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Editorial Fellows

The 2024 Editorial Fellows

June 25, 2024

We are delighted to announce Louis Harnett O'Meara and Maurice Rodriguez as the 2024 A Public Space Editorial Fellows. This June, they begin a four-month fellowship, which includes mentorship, hands-on experience, and the opportunity to develop a portfolio for the magazine.

Louis Harnett O'Meara reads Luigi Ghirri
Luigi Ghirri's photographs appeared in APS No. 31
“I get the impression that behind what I see there is another landscape, one which is the true landscape, but I can’t say what it is, nor can I imagine it,” Luigi Ghirri wrote in an article in 1986. I read these words in Ghirri’s Collected Essays in 2017, and they have stayed with me, sometimes returning in new forms. Philip Guston speaks similarly of the picture plane in a lecture from 1971: “I know that that term is taught in most art schools,” he says. “But I’ve discovered what they usually mean is surface… Well, that is not what I mean by the picture plane, because the picture plane… It’s totally an imaginary place, plane, which has to be created by illusions.”

This tension—between surface and depth, what is seen and what is suggested, framed, reflected, refracted—is also present in literature. For me, it is most present in those fragmentary modernist modes: Ezra Pound’s imagism, Katherine Mansfield’s existentialism, Jorge Luis Borges’s surrealism. Today, Teju Cole, who has always admired Ghirri, tracks his narrators’ points of view as if the world were a photomontage, while suppressing the vital question: Why are you showing me this? Learning to ask this question, and to ask it insistently, is crucial to good writing and editing. It allows the work’s oblique internal life, the true landscape, the imaginary plane, to emerge.

Maurice Rodriguez reads Vito Apüshana
graphs appeared in APS No. 31
Vito Apüshana is a Wayuu-Colombian poet, activist, and cultural ambassador from La Guajira, Colombia, who writes in both Wayuu and Spanish. His work primarily focuses on Wayuu culture through references to, and the preservation of, indigenous language, practices, beliefs. His writing stands as an act of resistance and exemplifies why I believe so strongly in independent publishing. Without such spaces, a yawning abyss would continue to exist in the literary world, almost entirely absent of indigeneity.

As exemplified in “Bird-women,” his poetry appears traditional in form and style. However, that tradition quickly shatters upon the first encounter with Wayuu blended into the original and in my translation. As in many of his poems, this encounter creates a noticeable distance between the text and reader. It forces an unfamiliar audience to recognize how far their metaphorical shore is from the author’s. After creating such a distance, the poem then lulls the reader into a communal dreamscape dreamt not only by the poet but by his ancestors as well, and extended across seas. I becomes plural. We, singular. It’s a way of thinking and living inseparable from Wayuu identity. This collapse of ego and authorial ownership is the antithesis of most popular writing, and is thus much needed in contemporary literature.

The Editorial Fellowship at A Public Space was established with the support of the 2018 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. The program aims to support the next generation of editors who will create an ever more diverse and vibrant publishing community—culturally, aesthetically, economically—and to develop a framework for the art of editing, bridging tradition and evolution.

We are grateful to the individual donors and foundations who share our commitment to this mission, and to New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs for their support of the 2024 Editorial Fellowship. Our thanks to everyone who promoted and shared news of this program. And a special thank you to all of the applicants, whose talent and imagination give us hope for the future.

Louis Harnett O’Meara is a freelance writer and editor. He received an MFA in fiction from Boston University and has edited for Monocle and the Edinburgh Fringe Review.

Maurice Rodriguez is a writer, literary translator, and writing instructor. He received an MFA in fiction and nonfiction from the New School, and his work was selected for Deep Vellum's 2024 Best Literary Translations anthology.

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