The intersection of poetry and pop culture for me started in Los Angeles of all places where one week at the powerhouse open mic Da Poetry Lounge I read a poem about building a really big kick-ass robot. It was an homage to Frankenstein Jr and The Iron Giant and all those amazing giant robots, but it was also a love poem. And for the first time I realized, holy crap, this is who I am. After that, things got a lot more nerdy.
Years later I had a wild hair to assemble a book of zombie poems. I made the call with no idea how I was going to actually publish the thing, but I was prepared to if need be. I was lucky enough to catch the Stan Lee of poetry small press Derrick Brown with the idea and so Aim For The Head became a real live book. And more importantly, I was really proud of the poets who stepped up to the plate to help create such a diverse and engaging look at zombie culture. Because poetry is necessary, especially for those who don't know they need it.
I have no idea where the idea for FreezeRay came from. Probably from the same place where my robots and zombies reside. But probably more that I was finding poems by so many of my favorite poets about all kinds of pop culture subject matter. At the National Poetry Slam every year, the Nerd Slam is always one of the best reasons to leave your hotel room in the afternoon. And hey, it's the internet: worst case scenario, if no one has any material for my journal, I'll quietly fold and go back to playing weird Steam games. But DAMN, people. Every issue that we've put together has been so exciting to assemble (and huge props to Jason Bayani, Eric Morago, Grae Rose, and Dalton Day for helping go through the submissions and make some of the tougher decisions before we go live). And thank you for all the poems and the art and the support for our weird little nerdcave.
And now I'm taking the next step. Welcome to the launch of the newest poetry publisher, FreezeRay Press. We're keeping the FreezeRay name because our press is basically the journal on paper (and maybe if we're ambitious, we'll put out a Best Of The Journal...on paper). Our books will have a pop culture focus and a whole lot of great poetry.
Our project will be FAKE KNIFE, a chapbook of St Vincent inspired poems by FreezeRay editor Dalton Day, also known on Facebook as "Hey look guys I got a poem published in ___________". It's quite dreamy. After that, we're in the process of taking submissions for an anthology about musicians called AGAIN I WAIT FOR THIS TO PULL APART edited by Hanif "I Wanna Know Your Top 5 Albums" Abdurraqib. You can actually access the submissions page for that from our FreezeRay submission page (or from the FreezeRay Press website, right here). See how simple we're making this? There are some other books down the pike that will be announced soon enough, but I am more than jazzed at having these two titles being the first releases out the gate.
For all the latest news about all things FreezeRay Press, stay tuned to the website, or like our Facebook page. And thank you, readers, for continuing to support us online. Today, chapbooks...tomorrow, Oblivion (or maybe Skyrim).
editor-in-chief, FreezeRay Press(!)