• Into the Web

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    Once upon a time there was a woman who loved to read, and she made friends that also loved to read, and those friends all loved to read a lot of different stuff. And thus Anomalous Press was born.

    Well, it didn’t really happen like that, but it sort of did. Like many online journals, Anomalous is made possible on a budget of $0 & the volunteer time, energy, and skills of the people behind it. It is powered by devotion to the project and to literature. The collective of editors that created Anomalous live in different states (and countries), have different backgrounds, and hold different tastes in literature and art. But we have in common the sense that the literature we want to read is not given enough of a platform. And we have a common drive to make a space for the literary arts we love. And, most importantly, we have a common respect for literature that attempts to challenge the mainstream aesthetic. So even though my tastes run toward the political, and David’s towards the transcendental, and Sara’s towards the experimental, etc. etc. etc. we are most interested in the diversity of great contemporary literature. Let the floodgates open; there’s room in the pool for everyone.

    Anomalous, as it was envisioned, would be a platform for a host of outside-the-mainstream writing and hybrid and new media literary arts. The idea is that publishing is as much an artform as the literature it disseminates, and should be thought about innovatively. Digital and online publishing are not just delivery systems—though they are that—but both should be shaped by and shape the literature being published. We’re not out to make money (ha!) but to serve the literature we care about in the most interesting and innovative way we can. There’s all this wonderful technology that makes multi-media publishing not only possible on no budget, but more interesting than it has ever been. And thankfully, my husband, a media artist/media educator, agreed to be our tech consultant. In fact, he built our website from scratch, and created the video that opens the first issue.

    Anomalous is a multi-platform journal. The issue is available online on the website for free. It is downloadable in a variety of formats (e-book, Kindle, PDF and audio), also for free. Well, for the price of a tweet or Facebook status post. Each piece is read by the author, and audio of that reading is embedded on the website, so you can listen and read at the same time. Or just be read to. The variety of formats is the heart of the concept and has gotten us the most compliments so far. As it turns out, people like options and will read literature if it’s made available easily. But that just scratches the surface of what is possible with digital publishing. We’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and the plan is continue pushing digital publishing as a medium to serve innovative literature as best it can.

    So, gentle readers, how do you think the digital platform can innovate literature, and be innovated by literature?


    Erica Mena is Founding Editor of Anomalous Press. She writes poetry, and translates, and makes hand-made books, and sometimes wishes she were braver. She moves more often than once a year, but never without her growing collection of mythical animals. She has been called Alluringly Short.


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