After the Art is a new online literary magazine and seeking personal review essays that explore the way reading can enrich the experience of looking at art. They are not looking for other forms of ekphrastic writing, but rather essays based on a work of art and a piece of literature, such as a book, poem, story, essay or article.
I wondered how and why this journal came to be, so I asked founder and editor Randon Billings Noble and she kindly replied. See my interview with Noble and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about After the Art.
NOBLE: After the Art is a brand new literary magazine that publishes personal review essays that explore the ways reading can enrich art.
HOPKINSON: How/why was After the Art originally started?
NOBLE: I got the idea after seeing the exhibit The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC. The Nutshell Studies are a series of dioramas by Frances Glessner Lee that look like rooms from dollhouses but are actually reconstructions of murder scenes. The exhibit was fascinating on its own, but later, completely by chance, I read William Maxwell’s novel So Long, See You Tomorrow; its opening chapter, “The Pistol Shot,” reminded me of one of the studies. I started thinking about the ways reading after art could enrich both experiences – the reading and the art. I started to wonder about other art-and-text pairings – what to read after seeing a Rembrandt self-portrait? Or a Titus Kaphar painting? Or a place setting at Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party? I started After the Art in part to find out.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
NOBLE: What we’re looking for is very specific: personal review essays that explore the way reading can enrich art. Our guidelines break this down in more detail but here’s how I would love the writing of one of these essays to go:
A writer sees a piece of art and can’t stop thinking about it. Either organically or deliberately they find a book or story or essay or poem that complements it. Then they write an essay that explores how, for them, the reading enriches the art.
Our first issue has four great (and very different) examples of ways this might happen.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but never comes in?
NOBLE: I can’t say “never” because we’re such a new magazine! But I would love to see an essay about a sculpture or an installation (like Jane Antoni’s Lick and Lather or Ron Mueck’s Untitled (Big Man).
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
NOBLE: I love Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, The Missouri Review, and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
NOBLE: Please read our guidelines at http://aftertheart.com/guidelines and the send your submission to AfterTheArt@gmail.com. We read year-round and publish quarterly in December, March, June, and September.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: Always Open
FORMAT: digitally online
THEME: art and writing
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: personal review essays