Introducing: Viscerama, A Youth Lit Mag

Posted on June 22, 2020

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I am SO excited to share this guest post by Elena Ramirez-Gorski. I am SO excited about VisceramaHere’s Elena:

When I was in high school, adults would always talk to me about when I “get out to the real world” and how I would “start a life.” Though it was difficult to see then, I now know that my life had already started. I was living it, and it counted. It is rare but so important for a young person to know that they can make a difference right now, that they are already living and have lived and have experiences that people can benefit from.

This is what the team at Viscerama is trying to help Lenawee County youth see. Viscerama is a brand new, not-for-profit digital magazine. We publish art, poetry, and prose of Lenawee County youth, which can then be ordered on our website for a suggested donation of $3. These donations are all given to Lenawee-based charities that benefit all ages of youth here. We split our proceeds between Imagination Library, the Lenawee County Education Foundation Endowment, and the general Lenawee Community Foundation Fund.

There is also a form on the homepage of our website where youth or anyone who doesn’t have the means to donate can order a copy for free. Our goal is to raise money for these amazing charities while also trying to make the arts accessible for all.

Accessibility is a huge part of our vision for Viscerama. As Inocencia Ramirez-Gorski one of our editors, said in an interview, “the literary world and the world outside of it can feel like an intimidating, gated place.” Our staff knows from firsthand experience that getting published as a young person can be quite difficult. It sometimes feels that the only way to get published is to already be published elsewhere. We hope that by creating a space dedicated completely to their voices, youth interested in pursuing writing and the arts have an easier time getting their work seen elsewhere. We also have resources on our website that lists other youth-friendly publications and guides on how to write a cover letter and other submission tips.

We hope to not only support Lenawee youth as artists but as whole people. Our Web Designer, Nadia Mota, has curated an array of resources including scholarship information, mental health services, sexual health resources, housing assistance, and more. In the future we plan on hosting admissions and scholarship essay parties and book giveaways as well as open mic reading events. Nadia hopes “we can provide information and access to resources, experiences, and safe, supportive spaces.”

Our goal going forward is to put out quarterly issues, but we plan on releasing our second issue this summer. We are open to submissions starting June 18th and all of the details and guidelines can be found at www.viscerama.com/submit.

Our launch issue, “michicanx,” was released on June 4 and can still be ordered on our website. It has raised over $500 that was donated specifically to the Lenawee Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund. This first issue is made up of work by our staff as a way to introduce our project and vision to the community. Our team is so grateful for the incredible response and support that our first issue received. We are excited to see this support shared to future issues composed entirely by our youth. We are even more excited to see them realize that their work can help people emotionally and that by contributing, they are creating real change and raising money that directly benefits their community.

After all, the life of a young person is, and always has been real life. Their experiences, stories, and voices matter now. They are valuable now. And we can’t wait to give them the platform they deserve.


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Elena Ramirez-Gorski is a queer Chicana writer from Adrian, Michigan. She is the Layout Editor and Co-Editor at Viscerama. She is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and a current MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Gasher Journal, The Acentos Review, The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, Split Lip Magazine, Electric Literature, and Michigan Quarterly Review.


lisa eddy is a writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com