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Feature Fri Apr 19 2013
MFA candidates at the School of the Art Institute, Anne Yoder and Megan Burbank, launched PROJECTTILE, a literary magazine and reading series, in February. The online magazine publishes work with a non-traditional and generally feminist bent. Both Yoder and Burbank have similar literary tastes, and felt there was a largely unoccupied space for it amidst the already bustling literary scene here in Chicago.
"There are a lot of women's voices that haven't been heard, and haven't really been embraced by the mainstream," Yoder said. "We're interested in publishing nontraditional narratives with a feminist bent. These are our preferences--what we're drawn to in terms of what we read--and it's a way to celebrate that and give that type of writing more visibility."
At PROJECTTILE's upcoming April 23 reading writers Alexis Buryk, Dan Ivec, and Caroline Picard of Green Lantern Press will bestow their non-traditional and/or feminist leaning voices to an audience at Uncharted Books, located at 2630 N. Milwaukee Ave., at 7pm. Ivec is the first man to read, and editors hope that he represents the beginning in a series of male voices to come from PROJECTTILE.
"While we are a magazine with a feminist bent, we don't see ourselves as publishing exclusively women writers, or limiting ourselves to promoting or publishing work by women, especially when we come across interesting and innovative work," Yoder said.
Burbank and Yoder bonded in class over books and a shared fascination with Riot Girl culture, which figured, one way or another, into their experiences of growing up.
"My dad got me Bitch Magazine and was super excited about it," Burbank said. "And so, I had this strange nostalgia for that era growing up because I wanted to be a Riot Girl but it was no longer an option."
Yoder said that this was just the beginning of a dialogue between the two that morphed into a concrete plan to give their literary preferences a much needed stage.
"We bonded over that and it opened up a discussion that's been ongoing ever since about feminist lit," she said. "There's a lot of confluence in terms of what we're interested in and what's going on online and in Chicago. We love Switchback Books, Dancing Girl Press, and Birds of Lace in San Francisco."
PROJECTTILE hopes to publish one piece online each week and hold monthly readings with just a few featured writers. Their beginnings are delightfully modest, but the mission itself is no small thing. Readings may get more experimental in the future, with a silent performance under consideration.
(Photo credit to Rebecca Elliott and the book is also one of her creations.)