When I started Metatron, the vision was simple: I wanted to carve out a space for the kind of writing that was existing around me, both physically in Montreal as well as on the internet. I was sick of coming across literary 'gatekeepers' who represented tired sensibilities, and wanted to create an accessible and positive space for contemporary writing to exist within. Over the past 4 years there have certainly been successes for Metatron in this regard, but on the other hand there have also been failures and shortcomings both in and around the press and publishing world that have deepened my relationship to this project and challenged me in ways that have forced me to grow and expand my understanding of what writing and publishing is all about. It is these challenges and lessons that came with them that have inspired Metatron's latest project, ÄLPHÄ.
The blog portion of our website has been an integral part of Metatron since very early on in the life of our press (b. 2014). At first it was just ‘the Metatron blog’ but then I decided we needed to choose a distinct name and I easily fell on ÖMËGÄ, the twenty-fourth and last letter of the Greek alphabet. I find it curious that my intuition was to start with something that denotes the end of something.
The blog has always been a space that simply endeavored to create space for new voices to shine. Through ÖMËGÄ we have published 320 emerging writers from all around the world and carved out a digital space that houses an incredible archive of startling contemporary literature written by brave millennials. It is my hope that ÖMËGÄ helped create confidence in young, unpublished writers and introduced readers to voices they wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. We invite you to go back and read through the blog by following the link located in the footer of our (new!) website.
A vision was solidified on ÖMËGÄ that everyone we featured played a part in, and we have allowed this vision to inspire the conception of ÄLPHÄ. Counter to omega, alpha is the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet and, to me, connotes a fresh start; A gesture towards hope and togetherness. Over the past 4 years since we started this journey we’ve all, as a community, learned and changed so much, and I want Metatron to present contemporary literature in new, challenging and thoughtful ways that reflect that which we have collectively learned.
While the not-fun part of beginnings is endings, letting things go is a foundational part of inviting something new in. Sometimes, it seems, in order to truly begin we must put an end to something. While we say goodbye to ÖMËGÄ, we simultaneously welcome ÄLPHÄ.
The plan is to release 6 total issues of ÄLPHÄ in 2018, each with its own guest editor. Featuring poetry—yes, of course—but also videos, essays, reviews, sound pieces... We want to continue to discover new ways for poetry to exist in the world, and part of that is extending our understanding of what poetry is and can be.
Beyond creating space for writers, it is also my hope that ÄLPHÄ can be a space for editors and curators to explore and experiment as well. Our first guest editor is Alain Ginsberg. I’ve known Alain online through their poetry for the last year and a bit. I think they are a really important voice out there at the moment, and I’m honoured that they agreed to lend a hand in shaping the first issue. It was a complete joy working with them on this issue. Everything flowed together in an incredibly inspiring, organic and natural manner. Everyone in this issue blew us aware with the way they think and feel their selves through the world. Please feel free to read Alain's introduction to the issue for more context on what this first issue, Into Forever, is all about.
'Alpha' has its inherent connotations. Typically, ‘alpha’ individuals have greater access to power and money, which they usually gain through aggression, control, intimidation, and domination. This type of power robs sensitive and empathetic living beings from being and expressing our multi-dimensionality and grossly underestimates what we are capable of being and becoming.
It is my hope with ÄLPHÄ, and the world at large, that we can take power away from force and bring it back to love. I want to use this space to appropriate the word alpha and to reclaim what we perceive as 'power', free from aggression, control, intimidation and domination.
The intentions for ÄLPHÄ are to create a digital record of the longings, fears and fantasies of those who need and dare to believe in a better world, one that can only be found through self-expression. To amplify new, diverse voices and ways of thinking that may help us get somewhere softer. We want to publish work that embodies the positive aspects of an ‘alpha’ personality—confidence, braveness, magnetism, strength, perseverance, sense of purpose—but bring a gentleness to it. What does a soft version of ~alphaness~ look like and where can it take us?
I recently tweeted 'Why isn't poetry a bigger part of everything?' I loved the answer we got from @livinlela: "because we tried to make it 'a part' of things when it is EVERYTHING." Poetry is a frequency that connects us to one another and the world around us, and ÄLPHÄ is a place for us gentle warriors fighting for self-expression within a culture that listens, loves, and understands. It is ambient ammunition.
ÄLPHÄ is Metatron’s vision for the future of literature. We hope you enjoy what you experience here and that ÄLPHÄ can express a new way of living, being and belonging in this world that we’ve all been dreaming of... A collective dream worth dreaming.