This week’s special issue of Folio Weekly is devoted (at least partially) to the noble art of scribbling. Humanity may have started out painting on cave walls (and believe you me, we love the visual arts just as much as the next alt-weekly), but the written word was the crucial next step in the human animal’s evolution. Indeed, in this humble editor’s opinion, composition—be it well-turned verse, sweeping rhetoric or disciplined journalism—can offer more color than an oil painting, more sturm und drang than a Wagner opera, more visceral detail than a fly-on-the-wall photograph.
The pages that follow are a mere tip of the hat to the form, and to those friends and neighbors of ours who practice it. They are legion, and it is a practice. Like a fine wine—or, apparently, Lou Reed (see/hear “A Gift,” on Reed’s 1976 album, Coney Island Baby)—it gets better with age and experience (though the young and hungry poet can pack a lifetime in their formative years).
An accomplished wordsmith in his own right, our Shelton Hull kicks off this party with profiles a few Northeast Florida writers who are making waves on the literary scene both at home and across the nation. It’s a brief glimpse of a much larger community of scribblers, novelists, wits, poets, philosophers and historians.
Among their ranks is one Jim Minion, who observes the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing with a sci-fi saga, Last Conquistadors, set in a long-abandoned future Northeast Florida. (It could happen!) Serialized episodes will appear biweekly—and exclusively—in the pages of Folio Weekly, starting right now.
Finally, in this week’s Backpage Editorial, Darlyn Finch Kuhn spins a short history of the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival, and—another exclusive—announces the lineup of its sixth annual edition, to be held Nov. 16 at the Main Library and MOCA Jacksonville with the support of Chamblin’s Uptown.
Let these pages serve as signposts. Follow them to your nearest independent bookstore, poetry reading, literary festival, zine convention or—why not?—newsstand. The written word comes in many guises. If it’s done right, it will transport you to new worlds, and help you understand your own that much better.