A "Flycatcher" Among Us -- New Literary Journal
January 19th, 2012
By: Christopher Martin
The inaugural issue of "Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination," an online literary magazine that emerges from suburban Atlanta and strives to explore what it means or might mean to truly belong to our places, was published on January 11.
Though Flycatcher is not a regional publication—the first issue, for example, includes writing rooted in places as diverse as Honduras, India, the American West, and Appalachia—the Southeastern United States, and more specifically the Georgia piedmont, is its literary ground. But even so, Flycatcher is guided by the words of Atlanta’s great prophet, Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote (while sitting in an Alabama jail cell, no less), “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
The first issue contains wonderful pieces from writers well-known here at the Southern Nature Project, such as Janisse Ray, John Lane, Thomas Rain Crowe, Susan Cerulean, and Erik Reece. Other highlights with distinctly Southern touches include an interview with Barbara Brown Taylor, a beautiful photo essay on the Altamaha River by Brian Brown, a poem by J. Drew Lanham called “Musings as to Why Negroes Don’t Orinthologize: An Ode to Birding While Black,” an essay on mountaintop removal by Holly Haworth, fine sets of poems from Marianne Worthington and David King, a short story by Raymond L. Atkins, and work from Bobbi Buchanan and Rosemary Royston, two writers whose names with which you will undoubtedly become more and more familiar.
From the Southeast, this issue will take you, among other places, to the Crow Reservation on the Montana/Wyoming border in a poem by Elizabeth Ashe, to the California coast (with the Western railroads ever present in the background) in a story by Linda Niemann, to a small town in Honduras where a violent presence is soothed both by steadfast will and the music of Sam Cooke in a piece of fiction by Beverly James, to southern India in an absolutely stunning piece of fiction by Sharanya Manivannan.
The origins of Flycatcher and the inspirations behind the endeavor—inspirations that include the writing of Thomas Merton and the Georgia town from which Flycatcher emerges, Kennesaw, from the Cherokee Gahneesah, “burial ground—are discussed in “A Monk and a Mountain,” the editor’s notes from the current issue. More information on Flycatcher itself—from its publishing philosophy to the meaning behind its name—can be found in the “About” section of its website. Information on submissions, which are accepted year-round, can also be found on the website. Issue 2 will be published Summer 2012.