When Adam and I first began discussing this venture about six months ago, we knew we wanted to publish the best literature, poetry, non-fiction and art we could find. But we also wanted to do something different. Our goal was to interact with artists and authors on a level not typical of the literary and arts magazines currently on the market. Art is a personal endeavor, and we wanted to make the publication process personal for the artist as well.
To do that, we did two things. First, we decided that we would offer authors edits to their pieces if we accepted them for publication. This has turned out to be a great decision. While it takes time, it has allowed us to work with authors to help them refine and, in some cases, re-engineer their stories. Many of the stories you see on our site involved back and forth between the author, me, and Adam, and for many of our authors, this gives them an opportunity at peer review of their work that they are unable to find elsewhere. It has also given us the opportunity to establish working relationships with some of the best up-and-coming authors out there today.
Second, we wanted to promote the artists and authors that we published. Not just by using social media to promote the work published at Empty Sink Publishing, but to promote other works that they have published, or, in the case of visual and spoken-word artists, linking to their upcoming shows so that our audience knows when and where they can see live shows by artists that we have published on the site.
This cross-promotion has been successful. Last month, we received word from Issue 1 artist Otha “Vakseen” Davis III that someone had come to one of his gallery openings in Los Angeles and let him know that they heard about it from the Empty Sink Twitter feed (@EmptySinkPub).
This was just one person. They didn’t buy one of Otha’s paintings, and they didn’t offer to be his patron and pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year so he could spend his time making art. They just heard about his show—from us—and wanted to see it.
And for us, that meant one thing: mission accomplished. If our promotional activities reach just one person who wouldn’t have known about an artist’s show, or a poetry slam, or a spoken-word competition, and prompts them to leave their house and go see this art they never would have seen otherwise, then we have done what we set out to do. And we’ll continue doing it as long as you keep reading and submitting.
Now, on to Issue 4.
Our Fiction section this month explores death, politics, and love. In – in beginning, Nikki Vogel turns a Biblical tale of betrayal on its head, with enough Yiddish to make you plotz. Waiting, by Hannah McKinnon, weaves the tale of a girl who isn’t what she seems, waiting for something—or someone—on a beach. Grocery List, by Ken Mootz, is exactly that—a grocery list—but one that will make you consider what happened right before it was written. And James Hanna, author of Call Me Pomeroy, returns to Empty Sink Publishing with A Second, Less-Capable Head, a satire that skewers the political left, right, and everything in between.
In this month’s poetry section, Laura Close explores the compulsions of love and life in The E-mail and It is Pleasant and Imitates Illusion. Valentina Cano turns inward and exposes life’s little insecurities with Fourth Grade, Lost Birthday, and 11/16/12. M.A. Schaffner makes the ordinary anything but in In-Ground Ornamental Pool, Lagomorph Circuit, and Ongoing Development, and C.S. Fuqua elevates the mundane to miraculous in Rattler and Weekly Call.
Finally, we have some old and new in our Visual section. Jack Savage returns with his action-hero name and some amazing art. Leigh Spong is back with a collection of photos that will make you rethink what you’d normally consider trash. New to Empty Sink Publishing is Joel Seckleman, UK photographer and founder of RecordedSoul, who shares some of the beauty and despair he’s privy to across the pond. Finally, N. Piatkoski’s Strange Fish is back with its forth issue. Will Sophie wake from her drug-induced coma? Will Kevin continue to be fabulous (of course he will!)? Will Jeff find enough booze to continue his battle against his liver? You’ll have to read this issue to find out.
Our Editor’s Choice for this month is “The Straight Woman’s Guide to Feminism,” by Deborah A. Miller-Collins. Very few authors are able to tell a convincing story using the second-person point of view, but Ms. Miller-Collins is able to pull it off and paint a vibrant picture that pulls you into the scene like a magnet. We would love to see more people writing in this point of view, but the truth is, very few can, and we’re proud to publish “The Straight Woman’s Guide to Feminism” as an example of an author who got it right.
So, please, enjoy Issue 4 of Empty Sink Publishing. And if you find something you like, share it. You might just turn someone on to something they never would have seen otherwise—and that is the most vibrant joy of sharing art with the world.
—E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 2/4/2014