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New Lit on the Block :: #Ranger

#Ranger logo image

Theodore Enslin’s book-length poem Ranger is the inspiration behind #Ranger, an online quarterly of text, audio/visual, and video founded by David A. Bishop whose goal with this new venture is to provide a home for works that may not fit in elsewhere. “I felt there was a real need for experimental poetry and art,” he explains. “I mean, REAL experimentation. Everyone seems to play it safe nowadays, and that’s pretty boring, in my opinion. How will art evolve if we don’t experiment?”

Bishop’s background (or lack thereof), he says, is helpful for this ability to allow for more variations, “I don’t have an MFA, so there’s no dogma to follow.” But this doesn’t me he lacks experience for this start-up. “I’m mostly an editor,” he says, “but I also dabble in poetry (both visual and textual) on occasion. I’ve been published in Word/For Word, Otoliths, and other magazines. Under the pseudonym Drew B. David, I edited the now-defunct Angry Old Man Magazine.”

“I love publishing work that no one else will handle,” Bishop shares. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see it out there, however small my audience may be, and it’s small, I won’t lie. The challenge, of course, is finding the time to put out a good product. That’s always been the challenge. But someone has to do it. There aren’t many people out there who are willing to push the envelope. We live in a very, very conformist, commercial culture in America – at least, where art is concerned. Money dictates everything, and that’s sad. Art is for the ages! Art is for life!”

For writers looking to push that envelope with Bishop, submissions are open with no fees for “Stuff you think no one else will publish,” the submission page encourages. “So-called ‘market forces’ do not matter here.” #Ranger is currently a one-person endeavor, “I read everything that comes in, so expect response time to be 1-2 months. I wish it were shorter,” adds Bishop, “but I have a full-time job, which also means I can seldom give feedback.”

For readers, Bishop says to expect to be surprised by the content. “It certainly isn’t vanilla, so, be prepared for a wild ride. Art should be controversial if it’s good art.”

Contributors to the first issue include Luc Fierens, Daniele Virgilio, Daniel Y. Harris, Mark Young, Howie Good, Tommy Gunn, PokaPoka!, Anthony Janas, Irene Koronas, Sheila Murphy, Joshua Martin, Alexander Limarev, Richard Baldasty, Nico Vassilakis, Daniel de Culla, Robert Jacka, The Page Collective, Cecelia Chapman and Jeff Crouch, Gerard Sarnat, Grant Guy, Jim Leftwich, Harrison Fisher, Robert Beveridge, Paul Smith, Jason Ryberg, Erkin Gören, Bill Wolak, John Bennett, Michael Prihoda, Colin James, Texas Fontanella, Noisebuam, Casey Synesael, Doren Robbins, Nathan Anderson, Dale Jensen, Daniel F. Bradley, John Grey, Dan Sicoli, Les Bernstein, Gerry Fabian, Sanjeev Sethi, Shannon King, Michael Basinski, and Joel Chace,

Looking ahead, Bishop says, “I am trying to lure musicians into the fold. Experimental music, yes! I want #Ranger to explore all different art forms. It’s not just a lit/poetry mag. It’s a place where artists with a capital A are welcome.” He adds, “Make your work as weird and eccentric as possible. Don’t worry about the corporate gatekeepers harshing on your mellow. This project is definitely anti-commercial.”

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