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Arts & Life

Literary journal "Midwestern Gothic" paints a portrait of the region

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It's National Poetry Month and in our month-long series "Poetically Speaking" we are delving into the form's presence in Michigan.

Here in the Midwest, Ann Arbor-based literary journal "Midwestern Gothic" is one of the best places for poets to publish their works.

Co-founder Robert James Russell says, "The aim of the journal is to paint a portrait of the Midwest."

Russell says they strive to include a diversity of voices by including writers who grew up in the region along with those who have spent shorter amounts of time in the area and formed memories around it.

The journal was launched four and a half years ago and includes short fiction and poetry.

Born-and-raised Michigander Russell says they want to showcase the specific regional identity of the Midwest, including the area's sense of community, as well as its beautiful landscape.

When curating the journal, Russell often enjoys "anything nostalgia-laden" with "an intersection of place and memory."

As someone who left the Midwest, only to eventually return, Russell says he writes about the region to discover why he is so attracted to the area.

For him, it comes down to the region's sense of community. "People are finding it is a place they want to be. The community in the Midwest is wonderful in general."

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