Jennifer E. Brown
Jan 21, 2023 · 2 min read

Publication in Digital Americana April 2015

The award winning literary journal Digital Americana published my piece "These Things Were Coming To The House" in April 2015.

"Digital Americana is an interactive journal of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art, & criticism first released in April 2010. For their innovation the editors of this independent journal have been nominated for Magazine launch of the year (new format) and Specialist magazine of the year by the Digital Magazine Awards. They also publish a print version through Hewlett Packard’s Mag Cloud publishing platform.
The Fall 2012 issue’s theme is redact. In conjunction with the new issue the journal also released a redesigned application that allows readers to redact material throughout available issues.

Readers can use the redaction software on the current or previous editions of the magazine. After the user has redacted parts of the page they can share their creation on Facebook, Twitter or as a photo on their camera. Digital Americana is also releasing another app called Redact! Which will allow readers to upload their own work to redact and play the Redact Challenge, “which is a visual poetry game, where we [the magazine] have provided the redactor with a set of words and various creative prompts to challenge them how they tackle redacting those same set of words . . . there are no points or ways to keep score, the only reward is if the user creates a poem they can appreciate or not.”

A thoughtful redaction requires a comfort and knowledge of the material we are hiding. Redaction’s focus on deletion rather than adding new works reminds us that every piece contains a multitude of poems, and that every experience is different. With redaction we can get an approximation of this literature of the multitudes.
The magazine’s goal “is to continue to experiment as much as we can in the hopes of marrying form & function… our focus is always on the ‘words’ and the contributor’s piece, as well as creating a unique literary and new kind of interactive experience.”

For the literary marketplace, Digital Americana represents the beginning of how we can re-envision the literary magazine. The magazine balances this new model of creation/consumption. The original text sits preserved in the code of the magazine. The redactions are only on the surface. They exist as snapshots of a conversation. Nothing is lost, just augmented and shared. The app reflects the new world of literature where the reader has the power and expectation to remix content and the author still yearns for a level of protection. It is audacious in its promise, but traditional in its format."