in the company of like-minded individuals who will say, “Thank you for saying that. I always wished somebody would say that, but I never knew how.” And you will even find yourself in the presence of those who do not necessarily agree with you, but who appreciate your effort.

We hope to attract self-described outsiders and well-adjusted folk alike, because, really, we believe that you are essentially quite similar. Certainly we would all benefit from a meeting of diverse minds. After all, the ideal culture of so many literary journals is one that promotes diversity, but frequently the real culture is homogeneous The operators run through the motions, sticking to a strict standard of literary “excellence,” and the published effect gives the false appearance that to be published, one has to write like he or she has read too many how-to books and attended too many workshops. This is not to say that such artists and their works serve no value to the community, nor should they be silenced–quite the opposite. We want the polished and the unpolished, to be sure. Balance.

Electric Windmill has attracted all sorts of people from all over the world. We receive work from poets who have MFA’s and poets who balk at formal education, middle-aged writers who have dozens of publication credits, and unpublished, ambitious fifteen year-old kids who read Allen Ginsberg and were inspired to write poetry and endeavor to have it published. We have proudly received compliments for our editorial style, especially for writing thoughtful, exuberant, lengthy, humane rejection letters. It should not surprise people that an editor would be positive, thorough, encouraging, and animated, even in delivering a rejection. That should be the standard. A genuine show of emotion is not necessarily the antithesis of professionalism.

Many have expressed gratitude for Electric Windmill, stating that it is a rare gem, that it maintains a standard for powerful, sincere work, and consistently–albeit irregularly–lives up to that standard. Judging by many of the cover letters we have received, much of the work that appears in this journal was countlessly rejected by other journals, yet when this journal was still a zygote we suspected that there was a sea of rejected work that was valuable, and we set out to publish it. That, initially, was our mission. We had trouble believing that what was out there was all that existed, that the work that was being published was the absolute best. That two self-educated young twenty-somethings with no literary background figured out that commonly rejected work is oftentimes as powerful, touching, and illuminating as much of what is published, still amuses us.

But apparently we were not the only ones who knew that. So did you. We just constructed the establishment through which under-appreciated artists and their works could find public expression. Then came all of you, each with a different life and perspective, but with a love for art and a desire to be heard and to hear others; and you brought your poems, stories, and art, for the others to enjoy. Electric Windmill could not consistently meet its mission without your participation.

Thanks again to all for entrusting us with your work, and please do submit in the future. We need you!

Issue No. 005 

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