Guttural is an online “experimental, contemporary literary magazine that welcomes work in all shapes and sizes. The riskier the better. It was founded, initially in print, in 2017 and is edited by Nathan Hassall and Gemma Jackson.”
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Editor Nathan Hassall and he kindly replied. See my interview with Hassall and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Guttural originally started?
HASSALL: Guttural was initially a project that formulated during my MA in Creative Writing program at the University of Kent. One of the requirements for the module, the “Creative Writing Magazine,” students had to work in pairs to create a first issue of a literary magazine. Guttural was the result of a project between my fellow MA student—Gemma Jackson—and myself. We were already friends which made the process of working together on a magazine move smoothly. Coupled with this, we both have an affinity for experimental poetry and our tastes crossover.
Furthermore, Gemma is both hardworking and gifted with design. She handles all the layouts and formats of the magazine, which I am grateful for.
However, we didn’t just start this magazine for our course, we wanted it to continue in the future. We are now open for submissions for our third issue, and we couldn’t be happier that we managed to break through the first-magazine curse by releasing our second issue. We are sure there are many more to come.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
HASSALL: Anyone who wants to experience the external perimeters of language through experimental composition. Those who are curious and open-minded towards contemporary avant-garde work in poetry, art, fiction, and essays.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
HASSALL: Anything that is genre-defying, lucid, paradoxical, original, and experimental. Something that inverts these expectations, and work that compels us to pay attention to it. Anything that challenges reader expectations, poems that skillfully contort language but never at the expense of meaning.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
HASSALL: I am a fan of experimental haikai, mainly haiku, senryu, and haibun, and we haven’t seen a lot of that yet. However, we do not *ask* for anything specifically. That would place too many guidelines that could discourage submissions that stand for different aesthetical principles we might not even know about and would love to publish. We welcome work from anyone, in all forms and proportions. Great writing is great writing, and that’s the main criteria.
As with most lit-mags, we’d love to see everyone adhere to the submission guidelines. The amount of people who ignore them are staggering.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
HASSALL: I’m a fan of Five:2:One, who are similarly dedicated to publishing experimental work. I also like Occulum, for their bizarre and esoteric aesthetic. Litmus for its dedication to publishing thematic issues of work exploring the relationship between poetry, art, and science. Datableed for its online convergence of visual poetry, art, video and other written work. For experimental haiku I predominantly read Bones: A Journal of Haiku and Otata journal. This only scratches the surface of my favourite journals to read, but there’s an introduction!
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HASSALL: To our email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
HASSALL: Either on our Facebook page or through our general email, email@example.com.
DEADLINE: December 15, 2018
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, art, fiction, and essays