This week we’re featuring TWO new journals—talk about bang for your buck! AEROGRAM and Fortunates are products of the subtly named Crazy Pineapple Press and are two of the most innovative lit mags that we’ve had the pleasure to come across. If you think the world has run dry of original ideas, Crazy Pineapple Press is going to prove you wrong.
CONTEST: Leave a comment by April 12th and enter to win “The Crazy Pineapple Fresh-Squeezed Lit Kit,” featuring postage stamps, fortune cookies, and more! This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Brianne, our winner. Thank you to all who participated!
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1. Crazy Pineapple Press has two journals (which we ADORE, by the way). Can you tell us about them one by one?
AEROGRAM publishes poems with art, submitted on a postcard. Fortunates features very short poems and brief prose, intended to be read in a random order.
2. Where did you get the ideas for these two quirky journals?
They’re modified versions of past personal projects. In April 2009 I started the Aloha Project blog—for each day of National Poetry Month I wrote a poem and designed a corresponding postcard. Cultured, outgoing, and opposable-thumbed, AEROGRAM is the Aloha Project’s more-evolved descendant.
And, actually, that same month I saw the Neo-Futurists’ “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” a show of thirty 2-minute sketches and monologues performed in random order, which causes astounding and schizoid flips of emotion. I borrowed the random format for a July 2010 reading at Gina Myers’ series in Saginaw, Michigan, for which I folded my shortest poems into handmade fortune cookies. Thus: Fortunates.
3. Digital fortune cookies…online postcards delivered by mail… Can you talk about any challenges or triumphs that you as an editor have come across because of the fun interplay between online and physical mediums?
Great question! I hadn’t realized it until now—but it seems while trying to effectively utilize the design parameters of the Web, I’ve gone trigger-happy with my transmogrifier gun set to Pixelate, trying to digitize all sorts of tangible experiences. For example, I programmed AEROGRAM’s postcards to be viewed as in real space, both sides never showing simultaneously. Even most of the graphic design for the sites was initially created by hand before scanning and editing.
However, I have not yet duplicated the satisfying crunch of breaking, and eating, a fortune cookie.
4. Tell us about a recently published piece that got the staff really excited. Why did you love it? Why did it strike a chord? Can readers find it online?
The postwoman delivered an AEROGRAM last week that had once been a plastic milk carton. I love recycled art. At Fortunates I’m impressed with Emily Threlkeld, Mercedes Lawry, Peter Clarke—but we’ve been getting a lot of crisply witty and nonchalantly surreal work. Plus the collection’s always alive! And that’s thrilling.
5. Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turn-off that you encounter (in terms of craft)?
Big words are like big people. You can’t just throw them around or cram them all into one small poem. Likewise a small poem, like a small room, quickly reaches occupancy, no matter the size of its words. Leave room to breathe. Act natural.
6. What’s the most common oversight?
Length. I sense a few writers see the limit as an average and actively fill their submissions to overflowing (see: small room, above). But no matter how much I like a poem, Fortunates is simply not able to display poems much larger than the posted limit.
AEROGRAM has received postcards advertising events, books, and other products—some without any poem at all. It befuddles.
7. Why are your journals awesome?
First, and I hope it’s obvious: our contributors and their spectacular writing and artwork. Second: Design. I’m no graphic whiz or programming genius, but I’ve tried to bend the digital form to best support their awesome work.
8. Where can readers find your submission guidelines?
Here and there.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Crazy Pineapple Press keeps its goggles on and Bunsen burner lit. Be on the watch for more literary experiments, whether journals, blogs, chapbooks, or some Frankenstein’s monster of digital publication.