Former LA Weekly editor is back in print with Slake


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Coming from Los Angeles on June 30: a new literary magazine, Slake. It contains work by Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold, “House of Leaves” novelist Mark Z. Danielewski and author of the drugs-and-Alf memoir “Permanent Midnight” Jerry Stahl, among others, to kick off the debut issue.

Slake is edited by former LA Weekly staffers Laurie Ochoa, the alt-weekly’s longtime editor, and Joe Donnelly, its deputy editor, both of whom left after changes implemented by new ownership.


“Everyone talks about print being gone already, but it’s not gone, it’s still here,” Ochoa told Brand X. “And we don’t want to give up on it.”

“To be honest, we got tired of people complaining that print is dead, that culture is dead -- that writing is dead,” Donnelly added. “We wanted to get up and take action.”

Ochoa knew how to reach Gold -- they’re married. Many of the other writers in the first issue passed through the pages of the LA Weekly, including John Powers, Judith Lewis and National Book Critics Circle Award nominee Michelle Huneven. Slake’s first issue, “Still Life,” also includes photographs and art -- including work by Sandow Birk.

The first issue, which is perfect-bound and a hefty 232 pages, is designed to make a statement: that print is beautiful and long-form journalism is viable. So far, the best way to find Slake on the Web is this Facebook page, and Brand X has a preview of Danielewski’s piece, a meta-interview about reading and poetry.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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