In Episode 32, Ursula Lindsey and ArabLit’s M Lynx Qualey talk about ArabLit Quarterly, literary criticism, and the perils and additional perils of making a living writing about books (and book-adjacent activities):
The first question was posed by Ursula: What are you willing (and not willing) to do for free?
The three freebie projects were Bulaq, ArabLit, and ArabLit Quarterly, which launched its first issue last fall, inspired by the four-times-yearly FullStop Quarterly magazine. The first issue of ALQ — published simultaneously on GumRoad and Blurb — featured the shortlisted stories from the debut ArabLit Story Prize, as well as a short story by the brilliant South Sudanese author Stella Gaitano, Asmaa Azaizeh’s poem “Dragonflies” in three languages, a “Dear Tayeb Salih” letter from acclaimed novelist Sofia Samatar, art by Lamia Ziadé, and more. Editors included Sawad Hussain, Nashwa Gowanlock, and Lara Vergnaud.
The second issue, crafted with the additional support of Art Director Hassân Al Mohtasib, is available in print on Amazon (US, UK, France, Germany) and as e-pub and PDF on Gumroad. You can become a supporter, and your library can subscribe via Exact Editions. We talked about why the second issue’s focus is The Strange, and what is (and isn’t) strange.
After that, we discussed the sorts of things we aren’t willing to do for free, and why, and what sorts of things we do to make a living.
You can listen to the whole of Episode 32 wherever good podcasts are found, etc.