Three more days! 📣
Issue 10, "Houdini" will feature artist Min Ding (@dingminart) and photographer Jaina Cipriano (@jainasphotography)!
In the meantime, you can check out their Instagram pages now. 🎩✨
New Reader Magazine is a quarterly arts, literature, and culture journal. Our purpose is to publish fearless fiction and non-fiction, poetry, identity and
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Fact: I’m the friend in page 29.
Two years ago, I was fired from this writing job I had in a local lifestyle magazine. It was a huge slap in the face and I remember holding back tears from my chief editor when she delivered the news to me. That moment ruined my whole writing dream. It made me doubt my entire decision in life and think that I was not good at doing that one thing I believed I can do. I fell apart and my self-esteem went down to zero. I honestly wanted to isolate myself from the people—including my family and friends—who witnessed what I believed was a complete waste of time and effort.
So I did; I traveled to an island I haven’t been before and worked there as a receptionist. For six months I stayed there, “looking for myself”. Apart from my horrible bosses and strange colleagues, the entire experience I had was fun. I met a lot of awesome people from different regions of the world. Up until now we still keep in touch and I miss them. One of them was this beautiful French woman. Every morning she would show up in our restaurant for breakfast and I’d always make sure that she gets her coffee right. Every now and then we’d exchange conversations. One day she mentioned that she was a musician, which I thought was pretty cool. I was starstruck. She passionately talked about music and how she’d see things with wonder. Before she left, she gave me a copy of one of her albums. She took out a pen and started doodling on the cover, explaining to me how everything and everyone is connected. Then she wrote the words: poetry is everywhere.
Fast forward to now, I’m back in the city. And since that tropical getaway, I have been obsessing over observing things. I’d write things down and find silly descriptive words for everything I see and—predominantly—how certain things make me feel; be it something pleasant, or something that’s not. I make sure I write down every emotion continually gushing over me and every gust of contemplation I would often have. And I enjoy reading these out loud to people. I love how they would agree (or disagree) and say things like, “I thought of that, too!” or “I feel the exact same way about [this]!”
I read something the other day about how an animal has self-awareness when they begin to recognize themselves in the mirror. It was meant literally because it was a science book, but metaphorically, I’d like to think that the mirror in that context was another animal of the same kind. When we see the differences and similarities we have with other people, that’s when we’re truly aware of who we are. There might be times when you feel as if you’re inside a box and every time you make a “wrong decision”, it suffocates you or makes you feel like you’re being watched by so many eyes, pressuring you to do things perfectly, without any mistakes. I have this friend who occasionally has panic attacks and I asked him how he overcomes it. He laughed and answered, “I just tell myself that I’m having a panic attack.”
Recognizing yourself is difficult, dear reader, but when you get a glimpse of who you truly are, it’s cathartic.
We wish that the curation of literary works and art pieces we have in this issue will make you see beyond what your eyes can perceive. In the past months—I’d like to say that January was the longest and worst Monday of my life—from U.S and Iran being on the brink of war, to this pandemic that we are yet to conquer, everyone was in a universal roller coaster ride. I say this because it’s true and it has been like this since the dawn of time; what’s happening to you is happening to someone else. We are all connected.
We are all unique in our own ways but somehow we’re all the same.
And I hope you see a little piece of you between the pages of this issue.
Download a copy now.