Atticus Review: Six Degrees Left of Literature

KENSINGTON, MD — Atticus Books publisher Dan Cafaro has organized a small team of conspirators to launch a new weekly online journal. Atticus Review is set to post its first issue on May 17. Stay tuned for more details regarding editorial staff announcements and future plans for the publication. For now, here’s the publisher’s first crack at a mission statement. If an editor would like to step in and stop this guy in his meandering tracks, by all means, please set him straight. The reputation of all independent literary presses is at stake.

Atticus Review

The Mission (& Other Musings)

Why bother? Why bother to produce a weekly online literary journal? Why bother to believe that readers want or even need a different source, a new voice, a bold publication striving for artistic merit in a world gone raving mad?

One reason, above all, is to slay apathy. Slay illiteracy. Slay ignorance. Slay censorship. Slay formulaic drivel, preened and packaged to sell. Slay the tendency to settle for second-rate writing.

Atticus Review is geared to:
 Rise above the noise of the marketplace.
 Foster communication.
 Build a micro-community of curious minds whose reading tastes, cultural sensibilities, and text selections are not influenced by the size of a media empire’s marketing budget.
 Create an inviting space for people to exchange ideas, share stories, and explore imaginary characters and settings with words and images.
 Change the public’s perception of reading as a static activity.
 Turn the platform of digital publishing into an interactive trampoline.
 Redefine the role of literature.
 Redefine the role of literature. (Yes, it’s important enough to state twice.)

The goal of Atticus Review is to deliver a satisfying, immersive experience to you, the reader, the seeker of something better.

The idealism behind the Atticus Review mission either kick-starts your engine or it reeks of babbling rhetoric. Although we, on the whole, may lean decidedly left on social issues and we may think liberalism is a noble concept, we’re not much for -ism’s, nor do we have an underlying partisan agenda. (Hail ye, John Lennon!)

Our primary concerns are fictional in nature. But if a writer chooses to riff on a subject and uses both feet to kick authority in the teeth, a la Keith Richards, then we’ll size up the boots and let ’em flail. We don’t accept work that we don’t respect or admire. We support the right to all free speech (including bad puns and unintelligible diatribes).

(Disclaimer: Any political agenda you sense in our writings is purely speculative, misconstrued, or the arrogant opinions expressed by our mischievous inner voices and do not necessarily reflect the ever-changing views of our foster parent, Atticus Books.)

The publisher, in fact, has made clear that the primary purpose of our editors is to train commas to behave like semicolons when the period’s left town with the ellipsis … That and, oh yeah, he wants us to pick up a case of cold beer on our way back from the theatre and he doesn’t care how we do it, but he’d like for us to change the course of publishing in our spare time.

(Sorry for the digressions, but you better get used to them. Our publisher’s idea of linear thinking has long since left the building, along with Elvis and his hi-heel, blue suede sneakers, and civilized society. Forgive, too, the abundance of mixed metaphors and spotty references to rock icons and pop songs; we’d love to namedrop well-known authors instead, but most people never have heard of them.)

You may as well stop reading here; the remaining sections of this missive is a list of goofy, off-the-cuff statements, a cheap shot to other more established (aka proven) presses, and a half-baked attempt at prosetry that nobody edited, nor had we the nerve to tell the publisher to delete. Please don’t hold us accountable.

Atticus Review is a long, leisurely bath in the morning and a short, invigorating massage at night. (AR also can serve as an accompaniment to a shot of wheatgrass, room temperature, following a long night of whiskey.)
Atticus Review comes to you on a flat screen designed to inform and enlighten you. (This same pixelated screen is designed to help fund the college education of your optometrist’s daughter.)
Atticus Review is your weekly escape and virtual engagement with people who care so much about words, they cuddle with them in bed. (These same people often attract funny looks when they’re out in public.)
Atticus Review is a Tuesday afternoon respite brought to you by the makers of playful innuendos. (Half-truths and bald-faced lies commingling to make strange bedfellows.)
Atticus Review is an alternative to literary journals full of pretenses, full of hyperboles, and full of … (Shh, it’s easy to smell their rot from here and our backyard is a long way from Denmark.)

We know, we know; tons of literary journals and e-zines already do a kick-ass job of spawning incredible writers. They are terrific at what they do and they have been doing it for a long time. We damn well know the odds are stacked against us sticking around longer than a June bug on a summer night. But we’re here to prove the skeptics wrong. We’re here to entertain, repel, move, groove, and delight you.

(Drum roll, please, but make it a jazzy brush stroke.)

We’re here to incite you.
We’re here to rock to the beat of incongruous words.
Roll to the sound of electric lit.
Flip the paradigm of publishing on its intellectually inflated cranium.
Crack a few skulls,
Rip a few tides,
Save literature from twisting in the wind.

We’re here because we heard nobody reads anymore.
(We’re here because you know that’s not true.)
We’re here because we bothered to come
And you bothered to notice
And that should count for something.
Something better.

We’re here because we’re full of pretenses
Full of hyperboles,
Just like the rest of them,
But we’re not full of Shitake mushrooms.
No, that’s not our bag.
We’re allergic to Shitake mushrooms.
Can smell them from a mile away.
So please let us know if we ever let one slip into our offerings. Tell us if something you read on our site causes your BS meter to peg. Be our gauge. Help us keep our fingertips on the pulse of the arts. Help us keep it real.

We’re locked and loaded,
Shooting for authenticity,
All balls out,
Every issue,
Our target: six degrees left of literature.

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