The Drunken Boat


The online literary journal The Drunken Boat, publishes all kinds of contemporary creative works, fiction and non-fiction, some besides just literature. In their newest edition, they feature poems, short stories, personal statements, and book reviews throughout the categories of Debt, Fiction, Librotaficante, Ocean, Poetry, Reviews, and Video_Dumbo. Their page is rather interesting, I gather from looking at past issues that the more specific topics change each issue, which allows the journal to not just publish beautiful pieces of creative writing of random topics, but also highlights a group of creative works all delving into a certain issue, giving the reader a broad perspective. The layout of the journal makes the different categories easy to discern, being labeled across the top of the page, and the design is appealing to they eye. One of my favorite categories is “Debt“, which is aptly named, and features a collection of poems and short works about debt, something a college student can definitely relate to. One of my favorite poems about debt was written by Brian Laidlaw named “Ante Matter”:

Pretty good work if you can get it, making paradises in abandoned banks
Stony exterior, marble interior,
The registers like a failed carillon (toneless) striking all hours at all hours.
Every noon the ghost attendants ghost-walk up to the kiosk,
Throw down nobody’s money
(The two days you are proud of a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it)
Trading in the heart for the farm, buying the farm,
Selling the bucket to kick
The can, selling the farm when you kick the bucket.
It doesn’t make sense to dream of a time after the apocalypse because
That’s a time of permanent wakefulness anyway: high-level emissions,
Grainy disturbances. Until then
Remember the language of contracts: you can bank on love
& When that bank collapses, your worries are the least of your worries.

Another category that sparked my interest was “Librotraficante“, a collection of works by people associated with the Librotraficante movement, which is a group dedicated to smuggling banned books to certain high schools in Arizona and Texas who have omitted Latino studies from their curriculum. They hand out the contraband literature, set up “underground libraries”, and organize press conferences in an attempt to stand up for the banned literature. The group is what I’d like to refer to as “literary martyrs”.

The journal definitely takes advantage of the online medium, by posting sound clips of many of the authors reading their work. They also feature many videos in the journal, like on the main page of the category “Ocean” which contains videos of scuba diving as well as a vivid photo galley. The “Video_Dumbo” section is devoted solely to visual pieces of art. My favorite piece, named “Mixed Signals” by Lee Arnold, was abstract to say the least, trying to emulate synesthesia with a flash of different bright colors

At the moment, The Drunken Boat is not accepting general submissions, however they editors are looking for humorous short stories, essay, poems, and audiovisual performances, with a maximum length of 750 words, to feature in their Spring 2014 edition. The Drunken Boat publishes a great medley of different creative works, both literary, audio, and visual, and I would definitely like to submit my work to them because of their incorporation of variety into their journal.


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