Today’s post is about SIREN, an online literature and art magazine launched recently by founding co-editors Cassidy Villeneuve and Raisa Imogen. VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn came across their site recently and thought our faculty and students might be interested in it, since the magazine puts out open calls for theme-specific submissions across all mediums. The first issue (Canto I: Aloneness as Loneliness) features essays, poems, journal entries, and works of visual art from 18 contributors. The call for Canto II is now open, and the editors are seeking new work on the theme of Intuition.
Here’s the magazine’s manifesto:
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The Siren is victim to a mythology that vilifies her power, names her sexual confidence a trap, and condemns her voice as a threat.
She is too alluring. She is too sure. She is too loud.
SIREN Magazine is a space to amplify the sirenic voices — whether they be spoken, artistic, or internal — of those who have ever been caught in the fishing nets of rock dwellers that watch with jealousy, hoping to trap a mysterious, enchanting magic.
A voice is a sort of fingerprint, an essence that is distinctly ours. That unnameable quality in a voice that makes it uniquely the speaker’s, or the ‘grain’ of the voice, is inexplicably understood by those who are truly able to listen. The voice is an inherent quality of our self. It colors everything we express with an essential part of our being.
There is great power in utterance, in creation, in the use of voice. Once spoken, once written, once painted, once composed — that voice has taken on new life. It manifests and makes true our desires, our hopes, our history. The voice can wound; it can heal. Words can move you across the country, can marry you, can welcome you, can push you away.
In many instances, we say we are “trying to find our voice.” In writing workshops, the “voice” of a piece is often discussed. But can voice be be found? Has it always been there? Has it been with us since before we knew how to speak? Just as no thought is fully expressible, no voice is truly articulate. A perfect, mechanical voice — like the British woman who speaks through the parking machine or the computer voice — always carries a touch of the uncanny. We are wary, suspicious, of a voice without side-effects. We listen for what is human in each other. We must learn to listen better.
The Siren does not only speak, she sings. We have faith in your songs. We have faith in your ability to hear the difficult, the beautiful, the haunted, without turning away. Do not plug your ears, do not tie yourself to the mast.