Moveable Type: Anomaly
January 18, 2019
An interview with Sarah Clark, Editor of Anomaly.
How would you describe the mission or aesthetic guiding principles of Anomaly?
We’re seeking work that makes readers ask themselves questions, that challenges their ideas about form, voice, style, experience. A space where readers will be introduced to new writers alongside those who are established. Maybe a space that causes readers to ask themselves why they hadn’t read this work sooner. A space where writers can see themselves in the works of others, and see new and exciting possibilities, where literature can tell the Western Canon to fuck off, and tell the patriarchy to just fucking shut up.
What is Anomaly’s process like for putting together its issues and how do folios figure in?
In a way, we’re a magazine of little magazines. We have eight sections, or folios, headed by different editors each with a team of readers. I like to picture it like a cabinet full of Cornell boxes, quietly in conversation with one another. Something fascinating, a little bit magical, but most importantly—not boring. Guest-edited folios are focused on more specialized literatures and intersections that tend not to be centered in mainstream publishing. We have the benefit of an online platform, so we can publish larger issues instead of relying on special print issues that often tokenize and further marginalize writers. It’s impossible to read absolutely everything, as disappointing as that may be, but these folios do allow a broader celebration and reception of literatures that get counted out in favor of literatures that already receive mainstream attention. Our editors share some interests and aesthetics, diverge radically in others. I’m grateful to work with so many brilliant thinkers. And, of course, we all agree—publishing Nazis is a pretty bullshit idea.
Who are some writers or artists that you have been particularly proud to publish and champion in Anomaly recently?
In our past issues, I was especially excited by Pó Rodil, Linette Reeman, Kimberly Quiogue Andrews, Kai Minosh Pyle, Valentine Conaty, Celina Nader, Asha Futterman, Diane Glancy, Nkosi Nkululeko, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Trish Salah, George Abraham, Sade LaNay, Mg Roberts, Su Hwang, Shira Erlichman, Lindsay, Scherezade Siobhan, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Katherine Agard, I.S. Jones, Kenning JP García, and Jenny Davis.
What are a few things you’re excited about in the world of contemporary literature?
We’re finally discussing ethics and publishing and the need to materially support disenfranchised writers and editors, we’re looking at gender bias, we’re acknowledging that non-binary people face gender bias, and we’re challenging the idea that literature celebrating, promoting (or eulogizing) fascism and rape culture are not entitled to publication, and above all else are not more important than the real lives of readers and writers who these voices would seek to destroy. There is no poem written by a Nazi that can’t be written ten times better by someone who isn’t a Nazi. There is no sexual predator who can’t be outdone by the words of a survivor. And I am fucking elated that we’re finally pushing back against oppressive literatures. It feels like the literary world is being given a second chance not to side with writers whose platforms and personal politics make life harder for everyone who isn’t in power. I’m excited about writers of colors making it clear that experimental literature never belonged to whiteness or cisness. I’m fascinated by trends in hybrid memoir, and I love that more people are challenging the dichotomy between lyric and formal poetry.
What’s next for Anomaly?
Our next issue is launching at the end of December. I think our poetry folio might be a hex against bigots and abusers.