Omnia Vanitas Review was born in 2009. She was the brain child of myself and another: the always lovely M.A.A. We were in graduate school together. It was a delightful experience. I was falling in love in New York, living on juice and loans, pre-financial collapse, surrounded by writing and beauty, and a lot less responsibility. Everything felt profound and full of potential. Then I moved. We all moved. Life happened. People change, shed skins, become. I grew a person, I wrote a book, I got a day job. M.A.A. became an amazing teacher.
Our firstvolume was printed at a local printer, for a small fortune. Then we watched dramatic television together and bound those journals with our hands. This was very important to us. And incredibly impractical.
Our second volume, Operatic Veils, was conceived the same year as my daughter. As a result, the site languished, and we fell silent.
Honestly, I hadn't figured out the balance between the whole mom work tread the poverty line waters thing. Both Lily Robert-Foley and Sarah Elizabeth Blake were instrumental orchestrating this volume. I'm very proud of it. Of them. But we're all ridiculously busy trying to make our lives, make sense, make art.
Running a lit journal would only work for me if we were to become a full press. What I want to publish, to read, are large, voluptuous submissions. I want bigger narratives, deeper texts. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in micro-information. A book, to me, seems its antithesis. Art will save us, you know.
So much more can be done with a full-bodied text that isn't possible inside anthologies, which are great, but a different animal. They're chimerical, schizophrenic: too much like the internet. We don't want to just champion an endless stream of sexy: we want to fight for these artists, for their work, for another space for them to exist.
As a publisher of erotica, you can imagine how many submissions we receive that are little more than a vulgar pelvic thrust at you. If someone takes the time to build a complicated narrative: a text: a world: they are less likely to waste your time.
This is the dark side of erotica: the machinery of it. People want porn, some people need porn, and voilà, a sliding scale of studied and packaged desire conveniently available to get you off. Some authors wilt inside romance and erotic genre fiction: they're just too good. They don't quite fit into the machine's category of romance. And yet. No one else wants them. Their work is too sexual. Too relationship focused. Too feminine. Women's fiction. Chicklit. Less than.
We want you.
We want to create a space for the poetic misfits of literotica, of cliterature.
Everyone deserves a voice and space. We want your serious literary erotica. We want your art. We want to put it out into the world.
Hand bound aesthetics with a shoestring budget was deliciously idealist and all, but was simply not going to work. Then we had a successful Kickstarter. That blew me away. So we set to work. It was slow going, but now she's here, and she's beautiful.
The sum of our three main parts: our books, our volumes, and our rolling online journal. Hard copies are always available of all the books and volumes we publish, but the work is also often on the internet or downloadable for free. Art does not really belong to anyone: it's not property: it's lifeblood.
However, reader beware, these devices come at a price. Most work, certainly not all, but a lot of our work was made with the intention of being read, bound, as it were, to a book: an actual thing: trees, pulped and pressed. Trees that have weight and takes up space, trees that gave us air. Ink printed on paper, lovingly held, smelled, caressed: a book is made for savoring. The internet is a grotesque parody of that. Its awesome power has come to dictate form. Viewed on a phone, some of our work looks fucked up, just fyi.
We will publish all of our online journal content here, and we'll also use this space for some news or other every once in a while as well. So check back often, or follow us on your favorite social media account for perpetual erotica.