We’re thrilled to announce that the second issue of Slake: Los Angeles will arrive at bookstores in early February. We hit a bit of an unforeseen speed bump after we sent the book to press (read on for more details), but the Slake gears are now in motion! For those of you who aren’t within easy reach of one of our fine indie book-selling partners, Issue 2 is available for preordering at the Slake Shop. And we hope you’ll join our Issue 2 launch party at Track 16 in Santa Monica on January 22!
The issue’s theme, “Crossing Over,” takes on many manifestations through the 248-page book, and includes several border stories: Ben Ehrenreich reports from Arizona’s increasingly militarized Mexican frontier, Orange County Register immigration reporter Cindy Carcamo follows a deportee home to Guatemala, and Daniel Hernandez writes about the cultural dissonance of being a SoCal Mexican American in Mexico City. The new Slake also has a thirty-two-page special section on New Orleans in which the artist Matjames tells of surviving Katrina and coming to L.A. in spectacular ink images, and writer Hank Cherry returns to New Orleans from Los Angeles to report on the friends he left behind and the ripple effects of the murder of artist and filmmaker Helen Hill.
Slake No. 2 was delayed when presses in Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri refused to print the book over concerns about Sam Slovick’s short story “Tommy Crow,” which includes a brief sex scene between two gay teenagers. Slake’s print broker, Four Colour USA, eventually sent the book to the same press in South Korea that printed the first issue.
Editors Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa expect the second issue to build on the success of Slake No. 1, which sold well in Southern California and elsewhere in the country. We’re proud to say that Issue 1:
• Appeared on the L.A. Times bestseller list four times
• Hit bestseller lists at Southern California independent bookstores Skylight Books in Los Feliz, Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park, Book Soup in West Hollywood and Diesel, A Bookstore, in Brentwood
• Was distributed to iconic indie stories nationwide, including City Lights in San Francisco, Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Tattered Cover in Denver, Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago, St. Mark’s Bookshop in New York, and Books & Books in Miami.
More highlights from the second issue:
• Poet and New Yorker writer Dana Goodyear crosses the psychic and physical landscape of freeways.
• Novelist and former Guided By Voices bassist James Greer provides some fictional sleight-of-hand.
• Justin Warfield, of the L.A. band She Wants Revenge, examines the life and tragic death of pro surfer Andy Irons in the context of his epic rivalry with Kelly Slater.
• Hung’s Lauren Weedman opens up about true love, forming new families, and Pittsburgh.
• Cult-movie queen, Exploding Plastic Inevitable dancer, and painter Mary Woronov tells all about her past as a world-class cougar.
• Photographer Anne Fishbein and writer Elizabeth Banicki show life on the backside of Southern California’s racetracks.
• Joseph Mattson recovers a lost night in a Chinatown opium den.
• Matthew Fleischer sets out on foot for Mecca … California.
• John Albert takes a ride back in time with Van Halen.
Noted special-effects master Len Burge presents his vision of the god particle.
• Laurie Ochoa and Geoff Nicholson explore Charles Bukowski’s controversial literary legacy.
• Joe Donnelly and Harry Shannon take a noirish visit to a psychologist’s office.
• Photographer Johannes Spalt goes subterranean to unearth a hidden L.A. art gallery.
• Margaret and Christine Wertheim begin a movement to knit an endless coral reef.
• Rachel Resnick meditates on family, suicide, and home butchery.
• More poetry, fiction, and memoir by Dana Johnson, Yxta Maya Murray, Jackie Gorman, Victoria Patterson, Amy Scattergood, Lawrence Wilson, Laurie Wheeler, Joe Donnelly, and Hank Cherry.
• More photography and paintings by Sage Vaughn, C. R. Stecyk III, Elyse Pignolet, Arlie John Carstens, Harry Chandler, Ingrid Allen, Michelle Pullman, Devri Richmond, Kelly Fajack, and Erin Ferro.
The Slake party season is once more upon us! Our events team are working on several readings and parties to celebrate Issue 2. The ever-evolving calendar includes:
• January 22: Launch party at Track 16 gallery, Bergamot Station in Santa Monica; RSVP here
• January 30: Reading at Hotel Cafe, Hollywood
• February 13: Reading at Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena
• February 26: Reading at Skylight Books, Los Feliz
When Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa started Slake last year, they knew that L.A. deserved such a publication, but they and the rest of the staff are still inspired by the reception the first issue has received. At our events, on Facebook and Twitter, and in chance encounters, we’ve heard repeatedly that “L.A. needs something like Slake.” We’re going to continue to fulfill that need, but we don’t mind asking for something in return: your support. The staff celebrates every time we sell a subscription or sponsorship, because those are what make Slake possible. Please give us and the rest of Los Angeles further reasons to celebrate by visiting the Slake Shop and making a purchase; or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on becoming a Friend of Slake (individual memberships start at $50). Thank you!