This is a really cool prompt and submission opportunity from the folks at Golden Walkman Magazine for a project they are calling “Dialogue Submissions.” Every few months, they will publish a Dialogue Starter Issue with poetry and prose inspired by an original, contributor-provided piece of instrumental music. “Writers will have (1) month from the airdate to submit a brand new poem or story inspired by the music. The musical artist will choose his/her favorite(s) that we will publish in a future issue, thus furthering the dialogue.”
To listen to the music selection for June’s deadline click play below:
Golden Walkman Magazine “is a literary magazine in the form of a podcast aimed at giving the written word a voice. In that vein, all work accepted and published will be presented solely through that medium – which is audio. No printed words, online or otherwise (except the ones you’re reading right now.)”
To read more about GWM and what their looking for, continue reading my interview with their founder David Walker and editor Joey Gould below. Plus, a special feature interview with prompt musician Joyce Chigiya!
HOPKINSON: What inspired you to start music?
CHIGIYA: I believe we are immersed in music to a depth that is not always very clear. Inasmuch as music is so much a part of me, I have not been conversant with the theory of music for the best part of my life. For that reason, among others, I decided to attain literacy in music. So my inspiration is self-gratification which I am still pursuing since I am still studying.
HOPKINSON: How would you describe your voice as a musician?
CHIGIYA: My voice as a musician, well, I consider music as some kind of sound track to our day to day life. I believe my voice comes in to awaken us, thereby increasing our levels of consciousness. It is the small voice that we will remember whispering “Lest we forget”.
HOPKINSON: What drew you to the mbira? What was your process learning how to play it?
CHIGIYA: Besides the obvious user-friendliness of the mbira such as portability as well as affordability, I opted for the instrument because I have always been drawn to its sound. I have been listening to mbira music from my formative years and I believe that some kind of attachment has been growing. I find the mbira so pleasantly haunting in a way that transcends comprehension.
Keys on a mbira are numbered numerically so sometimes I make rhythmic patterns with the digits to create a melody. This is the method I use to make renditions of traditional songs. As for my own original compositions, I prefer doing it by rote. I compose a melody by memory then try it out. If it is okay I record it on my smart phone (lest it would have been forgotten the following day). That original sound then undergoes several rounds of panel beating.
HOPKINSON: What do you hope listeners will gain from listening to your music?
CHIGIYA: I am aware that mbira sounds cannot be considered universal so I bring to the listener a fresh kind of sound. I hope the music is able to evoke positivity even from the least expected quarters.
HOPKINSON: What will you look for in the submissions inspired by your music?
CHIGIYA: Given the diversity of listeners’ cultures, it is difficult for me to say really what it is I am expecting. However I think the most important factor that I will consider is the ability to create a poem which is unpretentious in every way. I would seriously consider work which I deem to have been hooked by the music straight out of the poet’s core. I believe mbira music is capable of such.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Golden Walkman Magazine.
WALKER: Golden Walkman Magazine is dedicated to the oral presentation of creative art. While some magazines have a podcast accompanying their written, hard copy issues, GWM is published solely as a podcast. This allows the authors to have much more control over the listeners’ experience of their work as it is in their voice, their intonation. It is our ultimate goal to bring the audience closer to the artist and, as a result, closer to the art.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Golden Walkman Magazine originally started?
WALKER: I am a rabid listener of podcasts, and I love the concept of literary magazines. This marriage seemed like a perfect fit, so I dove headfirst into learning how to produce both – GWM is the product of that process.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
GOULD: What I’m looking for in submissions (beyond technical craft, proper spelling & avoidance of cliche or idiomatic phrasings) is a piece that has evocative imagery, foremost. I would rather see what a character sees than read what the character is feeling. Also, secondary characters in prose pieces should be real characters, rather than props for the main character’s ego.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
GOULD: I’ve had a subscription to The Sun for many years, so many that’s my favorite litmag. I love magazines that mix media. The Sun publishes wonderful photos along with fiction, non-fiction, & poetry. There’s even a thematic “Readers Write” so that any reader can contribute to themes of each coming issue. I think Drunk Monkeys, which recently featured my work at Drunkmonkeys.us, does a similarly excellent job with mixing media. I hope it doesn’t sound self-serving, but I was thrilled to see the (PERFECT) artwork they paired with my pieces. It meant more to me than it would have if my poems were alone on a blank page.
HOPKINSON: Congratulations! The folks over at Drunk Monkeys are great. They’ve published my work as well. Where can folks send submissions for publication in Golden Walkman?
WALKER: All info about submissions can be found at www.goldwalkmag.com/submit
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
WALKER: Contact us at email@example.com
DEADLINE: June 30, 2018
FORMAT: digitally online
FORMS: poetry, prose, visual art