Welcome to Apiary 5! We’ve come a long way in three years, as we were reminded in a recent conversation with Denice, program director at the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. Every Saturday, her organization etches poetry to over 50 kids. PYPM changes lives every Saturday through poetry, and is one of the reasons we make this magazine.
Denice co-founded PYPM at around the time APIARY got started. We laughed about how back then, we thought PYPM was a long-established, well-oiled machine — they seemed to have it all together, and they did so much! And how Denice thought that we were a sophisticated literary publication, with our own press and offices somewhere.
“Nope,” we said. “We printed out fliers on our work copier and hoped nobody would find out. And we still make the magazine in Lillian’s living room. But as long as people can’t tell, that’s fine with us!
Then Denice said, “You should tell people that story,” she said. “People need to know that’s how artists work in Philly. For the love of it. And we make great work out of so little.”
So you know what? Yes. This magazine was made in living rooms, coffeeshops, and on the laptops of the incredibly hardworking staff, often after a long day at work. It was made out of 5,000 e-mails and 300 pots of coffee. And it was made for free, because we believe that the city is full of passionate voices that deserve to be heard by their neighbors.
And hundreds of writers in Philly do the same. (So buy a local writer’s book when you have a chance!) This submissions season, we heard from high school teachers, nurses, activists, lawyers, college students, and an MMA fighter. Guest editor Frank Sherlock, when not busy transforming Philadelphia’s literary scene as a poet and teacher, has been known to pull a few shifts at Dirty Frank’s downtown. Some said they are just trying poetry or fiction for the first time, or sitting down to it again. Many have been writing steadily for years. And many spend more free time teaching their craft, to the people who we hope will one day end up in our pages and on our website.
This city lives and works and writes. Read it here.