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Cavalier Literary Couture

Established by emerging writers in New York City and Washington D.C, CAVALIER LITERARY COUTURE is a literary venue and lifestyle brand that publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in a number of unconventional forms. In addition to our lavish print magazine, we provide an exciting social context and physical counterpart to the literary experience through our readings, online magazine, fabulous parties, and handmade accessories. Run by artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, and scholars (as well as writers), CAVALIER LITERARY COUTURE aims to enlarge the literary community in America and create a splendid space for the craft of writing.

As far as our editorial focus goes, we appreciate cleanly written, character-driven stories but are very open to experimental work. Like other editors, we are looking for originality of perception and facility with language. Linguistic pyrotechnics and verbal exuberance are particularly welcome with us (we have a high tolerance for cerebral cleverness and showiness). The plain, understated, and "pretentiously unpretentious" look of many literary magazines (while very classy) is not for us. We seek to be a sanctuary for all artifice and illusion, a home for those who follow their bliss and take "play" seriously. "Makers" of all suits and sizes are beloved by us. We love the muscular, significant, and politically aware. But the slight, introspective, psychological, ornate, improbable, overblown, coincidental, programmatic, pretentious, perfect, romantic, and symmetrical may have a place with us, too. We believe there are unexplored ways of presenting and packaging literature and that presentation itself is a neglected art.


Among other things, we have a penchant for the eccentric, and marvelous--the snuff bottle painted from within (housing a fleet of tiny wooden ships); the finely-chiseled jade lamb chop (set beneath such flattering light as to appear edible); the "puzzle-jug," with its bizarre intestinal maze, requiring users to discover the exact angle at which it should be tilted for drinking... Useless, good-for-nothing prodigy things that exist for the sake of themselves. Let these exist as metaphors for some of the literary objects we admire (though we will not limit ourselves to that aesthetic). As for landscapes, give us the grotesque and bewildering, the overgrown and past-its-prime (everything which is magnificent in its pathos or pathetic in its magnificence), the crumbling theater and deserted funhouse... 

We like to ask ourselves impossible questions and answer them literally. How would you embed an epic in an instant? Or tell a story entirely with footnotes? Or catalog descriptions? Or lists?



Once-upon-a-time, poetry was a vital part of mainstream life, and one could make a living selling short stories. Now poets and fiction writers are mostly read by other poets and fiction writers. Despite the proliferation of MFA programs and literary journals, creative writing has become increasingly inward and confined to itself in recent decades. All ok, nothing wrong with that (aside from the fact that it limits opportunities for writers as well as the spiritual and intellectual riches available to the greater public), but we who love tackling the status quo and who question all establishments, including literary ones want to see if things can be jostled a bit, if poetry and fiction can be thrust back into the lusty materiality and full-bloodedness of real life.

Hence our experiment: to run a literary business with the spirit of a robust corporation--to use words like "lifestyle" and "brand" along with "poetry" and "ekphrasis." To imbue the business of literary publishing with the kind of excitement and glamour now reserved for that part of the world which is governed by time and money. To reassert the importance of the humanities and expand the audience for literary art. Why "couture"? Because stories and poems are "handmade" and one-of-a-kind. And what could be more "glamorous" than literature? More thrilling, more forbidden, and more dangerous? 

Read on... Tell us how we're doing... Submit your work... Follow us on Twitter... Join us on Facebook... And subscribe--we can't survive without you!






*Please note that the views expressed above are those of the founding editors and do not reflect the opinions of the writers published in either our online or print venues.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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