underbelly

Magazine Stand :: underbelly

underbelly online literary magazine logo image

underbelly is a unique online publication with the goal “to bring to the surface what we often strive to make invisible: the joyful, arduous, miraculous, by turns tender and brutal process of shepherding a poem from its primal state to its final state.” Since 2018, Co-founders Maya Marshall and Marty McConnell have been inviting writers to share poems and micro-essays – not just in their final form, but also with the veil lifted “to undo the notion that poems always or even usually arrive perfect and whole from the genius mind of the writer.” Each contributor offers the “backstory” of the work along with one or more drafts side-by-side with the final version.

Again, the founders say, the goal is to satisfy the desire to “know how [the poem] came to be. In workshops and classrooms, we analyze the end product, often hazarding guesses about how a poem began or what forms it may have taken along the way.” Being able to see the writing process – or at least portions of it – is a way “to reassure ourselves and others who seek to improve their craft or understanding that the magic of writing and revision is a practical magic — one that can be taught, practiced, and hopefully maybe possibly even someday mastered.”

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