"Michigan Quarterly Review" launches "MQR Mixtape" to highlight new forms and writers


MQR Mixtape 1

The best ideas often come with pizza.

That's the edible the Michigan Quarterly Review staff usually scarfs -- along with Hershey Kisses -- during its annual end-of-the-academic-year gathering to brainstorm plans.

But with the coronavirus raging, the MQR brain trust couldn't meet in person over a shared pie in 2020, but the staff did follow up on an idea from the previous year. The result is MQR Mixtape.

"We call it the Dream Session, and here, we throw our ambitions on the board," writes MQR Mixtape guest editor Elinam Agbo in the introduction to the first issue of the online journal. "Last year, one item on the list was a new imprint, a way to feature the experimental and the eclectic. How could we lean into the flexible and highlight new forms while furthering the journal’s mission to publish diverse emerging voices?"

The first issue of MQR Mixtape is titled Becoming and features the poetry of Nadia Alexis and Jasmine An and the fiction of Morgan Thomas, Sabrina Helen Li, M.E. Bronstein, Piper GourleyAma Asantewa Diaka, and Yohanca Delgado. There's also photography by Nadia Alexis, Chante Lasco, and Chelsea Welsh, and art by Sena Moon.

Agno writes that Becoming features authors and artists bearing "witness to bodies queer and female, bodies in flux, transforming and surviving under systemic pressure."

MQR Mixtape will come out four times a year. Though the first issue features poetry, fiction, and art, the journal is encouraging submissions that don't fit the traditional literary-publication model, including correspondences, home movies, recorded conversations and "podcast-style recordings," and many more creations that wouldn't necessarily fit in the Michigan Quarterly Review.

The second issue of MQR Mixtape is currently accepting submissions that respond to the theme of apocalypse. Guest editor Eirill Falck writes, "I’m looking for a broad range of approaches. Experimental work and visual art welcome. Submit your photo essay on how the climate crisis is affecting something you love, your nuclear fallout poem, your fiction about the end of the world or the feeling that the world is ending."

Order a pizza and get to creating apocalyptic art.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.