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BFAW Program Launches DUENDE Literary Journal

Wendy Call, MFA's picture
BFA in Creative Writing Blog
BFAW Program Launches DUENDE Literary Journal

What is Duende?

1) “A sort of corkscrew that can get art into the sensibility of an audience…it climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet," wrote poet Federico García Lorca in 1933, in “Theory and Play of the Duende."

2) A new, all-online, national literary journal, produced by students in Goddard’s BFA in Creative Writing (BFAW) program.

3) Duende tastes good on the tongue and caresses the ear. Duende seeks authenticity & soulfulness, earthiness & expressiveness, a chill up the spine. It encompasses darkness and intensity; elicits sorrow and joy; wrests a response from the body.

4) A new venue for all writers working in English and all visual artists to submit their work, until June 1, 2014. See Duende’s submissions guidelines.

Over the past year, fourteen BFAW students have dreamed, schemed, studied, and planned to make Duende a reality. Duende’s Nonfiction Editor, Cerridwen Aker, sums up her experience this way:

“Ironing out the myriad small details necessary to create something as ‘simple’ as yet another online journal has been compelling, exciting, aggravating, and daunting all at once. This semester inspired a fundamental shift in my relationship to my writing and my community. Although the writing landscape can be harsh, it is also really lovely. I finally feel like I’m a part of it.”

In February 2014, five BFAW students traveled from their home bases in California, Michigan, Oregon, and Kentucky to attend the Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Seattle, to introduce Duende to the literary world. Cerridwen, along with Amy Cain, Fawn McManigal, Cameron Price, and Kate Weiss, handed out thousands of Duende bookmarks and magnets and spoke with hundreds of writers, encouraging them to submit their poetry, prose, literature in translation, hybrid work, visual art, and artistic collaborations. You can read Cerridwen’s report on AWP at the Duende blog, “pensamientos & avisos.”

Duende opened for submissions from writers and visual artists on April 15, two weeks after AWP’s thirteen-thousand attendees returned home.

At the Spring 2014 BFAW residency, the Duende team sharpened its mission statement. You can read more about that process from Senior Editor Ah-Keisha McCants and Design & Visual Art Editor Cameron Price at the Duende blog. Our student staff of fourteen is currently sifting through the submissions we have received and learning the art and craft of editing.

Managing Co-editor Amy Cain says of Duende’s work, “Who knew there were SO many things to think about when beginning a literary journal? Now I’m armed with the awareness of how much time, energy, organization, and dedicated people-power it requires. We work so efficiently together, with such a united vision. Building something together, from the ground up, has been a unique experience.”

Visit Duende’s website this summer to read the blog, see what’s planned for the inaugural issue—online in October—and read an interview with BFAW’s Fall 2013 Visiting Writer, poet Cornelius Eady. If you have created (but not yet published) literary or visual work that you would like Duende to consider for online publication, submit it before June 1, 2014 via our website.

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