Sunday, May 22, 2011

featured Mythium Poet: Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Novelist, poet, and essayist Mukoma Wa Ngugi is the author of Nairobi Heat (Penguin, SA 2009), an anthology of poetry titled Hurling Words at Consciousness (AWP, 2006) and is a political columnist for the BBC's Focus on Africa Magazine.  He was short listed for the Caine Prize for African writing in 2009.  He has also been shortlisted for the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing for his novel manuscript, The First and Second Books of Transition. Nairobi Heat is being released in the United States by Melville Publishing House September, 13 2011.
A former co-editor of Pambazuka News, his columns have appeared in the Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Chimurenga, Los Angeles Times, South African Labour Bulletin, and Business Daily Africa, and he has been a guest on Democracy Now, Al Jazeera and the BBC World Service. His essays have appeared in the World Literature Review, the Black Commentator, Progressive Magazine and Radical History Review.  His short stories have been published in Wasafiri, Kenyon Review and St. Petersburg Review and poems in the New York Quarterly, Brick Magazine, Kwani?, Chimurenga and Tin House Magazine amongst other places.
Mukoma was born in 1971 in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in Kenya before returning to the United States for his undergraduate and graduate education. He is currently based in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is the son of World renowned African writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o.  You can find his blog here.

here's a selection from his poem, Apprentice

            for my father’s 70th

One morning I burst into my father’s study and said
when I grow up, I too want to hunt, I want to hunt
words, and giraffes, pictures, buffalos and books

and he, holding a pen and a cup of tea said, little father,
to hunt words can be dangerous - but it is best to start
early. He waved his black bic-pen.  His office turned 

into Nyandarua forest.  It was morning.  The mist
was rising from the earth as sharp rays from sun fell hard
on the ground like nails.  Little father, do you see

him? No I said.  Look again – the mist is a mirror.
Now do you see him?  I looked again.  A Maasai warrior
tall as the trees spear in hand stood before me.

Shadow him, feign his movements, shadow him until
his movements are your movements.  Running my feet
along the leaves I walked to where he was, and crouched

like him so close to the earth, feet sinking deeper
into the earth as if in mud, slipping between the sun
and the wind into the mist till I became one with the forest.  


to view the rest of this poem in its entirety or to read other selections 
of Mukoma Wa Ngugi's poetry, please obtain a copy of Mythium #3.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Featured Mythium Writer: Debra Kang Dean

Issue #3 featured writers

This week: Debra Kang Dean

Debra Kang Dean has published three collections of poetry: Back to Back (NCWN, 1997), which won the Harperprints Poetry Chapbook Competition, judged by Ruth Stone; News of Home (BOA, 1998), which was co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motton Award, and Precipitates (BOA, 2003).

Her work has appeared in many journals and a number of anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 1999, The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology, Urban Nature: Poems about Wildlife in the City, and Yobo: Korean American Writing in Hawai‘i.

She is on the faculty of the Spalding University brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program, teaches online through the UCLA Extension School’s Writers’ Program, and is a contributing editor for Tar River Poetry.

Visit the contexts page to read about her participation in a 100-Day Program conducted by the Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School during the winter/spring of 2003. Or view a slide-show display of pictures she took from the same spot at Walden Pond between the 2001 winter solstice and 2002 vernal equinox—a project she started as one more way of extending lessons learned from the daily practice of taijiquan into other areas of her life.

She was married to the late Bradley P. Dean, a well-respected Thoreau scholar, for almost thirty years. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with Bashô and Cricket, their two cats.

For more information on Debra see her website here.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Penguin Mullet Bread

One of America's top poets, Nikky Finney, reads from her latest collection...
She honored us, submitting a terrific poem - Men Who Give Milk I - for Issue #2; an outstanding piece of work for which we nominated for Pushcart recognition along with the following list of writers and their works:

Bettina Judd, Joice Heth Catalogues The Skin - poem
Alison Roh Park, The Men with Sabers Fell Upon the Women - poem
Juyanne James, Salvia, Salvia - short story
Tony Robles, In My Country - short story
Tara L. Masih, Tracks and Traces - essay

we at mythium would like to thank not only our Pushcart nominees but all who have and continue to submit work for consideration within our pages...  ...Thank You.

and now, before this turns into a Sally Fields you like me moment, on with the show:

Friday, December 3, 2010

up to speed... (warp factor 6)

after several hectic weeks, ranging from office break-ins and server collapses to possum infestations
and the perfection of home-made tofurkey recipes, the dust has finally settled, gps co-ordinates have
been plotted, the sci-fi show fringe has returned from hiatus, we've finished binge viewing the bad girls
club, and now (ta-da!) starship mythium is once again on course.

this is where james t. kirk points abstractly in front of him and says with
machismo'd charm "take us... somewhere in that direction."

