Apogee: Issue 09 edited by Alexandra Watson
art + literature journal, 123 pages
Apogee—meaning “the point in an object’s orbit that is farthest from the center”—is a biannual journal of art and literature that engages with race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and intersectional identities. Sprouting from Columbia University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Apogee was first conceived of as a student publication in 2011. Now independently run by an editorial staff of women and people of color, the project has expanded to include a blog component that encourages thoughtful dialogue about social justice and identity politics.
Issue 09 contains poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and visual art that share a certain sense of urgency, and rightfully so—the world is burning. It is asking us “to stay woke in the face of fire, to see through the smoke, to sound the alarm.”
Visuals include South African artist Lawrence Lemona’s “I did not join the struggle to be poor.” These words are embroidered onto kanga, a fabric traditionally used by shamans in South Africa. While the phrase was taken verbatim from the former African National Congress spokesperson, the work speaks more broadly to the strain of capitalism on bodies of color.
The issue also features work from mixed-media artist Elise R. Peterson, who often uses collage to position iconic black figures within reproductions of fine art (think D’Angelo + Matisse). Along with Oakland-born artist Sadie Barnette’s “My Father’s FBI File, Project 2,” part of a larger series where laser prints of FBI files on Rodney Barnette are reworked with pink aerosol paint and cheap rhinestones.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquiries, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.