Welcome back to hellscape's meet the editors series- an opportunity to get to know little more about the staff & what they're looking for in a submission. This week we are happy to introduce you to co-founder & co-editor in chief, Shaun Holloway (interviewed by Rhōdes)!
So... Who even are you?
Role:Co-Founder & Co-editor in Chief
Name: Shaun Holloway
Likes:Avocados, staying inside, nightcore Christmas music
Dislikes:pasta, the sun, nightcore Christmas music (it’s complicated)
Where did you spend your childhood? I grew up in Annandale, Virginia.
& where do you find yourself now?I’m in Fairfax, Virginia. So, basically the same place.
Did you go anywhere in between now & then? Well, I spent time in Florida to get my B.A. in Philosophy from Eckerd College, & then I moved to Los Angeles to try & make it on my own, and when that failed I lived in rural Massachusetts before getting accepted into the MFA program in poetry at GMU.
So, what do you here & do you have a life outside hellscape? I don’t do much so it’s kind of amazing that I’m doing anything at all. Here’s hoping that I don’t get winded working on Hellscape! But I write poetry for now. I read for all the journals at Mason (Phoebe, So To Speak, Stillhouse Press).
Tell me about your animal companions! I have one cat, Achilles, & he likes to drink water. He is currently in the placeholder picture for members of our staff that have not sent in pictures for their bios. (& pictured above)
Let's talk about hellscape?
What does hellscape mean to you? Hellscape can be a variety of things. The most broad definition is a sublime horror that one feels when going through their lives. The moments where your mind is holding you captive, when the universe teases meaning but it’s always out of reach, these are some examples. I think Hellscape is another way to talk about liminality, of being part of something but also outside of it. But it doesn’t have to be a bleak pessimism with no positive thesis, it can be the emptiness of the page that allows for creativity, the fear of annihilation that allows for the creation of our own meaning.
What's your Hellscape? It’s probably more of a minor annoyance to everyone else but advertising is my hellscape. I hate watching ads, I hate the fear that they cultivate that you’re missing out, I hate the inherent lie of every ad that this product will make your life “better,” how they fail to expand on what a “better” life includes.
Who lives in your “Hellscape”? What populates it?
“Hellscape is other people-scape.”
-Jean Paul Sartre-scape
What is hellscape Press to you? Hellscape Press is a place where art that concerns horror in a psychological and existential sense can exist and be discussed/understood away from typical discursive models of understanding like argument and debate. Art helps us to make something of our lives, and I’m hoping that this journal can be a space where we can look at and examine the “what” in what makes us recoil in fear in a new way. It is also a place where we can celebrate good work that deals with the above discussed themes.
How does hellscape Press relate to hellscapes? Hellscape Press is the vehicle that goes out into Hellscapes. It’s the Mystery Van on the roadtrip through 21st century sublime horror, the diving suite we don to plumb the depths of the mind and come back with gleaming pearls of terror. It’s almost as bad as these metaphors.
Why did you create hellscape Press? I helped create it because the world needed it.
What is important about hellscape Press to you? I’d like to echo the sentiments of co/founder and co/editor in chief Rhodes in that Hellscape is a place to give voice to those who experience trauma and injustice. It’s also a place where we can listen & learn.
Tell us something fun!
What are you reading right now? I’m reading Luminous Debris by Gustaf Sobin and Fast by Jorie Graham.
What do you do when you're not working? Mostly reading and writing, watching TV and movies. Eating, making stuff, not making stuff.
What is one thing you cannot live without (& don't say something snarky like oxygen)? Laughter. And good libraries, or one good library with an excellent inter-library loan system.
What your plans for the future? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Maybe a PhD program, but I doubt that that’ll be a “ticket” to not being an adjunct in the 2-3 years it would take for me to finish. Maybe I’ll just disappear into some cornfields in the mid-West instead.