Half Mystic, 2015—forever

is an independent, internationally-acclaimed publishing house, literary journal, radio show, & arts organisation dedicated to the celebration of music in all its forms.

Half Mystic has a fondness for music.

This is to say: we like music that claws at our ribcage & steals the air from our lungs. Music just as soft as it is sharp, just as intimate as it is limitless. We like music that kisses hard & loves deep. Music that never flinches. Lightning storm music. Tiger claw music. Music tender & tremulous. Music grounded in reality, shrouded in enchantment, born from stardust, bathed in sunlight. Music that knows living is an art in itself. Music that guts you, then turns around & makes you feel unfathomably whole.

Half Mystic is an independent, internationally-acclaimed publishing house, literary journal, radio show, & arts organisation dedicated to the celebration of music in all its forms.

It was founded by Topaz Winters in July 2015; they now serve as editor-in-chief of the journal & blog, & creative director of the press & radio show, as well as writing a column for the journal called Silver-Tipped Swallow on the ways in which music intertwines with our experiences in loving, losing, & lingering on what remains.

Half Mystic likes creators with études nestled between their ribs & sonatas shivering beneath their spines, creators of work that thrums deep in our marrow & kicks us in the face with drumbeats of ache. Our staff, readers, contributors, & authors have been published & profiled in Best of the Net, Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, Best New Poets, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, & The New York Times, & are Pushcart Prize, MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, & Grammy nominees. 

Our weekly blog showcases essays, interviews, & selections by staff members, authors, & contributors that interrogate & linger with music in every transcendent, resonant form it dreams through the universe. Our fortnightly podcast features one poet each week performing their work, set to songs by independent musicians—putting in conversation & context art by diverse artists in diverse mediums. Our semiannual books are experiments in love, wildness, & uncertainty, the heartbeat of humanity set to a 4/4 time signature, expanding & redefining the unsung narratives that much of literature is too afraid to tackle. Our annual journal issues are limited edition, keepsake collections of art, lyrics, & writing featuring the work of 20 contributors in celebration of a specific musical theme. This kind of art is what we came for: the wreck, & not the story of the wreck. The thing itself, & not the myth.

Everything we create is another one-man dance party, another half-empty jar of rosin, another yellowed score. We believe in music as harmony, as dissonance, as wandering, as wondering, as running, as hiding, as finding, as writing it all down afterwards. We believe in music as cataclysm. We believe in music as listening to the ghosts. We believe in music as the language of truth.

Our work is like a city teetering on the edge of silence, & then it is song.

If you like that sort of thing, we will probably get along beautifully.

learn more / purchase the journal / purchase books / read the blog / listen to the podcast / attend a gathering

“I always wanted to be a musician but never thought I had the raw talent to pursue it. Instead I reverted to singing in the shower, in the car, or at karaoke once a week. But as a contributor to and reader of Half Mystic, I am made into that musician once again. I am just a small instrument, one voice among the works of visual, auditory, and literary artists. And what a song it becomes. I am overcome with the sound.”

Diannely Antigua, author of ugly music & associate poetry editor at boaat press

“Working with and publishing with Half Mystic has been one of the highlights of my writing career. Half Mystic is the rare organization that devotes endless time and gentleness to each author and their respective work. Each poem that I have had published in this space was and continues to be treated with a unique tenderness and thoughtful consideration. Additionally, Half Mystic’s presence and insistence that the writing community be a safe, open, accommodating space makes me exceptionally proud to have work included in this space. I am so thankful to this team for their kindness and dedication to beautiful work.”

Jill Mceldowney, author of Airs Above Ground & editor of Madhouse Press

“Half Mystic is an elegant and delicious celebration of music, along with the fresh literature and visual art inspired by it. Each loving yet rigorously-curated issue, book, and radio episode is an emotional journey that brings together a diverse range of voices and perspectives. Each creation reminds readers of the multitude of ways music in all its forms permeates our existence, memories and imagination. I finished experiencing Half Mystic’s work wide-eyed and inspired, with a burning desire to write, make music, and create beautiful things.”

Stephanie Dogfoot, author of roadkill for beginners & manager of spoke & bird poetry open mic

“A fire doesn’t just burn, it dances. And the shadows it makes, they dance too. All things dance. Half Mystic is a celebration, a place to come to dance with shadows and fire.” 

Matthew Payne, musician in The River Has Many Voices & managing editor of Rust+Moth