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muse apprentice guild the muse apprentice guild

By august highland

the principle mission of the muse apprentice guild is to represent all the great literary voices that are producing exceptionally high-calibre poetry and literature today - the m.a.g. deems it a virtuous ideal to be inclusive and anthological - the purpose behind this ideal is to introduce readers to new writing that will open them up to a wider range of literary interests - it is also to expose writers of differing literary approaches to each other which is a very important event because it creates cross-fertilization and fosters greater dynamic interaction between writers whose ideologies and aesthetics are either just at variance with each other or diametrically opposed to each other - i am a strong proponent for a non-discriminatory literary community - the literary profession is based on the will to communicate and the ideal of improving the quality of people's lives and of the world at large - this is why it is important to me to introduce different breeds of writers to each other in online journal - it is also based on this principle that i do not categorize the contributors to the m.a.g. - my role is to present the literary work and it is the role of the audience to read it - my role is not to give the audience an operations manual - i give the readers of the m.a.g respect by not telling them how to think - an analogy would be like walking into a market or a store - i only want assistance if i ask for it - otherwise i feel completely capable of using my own judgement to find what i want and to make my own selections

the size of the m.a.g. is very important too - this reflects the extraordinary high number of significant writers whose work can be found online - as an editor my role is to be the writer's advocate which is why i do not sit on my hands just saying "accept" and "reject" to the submissions that come to me - i also actively track down new writers with the avidity of a hunter - i want to expose great writers to the widest audience possible in order for them to receive the recognition i think they deserve - ninety percent of the writers that i select to include in the m.a.g. deserve not only to be published online but also in print - the advantage i have as the editor of an online literary journal is that i can include everyone i think is worthy without having to consider the cost which is negligible in an online publication but would be prohibitive as a hard copy publication - another advantage i have as an online editor is i can deliver vast quantities of top-quality literature not only online but also in print form by the reader simply hitting the print button - they can then take the work with them on their commute to work reading it on the subway or train or bus or reading it during lunch or in bed before turning out the lights -

recently there have been several new features added to the m.a.g. - utilizing the full resources that the internet offers an online literary journal i am currently accepting audio of poets reading from their own work - this is a critical element to incorporate into an online publication - as more and more people can afford high-speed internet access i have further plans to add video of poets and writers reading or performing their work

this month there have been two other significant expansions to the m.a.g. - there is a new semiotics department which i am co-editing with the semiotics theoretician professor emeritus paul bouissac (www.semioticon.com) - he will provide the theoretical papers by his colleagues who will use the material by the practioners (the writers whose work appears in the m.a.g.) as the subject for their theoretical presentations - this intellectually high-voltage interplay between theorist and practitioner is an important development and valuable addition to the m.a.g. - the other new feature is a codework department curated by the editor and lecturer florian cramer (www.userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin) - florian will archive in the m.a.g. the "Nettime Unstable Digest" which is a weekly collection of artistic codework gathered from various mailing lists - artistic codework is one of the newest genres that have been introduced to the literary and arts world which has generated interest and sparked other creative minds to develop their own codework styles

in every issue of the muse apprentice guild there is a featured writer section - in this (october 2002) issue the featured writer is jake berry - jake berry is a poet whose books include volumes one and two of the long poem brambu drezi - his poems essays reviews and visual art has appeared in over 200 magazines anthologies and other publications worldwide - he is currently working on volume three of brambu drezi as well as two smaller collections of short poems - the january 2003 issue features three writers - alan sondheim peter finch and ward kelley - it is important to point out that the three featured writers for the january m.a.g. represent three distinctly different literary approaches the reason for this being to accentuate the principle ideal of the muse apprentice guild

there is another arm of the m.a.g. which is published several times a year and is devoted exclusively to a single writer - it is called the m.a.g. special edition - the first featured writer and visual poet is jim leftwich - the leftwich special edition appears november 2002 - forthcoming writers to be presented in the next few months are paul lambert karl young and ray federman - the m.a.g. special edition is a substantial presentation of a writer's opus and career - for example the leftwich special edition will include over 300 works - the federman special edition which is scheduled for february 2003 will be even greater in size and more comprehensive featuring work and related materials spanning the career of the 69-year-old writer who is currently lives in san diego where the m.a.g. headquarters are based

the january issue of the m.a.g. will feature one more new department headed by jake berry and chris mansel both of whom will be reviewing books and chapbooks by the m.a.g. contributors - jake berry is among the most significant literary voices of our time - chris mansel is a lesser known writer whose non-celebrity status is only a temporary condition - in addition jake berry will contribute a regular column on literary topics as well as offer a handful of brief reviews that will highlight a selection of writers appearing in the m.a.g.

the direct link to the m.a.g. is www.muse-apprentice-guild.com - you can also view the roster of contributors by going directly to www.muse-apprentice-guild.com/the_writers.html- the m.a.g. is a quarterly and the next issue appears in january 2003 - submission deadine for that issue is december 31 - i have already accepted work from over 200 writers - the premiere issue was launched in august 2002 and featured 60 writers and new media artists - the current october issue features over 225 writers and new media artists and presents over 1200 works

the m.a.g. is a production of the worldwide literati mobilization network which is a simulated literary movement consisting of 60 members all of whom are my different personas - the critical distinction between the wlmn and the muse apprentice guild is that all the writers appearing in the m.a.g. are authentic individual writers - the literary genre produced by the wlmn is hyper-literary fiction - collectively the members of the wlmn have produced over 50,000 volumes of hyper-literary fiction - the multiple projects of the worldwide literati mobilization network can be found at:


the chief reason for my creating the muse apprentice guild was that after producing the wlmn i wanted to be part of an authentic literary community - and i am very very very happy to say that this is what i have accomplished - the fulfillment that comes from being an editor and supporting the work of other writers is equal to the fulfillment i experience producing my own work for the wlmn - my roles as editor and writer have become a reciprocating inspiration for me the one fueling the other - the greatest reward of all in my capacity as an editor is validating the work of a writer who is producing exceptional work but whose weak self-image and overbearing inner-critic robs that writer of the joy and confidence that rightfully belongs to them - this is because once upon a time that was me - being an author myself i have enormous empathy and a great ability to validate a writer who may be working in isolation and needs to hear that what he or she is producing has significance

last but not least tell me what could be more exhilarating than this - imagine waking up every morning and finding your inbox filled with new writing the literary value of which is so infallible that in a non-dysfunctional publishing and book retail world that would be the kind of writing you would find stacked up in pyramids at borders and barnes & noble when you walked in through their doors?