The Monthly discusses the development of a new arts magazine from the Eat the Storms podcaster Damien Donnelly

What was the impetus for producing a journal to highlight the arts?

The Eat the Storms podcast was designed to allow people to share poetry at a time when we couldn’t be together. We took poetry off the page and put it on to the airwaves. Now we are a moveable society again I thought it was time to put poetry back on the page in the form of a journal.

I wanted to acknowledge all the people who had been part of the podcast and give them an opportunity to get their work in print, but I felt also that the journal should offer other artistic areas that same opportunity. That means the new journal will be open for submissions to people who write prose, flash fiction, short stories, even visual artists.

Is the new journal a companion to the Eat the Storms podcast?

The podcast will still go ahead and the journal will be part of the continuing growth of Eat the Storms. Hopefully at the end of this journey there will be a Writers’ Retreat, Storm Shelter, which we are working towards slowly.

Why the expanded, wide ranging format?

The format of the podcast works really well regarding poetry but I don’t think it would work for longer works, or short stories, things like that, so I thought we should produce a journal. And the wide ranging orientation is because that follows my own approach; I am interested in poetry, writing generally, and producing visual art. One part of my work influences the other, I’m trying to finish a novel at the moment, so as in my own work I don’t want to box anyone in.

Is there an element of critique in the new journal?

Not really. The key thing will be showing people what is out there and letting them draw their own conclusions. I’m hoping that the people who are interested in visual arts will dip into the poetry section and vice versa.

The inaugural issue will have a theme and that goes back to Eat the Storms, and that idea of the Storm is open to interpretation. Whatever you think of as a storm, whether it is torrential rain, or a difficult break-up, you can submit your material to the journal.

The submissions will also be read blind, so I won’t know who it is that is submitting the work and there will be sub-editors for each issue so it won’t just be down to my particular tastes.

And how will people get a copy?

There will be two issues a year and they will be distributed through the Eat the Storms website, www.eatthetsorms.com, and you will be able to buy a copy from there. We are also hoping to get the journal into independent bookshops across the island.

Eat the Storms – Ep5 – S5 (spotify)

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