Categories
Uncategorized

We Stand With Our Community.

We Stand With Our Black Community, Now & Forever.

Lucky Jefferson (LJ) stands for and with the Black community.

It should be no secret that we take acts of brutality against our community very seriously and to heart. Since our founding, we have dedicated our work to consistently publishing writers of color and increasing the presence of Black authors and professionals in the literary and publishing community. Being also founded by women of color, the issues that affect one impacts us dually and personally; we are committed to upholding the work required to one day see unequivocal equality for all.

We stand with the people risking their lives to vocalize our pain; who stand unflinchingly on the front lines; who see and hear us. We stand with you! 

Black lives will matter today and forever, as all lives should.

We appreciate the support of our LJ family and your patience as we purposely shift publication timelines to let the voices of our people and greater community ring. We hope that during this troubling period you join us as an ally and not only listen, but find ways to support your community so that we might see better days and true justice.

Respectfully,

NaBeela Washington, Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Lucky Jefferson

Categories
Uncategorized

Poet Feature:

Swapnil Dhruv Bose

This summer, we’ll be featuring different poets, writers, and artists to foster constructive and inclusive conversations around new works, provide greater context for newly published pieces, and generate increased visibility for writers and artists amidst global disruption. For our very first feature, we’ll be highlighting budding poet Swapnil Dhruv Bose.

Swapnil Dhruv Bose is an English Literature student at Presidency University, Kolkata. He loves playing chess and is a massive fan of Charlie Kaufman’s screenplays and the work of Samuel Beckett. He has been published in Ohio State University’s literary journal Asterism. He hopes to become a professor of postmodern literature someday.

Check out his poem Counterfeit Children, a poem selected for inclusion in Lucky Jefferson’s 365 Collection, and his break down of the piece below:

Counterfeit Children

I got a landmine for my last birthday.
She ordered me to plant it in our yard.
The government had given it away
Because it lost its citizenship card.

They send a maintenance team once a year
To make sure we kneel before it and pray.
I had to sell the new car and my ear,
Only to stuff our dilated mouths with clay.

The neighbours hide in Papier-mâché shelters
When we light pink flares in our garden.
They complain about the fire hazards.
I smile and hide it in our oven.

She scratched out each number on its skin.
We put a dress on it and named it “Fin”.

First stanza: I wanted to address the significant political atrocity that has been occurring since the end of 2019. The government passed a law called the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which grants citizenship based on religious orientation, and therefore discriminates on that very basis. They demand documents to prove that one is a citizen but in a country like India, many people do not have proper documents. On top of that, the entire process of being documented is often abused and sometimes citizenship cards are issued in the name of Hindu Gods.

My main motive was to talk about how the government’s priorities regarding citizenship criteria leads to the retroactive creation of corrupt economies. The bomb becomes a locus of mortality anxiety as well as xenophobia. It is not acknowledged by the government as a useful resource as soon as it loses what lends it subjectivity: its nationality (according to the government’s definition). It becomes the “Other”.

Second Stanza: I wanted this stanza to focus on how the landmine slowly demolishes all feelings of security. The maintenance team (of domestic explosive devices) that arrives to take care of the bomb does not care about the technical details but rather the ideological conformity of its caretakers, to make sure they do not use it against the government while making them feel as if the government cares about them. To pay for the maintenance, the speaker has to sell himself off in pieces within a year of receiving it. 

With this, I wanted to talk about how unfair it is for the underprivileged to pay taxes just to see their hard-earned money go to the Defense Budget instead of actual welfare programs; instead of superficial ones like the Bomb Maintenance Squad.

Third Stanza: For this stanza, I wanted to develop the idea of the neighborhood as a microcosmic reflection of the general population. The neighbors project all their xenophobic anxiety towards the undocumented bomb while hiding in dysfunctional shelters provided by the government. They survive because of this false sense of security as well. 

