Written by Maritza Oquendo
The Literary Magazine, A Public Space, was founded in 2005 by Brigid Hughes, who was the former executive editor of the Paris Review. It is a non profit magazine that is published quarterly online and in print. Upon the release of its very first issue in 2005, Hughes stated that the journal’s mission statement was “ A literary forum for the stories behind the news, a fragment of an overheard conversation, a peek at the novel the person next to you on the subway is reading, the life you invent for the man in front of you at the supermarket checkout line. Ideas and stories about the things that confront us, amuse us, confound us, intrigue us.” The magazine is one that has done its due diligence to stand by their mission statement in every creative and administrative decision they’ve made. They go out of their way to ensure that they are properly representing the different cultures and art that we come in contact with in our daily lives. They provide a platform for the culture and art that lives in all of us to be outwardly expressed in a variety of beautifully eloquent ways.
This Journal includes categories of writing and art that are often not seen in other journals. A Public Space includes categories such as “Note”, “Correspondence”, “Syllabus”, “Travel Diaries”, and “Debate”. It also includes categories like “Architecture”, “Music”, and “Fashion”. The note category is a note from Brigid Hughes, or the editor of the issue, and is included in each issue to give their thoughts and ideas about the overall theme of the issue. This gives the issue a very personal touch. It shows the reader that everyone on the staff is hands on and mindful of every step of production to create a cohesive thought throughout the magazine. The Correspondence category is self explanatory, however, the Syllabus category can throw one for a loop. Intrigued by the categorical name, readers can’t help themselves but look into the written work. It’s a true testament to how beautiful written works of art can be found in your professor’s school syllabus, your neighbor’s travel diary, and the old letters your grandmother wrote. The visual art categories are exceptionally labeled to allow the reader to focus in on the areas of the magazine that peak their specific interests.
Keeping in line with their ode to celebrate culture, A Public Space also publishes an annual anthology of works published in previous editions to showcase authors and work of a specific country and culture. The latest anthology released featured writers and works of art associated with Japanese culture. They’ve also published focus issues on Peru and Russia. The anthologies became apart of A Public Space in 2011 and the latest issue was released in 2017.
A Public Space has been highly effective in creating a space for aspiring writers to develop their art and has created a multitude of avenues for writers to build networks and obtain work. One of the many programs the magazine offers is the Fellowship program. This is a program that acts as a paid internship as a writer for the magazine. A Public Space offers three fellowships annually for fiction and non-fiction writers who have not yet published a book. The positions are open to anyone who fills out an application, which can be found on the A Public Space website, every Fall. Not only do they offer the Fellowship program, but they also provide other internships and volunteer opportunities to assist with back office, admin, and outreach for the magazine. More information on how to apply for these positions can also be found on their website.
Photos by Maritza Oquendo
This literary magazine carries out the mission statement in everything they produce. The writers they promote are unsung literary professionals, the topics they discuss are relevant and diverse, the visual artists they promote are of a mature level and their work provokes thought. This magazine truly is for the people by the people.
Maritza is working towards a double major in Marketing and Public Relations. She says, " I find all mediums of artwork to be a peek into the soul of humanity and I cherish when fear is set aside and vulnerabilities are shared with the world. I feel that creative writing is vitally important to a society that is continuously relying less on in-person interactions. Creative writing brings the necessary outside perspectives back into the world of those lost in media."
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Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.