By Tyler Webb
An experimental new literary journal, run by two Texas A&M Liberal Arts students, is serving as a medium for the local artistic minds.
The editor-in-chief is Davis Land, a junior telecommunication media studies major, who, along with managing editor and senior English rhetoric major James Leaf, founded Alien Mouth in 2014 as a platform for artists to display their visual or written art.
The publication was previously titled, ok so you know how the world is mostly water and your body is mostly water well I’d be willing to bet that in the end pretty much everything is mostly water— or Mostly Water for short. But Land said the original title held no significance aside from being the first idea he had right before printing the first issue, and it was soon changed to Alien Mouth.
“Alien Mouth comes from this character I started drawing on envelopes as we shipped orders out,” Land said. “It was some weird looking alien guy, with a very distinctive mouth. Using it as the name was James Leaf’s idea.”
As an active member of the Texas slam poetry scene and the poetry editor for the campus literary magazine The Eckleburg Project, Land is heavily involved in the growing art community in Bryan-College Station. The creation of Alien Mouth was meant to bridge the gap between many various art forms and promote boundless artistic expression.
“People do not think of A&M as a place that art can even exist, not to mention flourish, and I wanted to act counter to that idea,” Land said. “In the end, I just want to make something cool with some cool people. Hopefully along the way some of the writers and artists we’re publishing gain a new fan or two.”
Besides written poetry, the publication includes a wide variety of art ranging from Snapchat pictures to DIY art spaces. The journal is known for not targeting one specific art form; there are no limitations.
“There’s of course a whole spectrum to it, but when I’m selecting pieces or soliciting from artists, I first go after the stuff that inspires me the most and makes me want to show other people,” Land said. “I’ll then select other pieces that I think are important in their subject matter and create a dialogue around an issue that needs to be discussed. Really those are the two main things I’ll look for in a piece.”
While Land works with most of the design and technical side of the journal, Leaf handles the submission side of the project. They have also received help from A&M Writing Center administrator Flo Davies, who Land described as a “mentor and friend” to Alien Mouth.
Land says the journal will be around as long as people keep reading and submitting their works.
“Without people’s support, we don’t exist. If people stop submitting and stop reading, we’ll go away. But really the only tread we’ve seen is upwards,” Land said.
Alien Mouth can be found online monthly and in print quarterly. Click the link to visit the website: http://alienmouth.com/