Passionate Art


“One should never write just to avoid being silent…. I feel a writer MUST write what is in his heart, and if there is nothing there of strong content or passion, then he must LIVE and EXPERIENCE before he can truly write….writing is, after all like art, simply sharing our passion with the world.”      ~from a letter to my mother, April 2001 
Today, I found an old copy of a letter written to my mother ten years ago. Reading the letter reminded me of the exuberant passion I’ve always felt toward writing as art and my sincere, consistent belief that “one should never write just to avoid being silent.”

 I believe that the best writing comes from deep belief, sincere passion, and a strong connective tissue between the writer and the written. These qualities allow great writing to transcend the particular time of its creation.

A writer suffering deep loss, of a child or spouse, will put that loss into the words of a poem or story. It is an intimate loss to him, but it is also a common experience, a shared sadness among other human beings. He will articulate the loss, others will read and identify with his words, the poem or story will always be his but will also become an independent identity in many ways. It will outlive him, or keep him alive, in coming centuries depending on your view. It has its own permanence.

This permanence, or legacy, is part of arts truth, so to speak. Most people can name a few classic writers and artists without great trouble (Shakespeare, Hemingway, Van Gogh, Rembrandt), but how many could name current artists? Very few could name the current Poet Laureate or a current popular painter. Artists understand, to some degree, that their work may well have more meaning and be worth more value in the future. A writer writes now with an eye focused a decade away. An artist creates now with the understanding that his canvass is more permanent than himself.

The artist is a creator. He excavates his emotional soul and pours deep truths onto the waiting page or canvass; he dissects and maneuvers the universal realities he sees as he lives, recasting and reworking them into a timelessness that becomes art. This art becomes a flexible representation of the universal passion of humanity and endures because of that kinship. He creates a legacy, an oeuvre, for himself that will eventually be all that remains.

Art is steeped in the history of it’s time of creation to some degree, but that is more reference point than anything else. The language, dress, and backgrounds’ may change, but the faces and voices are timeless. Eyes look out hauntingly with fear or joy, action takes place with a certain tone or with laughter. The experience is universally human regardless of the time period.

Great writing, like all great art, will show us a truth we know in a way we didn’t know how to express. The combination of new insight along with recognizable, enduring truth gives us an “ah-ha” moment – a moment in which we become one with the words and the writer, one with the art and the artist.





The Bird Calls His Presence

It is a first memory. The plaintive call of a Whippoorwill in the night. I’m a small child sitting with my grandparents on their front porch as a gentle wind drifts by carrying the smell of gladiolas on its wings. The bird calls his presence.


Whippoorwill has been calling to me for the past year. A quiet, sad sound rolling through my mind like the song of the bird I listened to as a child.

The list of pros and cons for starting an online literary magazine (or any literary magazine for that matter) in our world today does not add up in equal columns.  We are a world of sound-bites, quick thrills, and Twitter. The list of cons is much longer than the list of pros in a culture that grows less literate with each passing year. And, of course, there are the questions one must ask: Is there a market for such a publication?; Do we really need another lit mag?; and, Can there possibly be anything left to say? These are all valid questions to ask and consider.

For most of the year my answer has been a resounding No. No, the market isn’t very large. No, we really don’t need another lit magazine. No, there isn’t anything left to say. After all, everyone is talking, but so few people are actually listening, right? Everyone has a blog, but how many followers do they really have? The news shows and Internet are filled with voices 24-7, but Americans are so busy they seldom have time to listen. I (like many of my peers) need a secretary just to keep up with my “favorites” and my RSS feeds, and my subscriptions, and then there are the Tweets and Facebook updates. We are inundated with words – we can’t possibly need more.

And then, a strange thing happened to me. I realized that I had not welcomed the shift from printed materials to online materials into my life. I decided it was time to stop dismissing online magazines and blogs as “online diaries” and investigate and explore their true essence.

I started reading more blogs, amassing RSS feeds and subscriptions, joining various writers blog groups, and listening to what the world was saying. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve discovered surprising writers with tremendous talent lurking in the mist of Cyberspace. I found new information mixed in with totally unexpected epiphanies.

I’ve come to understand that there are literate, diverse writers and publications with great insight and joyous gifts to offer. I’ve also discovered that people ARE reading, commenting, and contributing.

My recent exploration helped me to realize that art isn’t usually about what we need in a logical sense. It is more often about what we need in the deepest parts of our human selves. We need to create, we need to express, we need to sing our songs. And we need to have those sides of our truest, deepest selves validated and cherished by the world around us in some way.

That artistic expression and validation is the goal of Whippoorwill. It is intended to be a place for exploration and growth, a place where we can sing and here another’s song, a place of validation for our artists ego’s – where talent can become inspired, shared, and appreciated among peers. It is with that train of thought that Whippoorwill begins its journey. I hope you’ll join us and I bid you a heartfelt Welcome!


Note on Whippoorwill content and submissions: The theme and purpose of the magazine are intentionally loose and undefined to encourage open artistic submissions. Submissions will be accepted on a continuous basis. Initially, two to three issues per year are planned with a possible print edition of “The Best of…” produced yearly, depending on the submissions and audience we obtain.

Please feel free to email with ideas, suggestions, or questions about possible content. Please send submissions in body of the email to: We are seeking poetry, fiction, flash fiction, essays, non-fiction. However, we prefer not to see genre fiction, horror, or deeply erotic works at this time. Again, email or send a blog link if you’re not sure. We are also seeking regular bloggers and contributors. Pay scale is determined individually with the author.


 Re-Post from Whippoorwill at