Friday, October 12, 2012

R.D. Armstrong and the return of the LUMMOX Magazine

 When I first started the Lummox Press back in 1994, I still had my health and a job as a self-employed handyman. At that point, Lummox was a way to offset the costs of submitting poetry to magazines, etc. The Internet hadn’t really caught on yet and the idea of submission via email was still in its infancy. Now, it’s nearly twenty years later and I can’t imagine life without email or the cloud or all the other amazing things that we take for granted now, but that seemed so incredible back then, granted, there are still no flying cars, but…

Now, what defines my health has changed and I don’t really make much money as a handyman anymore, but the one constant in my life is my Lummox Press. It is my primary source of income and I feel as if I am on the verge of something incredible: a chance to actually make a living publishing what I love and want to – POETRY. Is it so far-fetched to think that this is possible? Most people I talk to about it seem to think so. But, maybe because I’m a dreamer, I think it can be done. All I know is that at the moment, the Lummox Press is working, and so am I.

LUMMOX magazine or LUMMOX, the anthology (I’m still not sure what to call it), is the latest in a series of attempts on my part to showcase the poetic talent that is thriving in this country and beyond. Back in the mid-nineties, I used to publish a little magazine (5.5 X 8.5 inches), with between 24 and 56 pages, which “explored the creative mind.” I did it monthly for eight years and bimonthly for three more. I’m still proud of my commitment to that monthly schedule…not bad for a slacker! The Lummox Journal paid for itself and even showed a modest profit, but eventually I lost interest in it. So at the end of 2006, it ended.

I felt bad about that, though most of my subscribers seemed to understand. I was burned out. I wanted to do something else. I needed a break. It was time to move on. Which I did. A few years later I began publishing a series of trade paperbacks by up and coming (mostly) poets. At the end of that year, my health took a dramatic turn and my life began to fall apart. But the one thing that held together was my belief in the Lummox Press. It has been my rock to cling to in times of self-doubt or when others have turned against me.

Over the past 4 years, I have put together an impressive catalog of over 30 titles in this particular series (with many more on the way). The jewel in this particular crown is the new annual magazine called LUMMOX. It is like the old Lummox Journal but on steroids! It has interviews, and essays, and reviews, and artwork, but mostly it has poetry…lots of poetry from all over the world! I hope the next issue will have even more from other countries world-wide and that LUMMOX will truly become a vehicle for poets worldwide to share their visions with each other.

RD Armstrong

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