Axolotl derives its name both from the small, aquatic salamander indigenous to Lake Xochimilco in México, and from Julio Cortázar’s short story of the same title. We love straddling languages and straddling locations; love magical realism, slipstream, and fabulism; love fiction, poetry, non-fiction, comics, lists, drama, sequential and non-sequential art, statues, trees, microfiction and prose poems.
We have no intention or desire to pinpoint a concrete definition of magical realism or of slipstream. These terms are slippery, much like our amphibious mascot. And though some might contend that the term “magical realism” applies only to a particular time and place in the geopolitical landscape of the literary world, we’re interested in continuing the legacy of those writers by providing a beautiful, completely bilingual magazine to publish both established and emerging writers that share our love for magical realism and its various iterations. We love the absurd, the surreal, and everything in between.
Luke Wortley\āxōlōtl\ hails from the Bluegrass, says yall a lot, and can whip up a fried chicken that’ll make a tomcat smack a bulldog. Luke came from a healthcare family in rural Kentucky and originally wanted to be an interventional radiologist…until he had a few concussions and forgot calculus. In response, he started playing with words. He holds a B.A. in Spanish, so he can accurately pronounce the word “axolotl.” He is the former fiction editor at Booth: A Journal and holds an M.F.A. from Butler University. His fiction has appeared in publications such as: Inch, Pea River Journal, Limestone, and Milkfist; his poetry was also a recipient of the 2016 Lascaux Poetry Prize (Lascaux Review). You can follow him on Twitter: @LukeWortley.
Zach Roth \ˈak-sə-ˌlä-təl\ is an East Coast transplant with a compulsion for late-night font download binges and an obsession with book design. A three-year veteran of Booth’s staff as both a prose and poetry reader, he was also the first employee of now-defunct Pressgang, spearheading several successful iterations of The Pressgang Prize, as well as designing the interior of Teresa Milbrodt’s Larissa Takes Flight, and the covers and interior of Jacob M. Appel’s Einstein’s Beach House. He most recently helped bring the interior of Indy Writes Books to life. His experience with the German language isn’t nearly as sexy or helpful as Luke’s Spanish.
Tana Oshima comes from the very Far East and is now living in the very Far West Coast of the United States. She spent over 15 years in Spain, her mother’s home country, where she ended up working for El Mundo newspaper as a culture and travel writer, and later as an environment correspondent.
She’s been working on a novel for three years.
She’s also a visual artist.
Her writing (on literature and music) has been published on Rolling Stone Spain, Jot Down Magazine and El Mundo, among others. Her artwork has appeared in Esquire, El Mundo, and some smaller, but really cool, publications such as Lockjaw Magazine (US), Stripnjak (BIH), and TikTok Comics (coming soon). Follow her on Twitter @tanaoshima.
If you have any questions related to our magazine, especially regarding submissions, please contact us via email, but please do not query about the status of your submission unless you have not received a response within three (3) months of submitting.
For all other correspondence, we prefer Twitter. So follow us, share stuff, and tweet generally ridiculous things at us. Chances are we’ll be procrastinating on our own writing and will respond at almost all hours.
We publish this magazine because we love literature, and we love our contributors. We don’t get much joy out of writing rejection letters or playing gate-keeper. That’s not why we started this. Plus, we’re writers, too, and we’ve both been published in several journals; trust us, we know how it goes. And we love this stuff so much that we keep it running largely out of our own pockets.
Yet, as much as we love it, we could always use yall’s help. Every donation is appreciated, and goes 100% to hosting, Submittable fees, and printing costs. We’ll do our best to get you a shoutout whenever we can on the blog and on Twitter. So click on the button to your right if you’d like to help us keep publishing the best in magical realism.
Big ups to Tink Tank for designing such a pliable, responsive theme. It’s no coincidence that we were able to customize a simple portfolio theme into a snazzy web presence for our magazine. Axolotl’s logotype is set in Herschel by Decade Type Foundry. The website is set in IM Fell DW Pica. The background hex is #FFF8E7 Cosmic Latte, otherwise known as the average color of the universe.