I often talk to myself, sometimes even out loud, but most of time I’m just quietly freaking out inside my head (but honestly, in this weird time of oversharing and social media, who doesn’t?) I’ve been thinking a lot about the new direction that I want my baby, Crab Fat Magazine, to take. It’s often funny how these things go because I feel like I’m really two people. At home, as a wife, daughter, and sibling I’m Casey, but when I’m writing, editing, and publishing I’m Caseyrenée. I guess it’s like the personal/professional sides of myself, except that unlike a 9-5 job these sides of myself are inextricably linked; my personal life is the foundation of my writing life. My experience with reading for pleasure takes on these profound influences in my work. I read everything: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, interviews, video transcripts, cereal boxes—typically, if words are present I read them. But with an increasing awareness of the importance of poetry, as both a reader and writer of this magnanimous form, I’ve started making an active effort to seek out poets and journals that are doing things that I want to do.
Caseyrenée: Why don’t you make Crab Fat into a poetry only journal?
Casey: Because other genres are equally as important, and because I love platforming good writers.
Caseyrenée: Huh, well why don’t you focus on one kind of writing?
Casey: Because that’s boring and I don’t want to be bored and I don’t want Crab Fat readers to be bored. I’m actively trying to focus the work we do, adding and subtracting, and trying to find a flow that fits my editorial ambitions.
Caseyrenée: We went to this writing festival back in February [WriteFest] and you got our head filled with all these cool ideas. I know things have been hurdling toward big changes since then, but it’s only recently that you’ve been able to articulate them in actual words.
Casey: Yea, it’s been rough sorting out how I want things to go and then letting it happen. I have a hard time getting my own life together, I’m almost 30 and still floundering, but this writing and editing thing? I think it’s coming together more quickly than I could’ve ever dreamed.
Caseyrenée: Care to elaborate?
Casey: When I started Crab Fat in 2014 I was angry. I was still suffering in the throes of belittlement and rage. Earlier that year I’d had the bright idea to give up my creative self in favor of something more “practical” by starting a Master of Public Administration degree. I didn’t last one semester before an old white man made horrifyingly transphobic remarks and allowed other students in the class to laugh and add their own comments. Needless to say, I felt as though my entire life was under attack. I wasn’t out as non-binary at the time, but my husband, Paul, was out as trans, so I left class, a red faced mess, tears searing my cheeks. After that I knew I had to do something that could help not only myself, but other folks as well.
Caseyrenée: Okay, well cool origins story, but you’re kinda derailing our discussion, so…
Casey: Well you asked…but anyways, right now I’m fucking thrilled because Crab Fat is continuing to grow every day. We’re heading in a completely new direction for our new publication year (starting June 2016) and will no longer be a quarterly. We’re gonna have a new web design and logo, and we’ve decided to move to a monthly issue schedule. We’re also welcoming a new art editor, interviews editor, and 2 awesome readers. I don’t want to give away too much info right now until everything is final, but it’s going to be great, and we’re going to start focusing our attentions on experimental queer and feminist poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, art, and interview cool writerly folks.
Caseyrenée: So no more special issues?
Casey: We plan on having special themed issues within our publication schedule, so yea, there’s still plenty of room for cool issues with thematic similarities. I also have plans for an end of the year poetry only issue—you above all should be happy about this.
Caseyrenée: Well duh—but time’s running short, care to add anything else?
Casey: Our Best of Crab Fat Year Two print anthology is out at the end of June and our atheist writers issue is out in July—those submissions close on June 15 so convinced atheist writers, please submit! August 2016 will begin our regular monthly issues.
DEADLINE: June 15, 2016
THEME: Atheist writers
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, photography
Caseyrenée Lopez is a non-binary queerfemme atheist living in the Deep South. They write their pain as poems, & in addition to editing Crab Fat Magazine, also run TQ Review & Damaged Goods Press in an effort to platform marginalized writers/artists, particularly queer and trans folks. They’ve had their words published in numerous litmags, both online and print. Their first chapbook of poems, QueerSexWords, was published by Yellow Chair Press in April 2016. Follow them on Twitter @caseyreneelopez.