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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Donnelly’

Mission & State Open for Investigative & Narrative Business

Mission & State, the much anticipated content operation headed by former Slake Media founder and LA Weekly editor Joe Donnelly, promises “narrative journalism from the heart of Santa Barbara.” Among the articles dotting today’s official website launch is a shining freelance example by Jervey Tervalon of that motto.

The New Orleans born, LA raised Tervalon was very much an African-American anomaly when he decided to study at UCSB in the 1970s. He frames the city’s homogeneous demographics with various anecdotes and reminiscences, including this ugly and embarrassing SBPD episode:

Not that Santa Barbara was immune from the sort of de rigueur profiling we were used to back in Los Angeles. I speak, of course, of the infamous Harlem Globetrotters arrests in 1984 when Santa Barbara’s finest, in a desperate search for black men of average height who had pulled a jewelry heist on State Street, apprehended at gunpoint three Globetrotters who happened to average 6 feet, 5 inches.

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Travel Writing

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Slake is Still Alive and Kicking

With founding editors Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly landing jobs at the LA Times and the Santa Barbara start-up Mission and State respectively, the fate of their LA-literary magazine Slake seemed to be in doubt. That was until today, when Donnelly sent around a link to a GOOD magazine grant campaign–which Slake hopes to be the beneficiary of.

Looks like it’s one of those social media, most votes gets the cash deals. So if you want to see Slake in print again, like we do, vote here.

Joe Donnelly Opts for Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative

UC Berkeley Master’s journalism grad Joe Donnelly has spent the bulk of his career working for instantly recognizable local outlets: the LA Times, LA Weekly and quarterly Slake. But now it’s time for something a little different in the form of a tremendous enterprise journalism opportunity.

Donnelly has been hired by the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative to be the non-profit organization’s inaugural executive editor. From yesterday’s announcement:

“It became clear from our first conversations with Joe that he believed strongly in the collaborative opportunities the initiative could and should pursue with established area media outlets,” said Steven Ainsley, board chairman for the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative. “This will be an important driver for everything the initiative hopes to accomplish and it was critical the editor understood this. Joe clearly endorses this approach.””

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New LA Weekly Editor is Owner’s Ex-Girlfriend

Wow. Neon Tommy’s Benjamin Gottlieb dug up a rather sensational scoop in a well-reported story on incoming LA Weekly editor-in-chief Sarah Fenske. It turns out that back when Fenske was a columnist for the Phoenix New Times a few years ago, she dated Mike Lacey–owner of the Weekly‘s parent company Village Voice Media.

This guy:

“We haven’t been involved for years,” Fenske told Neon Tommy. “I would hope that my work would stand for itself.”

Fair enough. Gross though. Very gross.

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Slake Launches New Issue With a Bang

Lit journal Slake throws a big to-do every time they launch a new issue, and the events are becoming something of a staple with the local literati. Friday night the mag took over the Atwater Crossing courtyard to celebrate issue #3, and FishbowlLA braved the weekend’s heatwave to work the crowd.

More pics from Friday’s festivities after the jump.

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Last Night: Slake Lundi Gras Party at The Bootleg


Slake threw a big New Orleans-themed Lundi Gras party at The Bootleg theater last night. A good time had by all. Slake co-founder Joe Donnelly told us it was the lit mag’s best event yet, and we would be hard-pressed to disagree. Well over 100 people showed for an evening of art, essays, film and music–if not literally than spiritually–from the Big Easy.

The evening centered around Slake contributors Matjames and Hank Cherry, who both came to LA from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

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Slake Launch Party Draws Ginormous Crowd

Local literary journal Slake celebrated the publication on its second issue with a bash at the Track 16 art gallery in Santa Monica. Well over 700 partygoers showed for the shindig, which included readings by Slake contributors Rachel Resnick, James Greer, John Albert, Amy Scattergood, and FishbowlLA’s own Matthew Fleischer. We were bursting with pride over our little Matty, who drew laughs and hoots from the crowd with his reading of “Mushrooms to Mecca.” An excerpt:

In some countries they call pigeons squab and eat them as a delicacy. In America, we tend to let them feed on our scraps and then get pissed when they shit on our cars — a resource turned into a filthy, disease-ridden nuisance. You can learn a lot about a place by its birds.

And here’s our editor celebrating a reading well read. More pics after the jump.

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Slake Debuts Its Second Issue Tomorrow Night at Track 16

Slake is throwing a huge bash for the release of its second issue “Crossing Over” tomorrow night at the Track 16 gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.  She Wants Revenge’s Justin Warfield will be DJing, there will be readings from various Slake contributors (your humble Fishie included if he can keep his shit together) and we’ve also gotten wind of something about free whoopie pies.

We spoke with editors Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa last night, who told us nearly 700 people have already RSVP’d. Looks like it will be a great time.

RSVP here. Party starts at 7.

Sam Slovick On the Homophobia that Threatened Slake’s Second Issue

Yesterday, Fishbowl LA reported that the upcoming issue of Slake had been delayed by two to three weeks because various printers across the United States refused to publish the book–citing “explicit material” from Sam Slovick‘s story “Tommy Crow,” which contains one line depicting gay sex.

This is the line in question:

“We sit in silence in the backseat for an hour before he spits in my hand, rubs it on my dick and slides it in his ass.”

The printers had no objections to several graphic descriptions of heterosexual sex in the book. We asked Slovick about the blatant homophobia at play. He responded that while he’s faced homophobia before, he never expected get any flack over “Tommy Crow.”

“It never occurred to me that there was anything offensive in there,” he says. “This is a love story–a first love story. It’s semi-autobiographical…I understand the homophobic matrix. It’s not interesting. It’s kind of redundant. I don’t pay any attention to it. But this comes from left field.”

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Homophobic Printers Held Up Slake’s Second Issue

At long last, the second issue of Slake is back from the printer and will be unveiled at an event at the Track 16 gallery on January, 22. We here at Fishbowl LA were more than excited when we got the press release, but were a bit confused when we noticed it contained the following odd caveat:

Slake No. 2 was delayed when several domestic facilities 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.”

We called Slake‘s Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa for an explanation.

“We have a print broker, and they have clients they use for print jobs,” Donnelly told us. “We’d been scheduled to print in Illinois. But the day we were supposed to go to press–the same day Obama signed the DADT repeal as it happens–we got a call from our broker saying there was an ‘interesting development.’

The Illinois printer refused to print the work due to a line depicting gay sex. Slake‘s broker sent the issue to clients in New Mexico and Kentucky, “but the material was ‘too explicit,’” says Donnelly. “One or two lines in a 6,000 word story.”

So what was the offending prose?

“We sit in silence in the backseat for an hour before he spits in my hand, rubs it on my dick and slides it in his ass.”

Really? That’s it?

“If it were a teenage boy and girl and no one would care,” insists Ochoa, noting that one story in the same issue has a sex scene far more graphic than Slovick’s, depicting heterosexual sex. The printers had no objection on that one.

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