Half Mystic Radio, Season I, Episode I: Death Being An Easy Disease to Fake

Dear friends, Half Mystic—the independent publishing house, literary journal, & arts organisation where I serve as founder, creative director, & editor-in-chief—has a new look! After months of hard work by the whole team, I’m so infinitely thrilled to unveil the new website design of HM, as well as another, larger change to our organisation that I hope will help further our mission of celebrating music in all its forms.

Half Mystic Radio is a new podcast that will feature one poet every fortnight performing their work, set to songs by independent musicians. Each episode will interrogate, linger with, & put in conversation & context art by diverse artists in diverse mediums, expanding & redefining narratives of what poetry & music “should” be.

This kind of art is what I came for: the wreck, & not the story of the wreck. The thing itself, & not the myth.

Season I of Half Mystic Radio will be hosted by myself & feature 16 gorgeous artists—some of whom are familiar faces as past HM contributors, & some of whom are completely new to our family. It will be available to stream at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, & wherever you get your podcasts within the next week.

For now, you can listen to Episode I: Death Being an Easy Disease to Fake on Half Mystic’s website, or directly in this post:

This episode features Emily Paige Wilson's poems "In the Voice of Belle Gunness" & "Still Life on I-95", & The River Has Many Voices' song "11:33 AM". Emily Paige Wilson is the author of the chapbook I’ll Build Us a Home (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her poetry has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, & the Pushcart Prize. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, & Thrush, among others. The River Has Many Voices is music that is born of the poetry & harmony of the hill country. TRHMV lives & writes in Austin, TX where he grew up.

If you enjoyed this episode & are looking forward to more from Half Mystic Radio: don’t go yet! Please do share your thoughts on Episode I with me & the team using the hashtag #halfmysticspeaks. Or, you can @ us directly on social media—we are @halfmysticpress on all platforms.

Want to get involved? We are now open to submissions from both writers & musicians for inclusion in the podcast! Send us your symphony. We promise we won’t flinch.

& if you would like to support Half Mystic financially, the best way to do so is by purchasing one of our books or journal issues. You might particularly enjoy Issue IV, which contains work from Emily Paige Wilson, The River Has Many Voices, & over 20 other artists. Issue IV: Grazioso is a volume full of the light that never drowned anything, the kind of light that knows only song—we would be honoured to share it with you.

As you already know, this is a very small company running solely on sales of our publications—& as you will soon hear, we’ve chosen not to take on any sponsors for this free podcast. Please help us stay alive & keep bringing tender furious mellifluous art to you for many more years to come.

I am so incredibly thrilled to be sharing in this new adventure with you. Listen to Episode I; look forward to future episodes in this season; share your thoughts using the hashtag #halfmysticspeaks; support Emily Paige Wilson, The River Has Many Voices, & Half Mystic.

I truly can’t believe it’s finally live, & my tummy is doing somersaults right now. I hope you like this—honestly, I haven’t been this nervous about launching a project in a really long time.

But thank you, as always, for your brilliant & burning support. I’m so furiously, infinitely grateful for the readers, listeners, & supporters who have allowed Half Mystic to expand as much as it has over the past few years, & I hope you find light in this new creation & arm of our company. All of this is for you. Everything, everything, everything is for you.

"We will find room for our softness & savagery both." (a speech for you)

Happy International Women's Day, my friends!  For all of my gorgeous women in the crowd—& especially to those who arrived at that womanhood in fits & starts, who have never been quite sure of the right way to hold it—thank you for existing. It means more to me & this universe than you could ever possibly hope to fathom.

Today, as we celebrate the vibrant, influential, strong women we are raising & nurturing & becoming, I wanted to share a little gift for you—a speech I had the privilege of delivering this past weekend at an international speech & debate competition called IASAS Cultural Convention, on softness & savagery & the beautiful terrifying things that happen when they come together.

I'm stunned on so many levels to share that my speech received the gold medal in the Original Oratory category at IASAS 2018—what an absolute, joyful honour. I hope to live up to it.

Please feel free to watch the entire video below, which captures all six of the stunning IASAS Original Oratory finalists, but do note that if you'd rather only watch my part, it begins at time 51:55.

An excerpt from my favourite section of the speech...

"You see, in the story that matters, in the story that exists, we are large. We contain multitudes. We will find room for our softness & savagery both. & if there is no room? Then we will push, & fight, & proudly & furiously & gently make room for ourselves."

Happy International Women's Day, my darlings. I hope you never forget to fight with softness, to limn in the tenderest spaces, to always make room for yourselves. xx

Healing is a Verb

“We cannot do much to escape the pain our illnesses inflict upon us – but with the words, we can tell our stories. We can ask questions, & we can listen with compassion to their answers. We can remind each other of the demons we have beaten over & over again. We can stand in solidarity against our illnesses. We can fight. We can hold each other close.”

Friends, I'm so excited to share with you today a project that you may have heard me speak about in past months & now is finally available for you to watch: my TEDx talk, entitled Healing is a Verb. This talk was very difficult to give (as you may notice by the many mistakes & slip-ups in the video) but I fancy perhaps that only adds to the truth of it.

I gave this talk in May at the TEDxYouth@SAS 2017 event. It centres around narratives of mental disorders, & how we might find community & solace in reaching out to fellow sufferers of often-silenced & stereotyped illnesses. The talk explores my own journey with mental illness & shares the stories of mentally ill readers who have inspired & been inspired by my work; I am honoured beyond expression to have been given this platform to share my story, & I hope you find a bit of light in it.

I encourage you to share this talk with your friends & social media followers (if you'd like, here's a Twitter link to do the latter) - but, more importantly, please send it to your loved ones who suffer from mental disorders. It is wholly, undeniably, before & above all else, for them. If you'd like to do more to support my work, a reminder that I am always accepting tips via Paypal & Patreon; financially backing my art helps more than you know in its creation.

And finally: please do let me know your thoughts on Healing is a Verb. You lovelies already know that this subject is very raw & close to my heart, so any & all comments & feedback are welcome. Thank you for all you have brought & given & shown me through the years, for this gorgeous & unlikely community that has blossomed around something that was so close to bringing me nothing but pain. As I hope this talk begins to illustrate, it means the universe & more. xx