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Editor Matt E. Lewis talks The Radvocate 14

In case you missed it, the newest issue of So Say We All’s literary journal, The Radvocate, hit the mean streets this week. Issue fourteen is filled to the brim with poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. We can’t wait for you to read it. Order your copy now!

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Our very own Matt E. Lewis, The Radvocate’s founding editor and a huge part of So Say We All, answered some questions from So Say We All’s Julia Dixon Evans, on the dawn of issue 14:

JULIA DIXON EVANS: The Radvocate 14 is the second issue to be published with us, in book form. How has it felt different from the zine days?

MATT E. LEWIS: For one thing, it’s been a lot less leg work! The zine days were fun, but extremely time consuming, as I’d have to print, organize, fold and staple hundreds of copies by hand for each issue. Being able to delegate work for editing, formatting, and graphic design has only made it a better publication, and I’m quite happy to see multiple hands making it whole instead of just slapping stuff together myself. It feels like much more of a group effort, and that makes it all the more satisfying to see the final version.

JULIA: What do you want the world to know about issue 14?

MATT: I’m very proud of Issue #14 because it’s the pinnacle of everything that we wanted The Radvocate to be from the very beginning. The transition from zine-to-journal in Issue #13 felt a bit jarring, and I think it took some getting used to for some people out there. This issue is where I feel like The Radvocate has gained it’s footing in the new format, and we’ve felt much more comfortable accepting some amazing work to be featured in it. I’m proud of the fact that we are featuring fiction and poetry that doesn’t all read as a long, homogeneous “product” but instead features a diversity of voices and styles that stand on their own as well as reading well together in a beautiful, chaotic way. I suppose the cover art could be interpreted as a metaphor for the content—an explosion of self-expression hidden just below a calm surface.

JULIA: What are some other literary journals or websites that you love? What stuff inspires you to keep working on lit mags and publishing

MATT: I’m frequently impressed with the quality of books coming from Unnamed Press, based in Los Angeles – everything I’ve read from them has been consistently excellent, but also risk-taking, which is great to see. The same goes for the website Dark Fucking Wizard, which always features damn good work from well-known names and up-and-comers. In fact, that’s where I first read Eric Raymond’s story, “Notes from the Donut Hole”, which we ended up publishing (poaching?) for Issue #14. The two journals I always check out are Shabby Doll House from Lucy K. Shaw, Sara Jean Alexander, and Stacey Teague, and Lumen, run by Rosemary Donahue and Yesenia Padilla. They are the future. But the consistent inspiration always comes from the dedicated individuals behind all these great projects—Cameron Pierce at Lazy Fascist, Rose O’Keefe at Eraserhead, Tobias Carroll at Vol.1 Brooklyn, Aaron Burch at Hobart, J. David Osbourne at Broken River, Constance Ann Fitzgerald at Ladybox, Michael J. Seidlinger at CCM—all of them focused a hundred percent on bringing their projects into the world, and making the literary community rad because of it. I guess that’s what motivates me, is to know that we’re not alone in all this and that creating literary projects really does have an impact on real people out there.

JULIA: We have a reading coming up, the September 24th Launch Party and Reading at The Glashaus. We love live readings here in San Diego. What do you think draws people to readings? What do you love about live readings?

MATT: I think the appeal is in listening to people make themselves vulnerable, which is infinitely more interesting then the traditional “characters” depicted in most mass media. Even when they’re reciting fiction or poetry, to go up in front of a large crowd and bare yourself like that—whether we like it or not, our work is always a reflection of ourselves, is fascinating to us on a primal level, to the part of our brain that craves stories, not just visual stimuli. Not to mention so much of our lives are lived online now, how often does a real person—not a loved one or friend, but a near stranger—open up to you in a non-reciprocating, non-judgmental way? Even though an audience isn’t required to respond, I think we have it hard-wired in us to be drawn to those all-too-human expressions of self. Also, you don’t have to stare at a screen! How novel, right?

JULIA: What’s next for the Radvocate? When will you read submissions for the next issue?

MATT: I’m hoping that The Radvocate will continue to evolve in a non-linear way, and branch out to non-print and mixed media in the near future. It would never have survived this long if it just stayed the same has it had been in 2011. I’m all about embracing changes and innovations within it, and I know So Say We All thinks the same way, which is a great feeling. Submissions will open up again in December 2016, so mark your calendars!

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The Radvocate’s founding editor, Matt E. Lewis

More about The Radvocate #14:

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