We're so glad you're here.
We've said it for five years now: it matters who is on stage, but also who is in the audience. Because for us, art is all about public engagement. The Seventh Wave would not exist without our community, because that's all we are: a community of people who continue to begin, commit, and celebrate the art and act of voicing. If you're new to us, here’s what you need to know: we're an odd bird, in the sense that we have three wings — our editorial, engagement, and education wings. We publish two digital issues per year, each of which is tied to a residency program on opposite coasts of the US (at the moment, however, this program is now a virtual "Editorial Residency" that doubles as a grant for four artists/writers). Each issue, we showcase 12-16 voices and interview a handful of interesting people. Off the screen, we bring our online issues to life through events, education, and building community with other arts and literary organizations. Over the past five years, we’re proud to have published 180+ artists from around the world. What began as an idea between four creatives in Brooklyn, New York, has now turned into a team of twelve located around the country.
Why do we do this?
We want to reimagine what a literary magazine or an arts nonprofit can look like, and dismantle the systems and hierarchies that still exist within something that should be as accessible and as fluid as art. We want to bring an urgency of excitement back into the editorial process, and to treat emerging writers and artists as though they have already emerged, to celebrate their immediate and eventual successes both on the page and off. We want to hold space for creatives who might otherwise not have the time; to create time for creatives who might not otherwise have a place or platform dedicated to their craft; to bring together unlikely cheerleaders to champion folks they would’ve never met long past the end of a residency weekend. We want, in short, to allow writers and artists and activists to be as human as possible first and foremost, to feel empowered to voice their concerns and their questions, and to challenge every assumption about what it means to be a person in their skin.
And this year, on our five-year anniversary, we decided to build an online store around the collective voice of our community.
This August, we printed an unorthodox anthology that foregrounds not our contributors' piece that we published online, but the contributors themselves: we asked 26 writers and artists from our first 10 issues about their creative process and their inspiration, as well as some quirky questions about how they create worlds on a page or why they choose to write from a certain point of view. And in typical, generous form, our contributors provided us with a sweeping range of answers that interrogate everything from the necessity of flawed queer characters to the longevity of an idea, offering up a stunning chorus of voices all surrounding the art and craft of conversation. In this anthology, you’ll find musings about the use of line breaks and white space in poetry, as well as thoughts on rough drafts, nostalgia, and motivation (or a lack thereof). You’ll read about heartache, legacy, and representation, and why it matters who our contributors are creating for. What unites them all is an indelible dedication to their craft, and to understanding the impact and the role of their words in the context of the worlds around them. (And if you’re curious to read any of our contributors’ pieces in full, they’re all readily available and archived over at www.seventhwavemag.com.)
And this December, we printed an interactive zine, which was also designed by Bianca Ng, our 2020-2021 Artist in Residence, that functions as the featured artwork for Issue 12: Before After. Entitled Harmer/Harmed, this zine sits in the center of -ward's: inward, backward, toward, and forward. It looks to, and at, the places that are too difficult to touch, and asks the gentle but difficult questions of the pasts we do and don't remember, as well as the ones we realize we misremembered. It is a visual negotiation about the boundaries of self, interrogating the behaviors, habits, or harm we inherit, but also the harm that we pass onto others. It’s been a thrilling, albeit unknown, journey to get here: five years, 10 issues, 180+ contributors, six residencies, operations on both coasts, and an unending number of possibilities when it comes to where we’ll venture next. Because if you’ve gotten to this point — within this introduction, within the process, however you want to understand “this point” — then you also know that this is just the beginning.
Want to see more pics of everything we're selling? Click here.
* All imagery/artwork created by by Bianca Ng.