Friday, November 11, 2022

Six Questions for Fox Auslander and Bug, Editors, Delicate Friend

Warning: Adult Content

Delicate Friend publishes prose to 2,000 words, poetry, visual art, video and audio, and more. “Delicate Friend is an adult (18+) quarterly arts and literary magazine highlighting romance, yearning, eroticism, and other forms of desire and intimacy.” Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Fox Auslander & Bug: We were inspired to create Delicate Friend after someone tweeted, “all of the poetry that needed to be written already was […] you don’t need to f—- up this grand tradition talking about having sex with people you met on your iphone [sic].” We thought this sounded like a great idea for a magazine. Creating space for love and intimacy from the smallest bit of spite.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?

B: I really like things that put me in a space—when there’s something specific to see and feel, where I don’t get lost in a sea of concepts. 

FA: I enjoy pieces that play with cliché. We don’t agree with the sentiment that every “necessary poem” has already been written, but we also want to avoid publishing similar work in every issue, you know?

Finally, if you can make us belly-laugh, that’s an instant acceptance—but this sounds more like a response to a dating app prompt.

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

B: When someone only addresses one of us in their submission email. We’re the only two permanent editors, and we don’t even suggest cover letters, let alone require them. 

FA: People waxing poetic about “saving” sex workers… or praising themselves for finding trans people attractive. Before you submit to Delicate Friend, ask yourself if you’re the villain in your story. Then, and only then, send us your work.

SQF: What do you look for in the opening paragraph(s)/stanza(s) of a submission?

FA & B: This might sound repetitive, but we like to feel like we’re reading something fresh! We like strange settings and unexpected turns of phrase. How does your lived experience shape and guide your work?  

SQF: If Delicate Friend had a theme song, what would it be and why?

FA & B: Cbat” by Hudson Mohawke—no, we’re kidding, but we are a pair of clowns. “Verbatim” by Mother Mother feels much more representative of our contributors’ work. Is it straight? Is it gay? Who knows—but it’s loud, fun, and a little bit cocky.

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

B: How do you decide upon your alternating themes?

FA: Bug and I alternate responsibility when selecting themes and/or guest editors. 

Our themes can be split into two broad categories: those driven by aesthetics and those centering marginalized creatives. Issue #8: "ANTIMATTER," guest-edited by ale canales, blends them both well, though none of our themed issues necessarily lack one or the other. Above all, we’re creatures of impulse, and pursuing what feels good in the moment has brought in some amazing contributions.

Thank you, Fox and Bug. We all appreciate your taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.


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