The speaker lights “pink” flares (the government does not provide red ones in order to dismiss any lit flares during emergencies as celebratory) to draw attention to his dire condition but the maintenance team has already visited this year. Therefore, the government can justify neglecting the ones who need help. The neighbors protest against the lighting of the flares when they should be protesting the existence of the bomb, but they don’t because the government has taught them that bombs are good, people are bad.

Categories
Uncategorized

Exposed Poets Announced!

Exposed is a very powerful issue in that it takes the act of testifying and need to tell our individual stories, stories we saw boldly professed in our breakthrough issue Testament, to reveal the hues of our souls—hues that not only capture the light we all experience in this life, but also the darkness of such an experience.

We wanted writers to reach deep within themselves and expose the very depth of these stories, no matter what that looked like. While it’s important to acknowledge the good that encapsulates us all, it’s equally valuable that we not overlook the details that aren’t always so glamorous because, in reality, it’s generally those things that make us the people we are in this very moment.

We’re excited to welcome new poets to Lucky Jefferson and generate even more support for those not as new to the writing community.

Take a peek at some of the poets in this issue here and order Exposed for your own chance to hold these stories in your hands and experience a new kind of journal here.  

We will continue our search for empowering poems in April, as we gear up for our Summer 2020 issue, Labyrinth.

We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we do!

NaBeela Washington, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Categories
Uncategorized

Lucky Jefferson Announces Student Relief Fund

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Lucky Jefferson has created the Lucky Jefferson Student Relief Fund to support students affected by COVID-19.

The Lucky Jefferson Student Relief Fund will award aid between $25 and $100 to students who live in the Boston, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C., and Maryland area whose well-being and lives are being adversely impacted by COVID-19.

With students being forced out of dorms and off-campus and experiencing a shift in their education resulting in courses being taken online, without much technological preparation, students are now at risk of:

  • losing scholarships
  • access to resources to support their overall well-being and studies
  • experiencing temporary or permanent homelessness
  • forfeiting their college education altogether

The Lucky Jefferson Student Relief Fund will begin awarding aid and open applications on March 23 to affected students.  The Lucky Jefferson Student Relief Fund will remain open until May 1, 2020, or as funds are available. 

“It’s important that we help others outside of simply sharing and promoting their work. Lucky Jefferson wants to make sure people can continue being successful despite what’s happening around us,” said NaBeela Washington, Founder of Lucky Jefferson.

The Lucky Jefferson Student Relief Fund would be available to provide aid for the following:

  • Meals/Groceries
  • Transportation
  • Moving/Storage Expenses
  • Tech/Software Needed To Go Remote
  • Costs Incurred From Classes That Are Canceled Or Inaccessible 
  • Loss Of Income From Work-study & TA Programs


Applications will be made available on Monday, March 23 and are expected to close on May 1.

To support our efforts and make a donation, please visit: http://bit.ly/luckyjeffersonstudentrelieffund

——

Press Contact:

NaBeela Washington, Founder, Editor-in-chief

aid@luckyjefferson.com

Categories
Uncategorized

Testament Poets Announced!

Poets for our breakthrough Fall issue, Testament, have officially been announced!

Testament was born out of a need to explore how our stories set us apart and unite us through shared experiences, emotions, and beliefs. We sought to bring poets and writers from around the world together to reverberate their testimonies.

It’s critical that we never forget where we’ve come from and how the paths we navigate in this life ultimately forge unique identities that will transcend the words we put on paper and legacies we forge. 

This first issue is comprised of poets new to Lucky Jefferson, many of which have never been published, an important aspect of the issues we publish. 

Take a peek at some of the poets in this issue here and order Testament for your own chance to hold these stories in your hands and experience a new kind of journal here.  

We plan to return to our on-going search of empowering poems in December, as we gear up for our Spring 2020 issue, Exposed.

Enjoy!

NaBeela Washington, Founder & Editor-in-Chief