We're constantly in awe of the writing community. Specifically, those in the community who are introducing new voices or building new platforms for these voices to appear. From featuring marginalized communities to highlighting underrepresented topics or ideas, GKA wants to spread the word about these new and very cool publications. We're excited to start a new blog series, featuring other literary journals that, like GKA, were founded by young writers and artists, and have their own bold and unique mission. Here are the stories of their founders, how they came to be, and why their existence is necessary.
Ascend Magazine is a recently-founded literary publication aimed towards providing a different--and necessary--perspective from people of color, as well as initiating self-acceptance for the marginalized through art. True to its name (Ascend’s founder, Malak Shahin, is Palestinian-American) the mission of the magazine is to allow women and nonbinary people of color to rise up in society through contributing their voices to the platform. The magazine officially launched on May 10th, 2017, and has already reached over five hundred followers, a monumental stepping stone to what Shahin hopes will allow Ascend to assume a more established presence within the canon of protest literature. I interviewed Shahin in order to find out more about Ascend’s main goals, structure, and hopes for development
Name: Emelia Bleker
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Favorite Poets: Brendan Constantine, Elaina M. Ellis, Adrienne Rich, Sierra DeMulder, Meggie Royer, Louise Gluck... the list could go on for days!
Proudest accomplishment: Publishing my first book this past year!
Unusual hobbies: I'm an extreme pacifist who has been training as a boxer since I was 12 years old, if that counts! I also craft like nobody's business.
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? I would like to say I would be a fox, but realistically speaking I would probably be one of those pandas that likes to sleep a lot.
We talk about writing, people, the things that inspire us. Anything worth putting the written (and spoken) word to.