- the gps lady throws a fit, ordering chekov to "bust a legal U" the first chance he gets.

and though we (as creatives in general and specifically as editors) make a living giving in to
flights of fancy, this is indeed our labor of love... a very serious endeavor. we strive to continually
out-do our previous issue, bringing the best creative effort our contributors have to offer.

our goal is for this to be a labor of love for everybody. we're idealists who work hard to bring
daydreams into fruition. we do so for the benefit of the creatives entrusting us with their craft
(and also because we just love reading great literature!)

the carnival cruise has just turned into a hijacking. forgive us, we are literary pirates; you shouldn't
have been blinging your precious, shiny manuscripts so openly. (all your base ares belong to us!)

mythium issue #3 has just entered warp speed...

next stop, wait... is that a tribble?!?!

- hang on!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

social media

please feel free to friend us collectively on facebookmyspace and twitter

or individually:


(be warned: catching our attention via myspace these days is often a long-shot!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

reading period for issue #3 has closed...

september 1st was the cut-off;
any submissions received after that date will be considered for issue #4 spring/summer 2011.
reading period for that issue will not begin until late november at the earliest so it may not be until march of next year before all submissions are fully read-through, accepted or rejected.

if you've submitted work to us prior to Sept. 1st for issue #3 and have not received a response from us
as of October 1st, then please inquire at that time, particularly for fiction and creative non-fiction: we are a small crew and to fully absorb several dozen submissions of 20 pages or so requires an honest, thoughtful amount of time.

we would like to take this time to thank each and every writer who is currently participating in this process awaiting our responses.

- us, the editors.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

call for submissions!

whether you write seriously well or you feel serious about your writing, then you should submit to us...

nothing under the sun is new, but if you've developed an original perspective for your literary narratives, then we'd like to see. be nuanced. add insight. deconstruct your dilemmas and/or what you day-dream about, reconstruct it through words and pull us deeply within them.

or just ball it up and throw it at us as hard as you can... we'll catch, duck or knock it down.
(takes about 3 months)

send 3-5 of your best poems to

send fiction and creative nonfiction limited to 5,000 words to

send all emailed submissions as ATTACHED FILES ONLY!
submissions that are included as part of the body of your emails will automatically be rejected.

send physical manuscripts with s.a.s.e. respectively to -
     attn: poetry OR attn: fiction
     mythium literary journal
     1428 north forbes rd
     lexington, ky 40511

see our website for full guidelines.

subscription payments are accepted via paypal using as the account name.

issue 1.2 spring/summer

featuring the works of:

Nikky Finney, Bettina Judd, Ian Williams, Kimberly Alidio, Marcus Wicker, Sergio Ortiz, Octavio Quintanilla, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Derold Sligh, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Yalonda JD Green, Michelle Peñaloza, Kevin Vaughn, Carrza DuBose, Cynthia Parker-Ohene, Niki Escobar, Adrian Potter, Makalani Bandele, Alison Roh Park, M. Ayodele Heath, Radames Ortiz, Aisha Sharif, Stephanie Pruitt, F. Geoffrey Johnson, Sheila Smith McKoy, Kelli Stevens Kane, CB Strand, Melanie Henderson, Phillip B. Williams, L. Lamar Wilson, Mira Martin-Parker, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, and Ebony Golden

Juyanne James, Jacinda Townsend, Sanderia Faye Smith, Tony Robles, and Makuchi

Kalamu ya Salaam, Tara L. Masih, and Randall Horton 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the mission...

point blank, mythium is here to serve the needs of writers who are traditionally locked out of the mainstream outlets, meaning colored writers of various ethnic backgrounds and cultures who often are required to conform their narratives to 'universal standards' in order to be considered contemporary or relevant.

we just want you to be good at what you do, regardless of how you go about it.

bring us your oldwive's tales, your folklore, your mythologies, your memoirs, your literary endeavors, your out-right lies and outrageous truths and untruths... if you have a story to tell and come from a long line of long lines, then submit your stories and poems to us.

we can keep your secrets... (if 'keeping' means publishing your every word in a quality rag for the whole world to access, then yeah, that's what we mean!)

Friday, October 30, 2009

blog the first...

it's now official, our inaugural issue is now OUT for public consumption! there is a lot of love, appreciation and dedication that goes into the creation of a quality literary journal. it's a balancing act involving your own personal aesthetics & vision against the skill, competence and creativity of those submitting their work to you. it sounds cliché, but it's a 2-way trust that you hope is built upon; a creative push-and-shove that produces the best possible product to deliver to the waiting eyes of those starved for literature that reflects them and their experiences... or at least, gives them a working fantasy to opt into.

we appreciate the trust of the writers selected for our first issue and we hope they feel as honored to be in it as we are honored to have them...
(promised myself i wasnt gwan cry!)

mythium issue 1.1 fall/winter 2009
featuring the literary works of:

Michael Harper, Torie Michelle Anderson, David Keali'i, Ernest Williamson III, Opal Palmer Adisa, Kyla Marshell, Reginald Harris, Remica Bingham, Rickey Laurentiis, Sean Labrador y Manzano, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Andre Howard, Truth Thomas, Sankar Roy, Alan King, Tolu Jegade, Michael Martin, Tara Betts, Derrick Weston Brown, K. Danielle Edwards, Rane Arroyo, Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, Myronn Hardy, Peju Adeniran, Saudade, Shannon Gibney, Tuere T.S. Ganges, and Pamela Jackson