This is Colette. Over two years ago now, I started The Wanderer because I felt that there weren’t enough spaces that showcased the poetry I love in a way that didn’t feel exploitive. At the beginning, I thought it was going to be interesting enough putting trans poets, who were (and in a lot of ways still are) vastly underrepresented in “mainstream” literary magazines, in conversation with cis poets, unburdened by the notion that trans poetry in specific needed to be cordoned off into its own section or issue so that the reader *knew* the work they were engaging with was trans and could react accordingly. The only other things I knew about The Wanderer is that I wanted to pay people for their labor, I wanted to publish on a regular schedule, and I didn’t want to charge people for submissions.
The Wanderer would have been successful in all of that, but it would have folded after its first year were it not for the now former co-editor of this space, Raquel Salas Rivera. They gave The Wanderer a shimmering, urgent energy, be it in the form of the people they were soliciting, the poetry they were translating for the site, and the work they found in our e-mail queue. When Raquel told me they had to step down, I didn’t know whether or not The Wanderer could keep going. There is, in fact, a different version of this post in my Google Drive, where I announced that we were closing for the foreseeable future. It’s been there for two months. I sent it to Raquel. We both cried. But, obviously, it never went up, and here I am, writing this post about how The Wanderer will keep going. Here’s what’s up:
Joining me as co-editors are June Gehringer, Sara Bess, and Prairie M. Faul. I’ve been privileged to publish all three in the past, and I’m stoked beyond words that I get to work with them in this context. Their bios, should you need them:
June Gehringer is the author of “I love you it looks like rain” (Be About It Press 2017) and “I don’t write about race”, (Civil Coping Mechanisms 2017). She is the winner of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and other games. She tweets @june_gehringer.
Sara Bess grew up in the rural mid-south but they don’t live there anymore. They were a 2017 Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow and a recipient of the Bryn Kelly Scholarship for Trans Women/Trans Femme Writers. They keep a little garden and release their music at sarabess.bandcamp.com.
Prairie M. Faul is a Cajun poet and flagrant transsexual currently living in Philadelphia. She is the author of In the House we Built (bottlecap press) and Burnt Sugarcane (gloworm).
Publishing Schedule and Payment
For the time being, The Wanderer is moving from once a week to once every other week. This will allow us more lead-time for editing, coding, and promoting work via social media. It will also allow us to raise what we pay from $25 to $35.
Are closed for the time being. We have a massive backlog to get through and don’t want to keep you waiting. We’re not super concerned with genre distinctions. Poetry might be on the marquee, but we’ll publish your fiction, your essays, your comic strips, your field recordings, whatever it is that currently moves you.
I’m pretty sure that’s everything. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to everybody who has read this site, sent their work, or published with us. The Wanderer has completely changed the way I look at and engage with literature in a way that goes beyond my own work as a writer and an editor. That it’s meant as much as it has to a lot of y’all wasn’t something I anticipated. I hope you stick with us. Let’s find out what happens next.
Colette Arrand, co-editor