Virga is the name for the cloud streaks that stream hazily down from the sky, snow or rain precipitation that evaporates before having a chance to reach the ground. Virga can often fool radar into recording precipitation while the ground remains dry. Perhaps in this same way, poetic and hybrid forms can be as elusive as nature herself, and why Virga is an appropriate name for new online literary biannual dedicated to poetry and hybrid writing.
“Virga – the word sort of romanced me when I heard it,” says Founding Editor-in-Chief, Laura Page. “I have always loved watching that cloud-spill, but had not previously known there was a name for it. I like the idea of a little sky falling to earth, and I like to think that human language can do that too — pull some heaven down to where we live and work and love.”
Page is a graduate of Southern Oregon University, where she studied English Literature and Writing and was the recipient of her program’s annual award for non-fiction writing. Her stories and poems have appeared in numerous publications, and her forthcoming chapbook, epithalamium won Sundress Publications’ 2017 chapbook prize. Assistant Editor Dillon Wiengart is a published poet and a musician. He was a two-year resident at Timeless Instruments in Saskatchewan, where he studied luthiery: the craft of making stringed instruments.
Page says she started Virga because she wanted to be a more involved literary citizen, and because she’s “always seeking poetry that shows me new ways to be human. I wanted to curate work that defines our humanity in sensitive and empathic, but also bold and innovative ways.”
Available to read open access online as well as on Kindle, Virga features around twenty contributors per issue with poems and hybrid pieces of any length, with the unifying feature that they are “elegantly crafted and lean toward the lyrical.” Page explains, “We seldom publish formal or metered pieces.” Twice a year, summer and winter, readers can also enjoy a featured book review or interview with a poet. The inaugural issue, in addition to an interview with Sarah Nichols, features writing by Melanie Janisse Barlow, Bill Gholson, Lindsay Illich, Anonymous, C. Kubasta, Danny Ross, Gia Grillo, Hannah Kimbal, Jennifer Atkinson, Kevin Quitt, LeighAnna Schesser, Mark Jackley, Rebecca Hart Olander, Ryan Tahmaseb, Shaindel Beers, and Tammy Bendetti.
For writers interested in submitting, Virga reads year-round for issues released in May and October. The website includes specific deadlines for each issue’s consideration, and the publication accepts submissions via Submittable.