There are certain people around the state that New Jersey Stage likes to keep an eye on and Chris Rockwell is one of them. He's a spoken word poet and hip-hop artist from the Jersey Shore who has organized cultural events throughout the tri-state area for over a decade. His latest project is called Soup Can Magazine, a printed publication featuring poetry and art which will be published quarterly. We reached out to him to learn more about the magazine.
What inspired you to create the magazine? How long have you thought about creating one?
It's an art and poetry magazine, primarily featuring writers and artists from NJ. I'm usually curating art shows and hosting music/poetry events, but when the pandemic swept all the gigs away and venues had to close, I started thinking of ways I could bring everyone together despite the distance and seclusion. This seemed like the best bet.
This is a printed magazine, right? Where will it be available?
It's actually going to be available solely in print, full color, matte finish cover with semi gloss pages.. This is meant to be a little subversive and even regressive, so the only way you'll be able to read SOUP CAN is by ordering one or going to a store to pick up a copy. We are working on subscriptions, and they'll be available soon!
Who are the people with contributions in the first issue?
There are 25 contributors from across the country, including poet laureates, photographers, musicians, and even fashion designers.
What is your submission process? How can people submit work to you?
All you have to do is visit our website or send your poems or art to firstname.lastname@example.org! We're going to have a dedicated email for the soon, but as of right now our gmail inbox is open!
What are you looking for or hoping to get as submission? Is there a theme per issue?
The general theme of the magazine is counter culture. We're going to be giving a platform to people of color, LGBTQ+, women, people with disabilities, and other hard working independent creators who are deserving of more visibility. This is meant to disrupt institutional and systemic racism, misogyny, toxic masculinity, and bigotry. Hate has no home in our culture.
What do you hope readers take away from this mag?
I hope they find a voice that speaks to them. I want this progressive, dedicated, and compassionate generation to feel seen and heard. I want them to become even more motivated to disrupt oppressive systems through their poetry, art, and song.
A former Poet Laureate of Asbury Park, Rockwell has shared stages with Nappy Roots, Sage Francis, Keith Murray, Joe Budden, Das Efx, Alien Ant Farm, and Bootsy Collins. He has since toured the country, dropped albums, published books, and crashed diners. For more on him, visit MrChrisRockwell.com