For the past two years, Cultural Weekly has given me a place to write about the adventures of a tiny (tiny…tiny) publisher called Writ Large Press. My files say this is the 88th entry in my weekly column, Literary Alchemy, although I don’t know how accurate that is.
Cultural Weekly gave me a chance to be, I don’t know, self-absorbed, to write about the work my partners and I were doing here in Los Angeles. It was an experimentation from the start. I wanted to know if anything would happen, if anybody would hear, if anybody would care about indie publishing in Los Angeles.
I don’t know any metrics or numbers of readers, but it did help Writ Large Press become a name people recognized.
It wasn’t a marketing ploy, although it did help to have a platform when nobody in their right mind was going to write about us. It was a means to make people aware that the smallest of groups of people, not just us, were out here doing great work.
So now, with the wrapping up of our craziest project to date, the #90for90 DTLAB project, it’s time to wrap up Literary Alchemy. It’s time to reboot.
No no no. I’m not going to stop writing. I’m just going to change up what my column is about.
Of the many things that I learned from the past 90 days, one thing that I can’t escape even if I wanted to is the role of art, role of literature, in community building, in social justice, in sharing.
That’s what I want to focus on.
Maybe I’ll ask the amazing Robin Grearson to work with me on this. She is doing great work out in New York, fighting corrupt establishments within the arts communities. Maybe it will be a revolving group of writers that I will curate. I don’t know.
I keep thinking of a story I heard about the artist Ron English:
A younger rising street artist met him at an event. This artist had legendary spraypaint skills and his name was on walls all over the world. Ron English shook his hand and said, “I heard you. Why did you want my attention? What is it that you have to say?”
That’s how I feel right now with this column. I’ve kept yelling out “Writ Large Press! Writ Large Press” for two years now.
And I’ve gotten your attention.
So now it’s time for me to say something. To do something.
If you want to join me in the good fight, let me know.
I hope you’ll continue on with me and the others that will join me in this space to explore the ways we can tear down walls and change the world by creating art.