Big Bend Literary Magazine's mission is to support the artistic community of the Big Bend region by showcasing the work of creators inspired by its local nature, beauty, and culture.
Big Bend Literary Magazine is published quarterly as a soulful, picturesque electronic and print experience to educate and entertain.
Kate Keenan's work has been published in Noise City Zine, The Ductile Anchor, Live at the Coffin Shop, The Bullard Bulletin, Pond Trade Magazine, MacroMicroCosm, and campfire stories for her four children, among others. Kate holds a Master of Arts in English from UT Tyler. She lives in Terlingua, Texas, the first place she's felt truly at home. She spends her extra time volunteering as a Debate Coach or playing guitar. Kate is usually sweaty from the West Texas heat and is currently watching a rainstorm over the Chisos Mountains while typing at an ancient folding card table, coffee by her side. She is the founder and managing editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine. Kate is a realtor, writer, proofreader, graphic designer, social media marketer, and website designer. Find her at https://katekeenanmarketing.com and terlinguapropertyconnection.com.
Carlie is a central Texas native who came to Terlingua for what was meant to be a month-long “reset.” That month quickly transformed into twelve, and she now calls Big Bend home, trading the rolling hills, cypress trees, and ice-cold rivers of the Hill Country for the expansive seduction of the desert. Carlie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Whitman College, a small liberal arts college in Washington state, and will be receiving her Master’s in Social Work from Texas State University in December 2022. She is most passionate about sexual and domestic violence prevention and has served as a Client Relations Manager for C.A. Goldberg, PLLC, a civil rights firm in Brooklyn, and for The SAFE Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Austin. While Carlie has lived in a swath of beautiful places – Washington, Denmark, Costa Rica, New York, and Central Texas – no place has matched the sweeping and unequivocal peace of the Texas West. Carlie is the Assistant Editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine and hopes the magazine will connect others to the same magic holding her here.
After doing housekeeping jobs in several national parks, Rainey earned her Master of Agriculture degree at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas, and has an upcoming internship involving caring for wolves, bears, and big cats. She hopes to one day work in the field of conservation. Rainey is the former editor of the Sul Ross Skyline magazine and the illustrator of a soon-to-be-published ethnobotany book about native Texas plants. She sells mugs with her artwork on them at the farmers’ market in Alpine. Rainey is the prose editor and assistant art editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.
Mary has been swimming around in the arts most of her Pisces life. In between, she had many jobs with many hats and some even with uniforms. Now she's able to devote most of her time to living healthfully and making even more art. Her writing life came and mostly went early on, through poetry and technical writing, but she still loves to read with an artist's eye, absorb with a reader's heart, and contribute with an editor's toolkit. Mary is the poetry editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.
Joshua Keenan is an avant-garde artist and graphic designer from East Texas. Well-traveled, his art has been displayed in both solitary and collaborative art shows in Los Angeles, Denver, Tampa, Dallas, Austin, and Tyler. He focuses his graphic design on underground and privately-owned organizations, aiming at individuals, self-made companies, bands, events, and non-profit organizations.
His vibrantly colored, meticulous works often depict a holistic illustration united by detailed images. Frequently, these images evoke political, philosophical, and spiritual sensibilities. Josh incorporates natural elements such as trees, mountains, water, plants, and the human face and figure. His form is highly stylistic, identifiable across works, no matter their medium or content. Josh takes everyday experience and exposes the psychedelic.
Josh currently resides primarily in Terlingua, TX with his wife, Kate, and four children. Josh is the art editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.
Michelle is a writer and educator who lived all over America before finally finding home in Terlingua, Texas. She spent the last decade teaching creative writing, poetry, literature, and journalism courses while advising an award-winning, student-produced literary magazine. She writes everything from nonfiction to poetry and is inspired by the stunning landscapes, talented musicians, legendary characters, and rich cultures of Far West Texas. Michelle loves nothing more than being free to wander, wonder, and bake sourdough bread. Michelle is the journalism and nonfiction editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.
Eden Meadows has been visiting the Big Bend region since she was a young child. Originally from Orange, Texas, Eden’s involvement in music began with singing in the church congregation and choir. She later studied piano, voice, and French horn, ultimately attending Louisiana State University on a music scholarship for classical voice. She then spent 8 years traveling the world with the United States Air Force, 2 years of that with the AF Band of the West as a vocalist specializing in classical and modern techniques. After separating, she used her GI bill to finally complete her bachelors degree in Applied Arts and Sciences focused on Texas Archaeology, which is what led her finally back to the Big Bend.
Amanda Calkins, also known as The Texas Tumbleweed, is a documentary photographer focusing on telling stories of the lives and legacies of fellow Texans. At a crossroads in her life, she felt called to take a solo trip out West, seeking solitude and clarity. The area had fewer travelers back then and phone reception was almost non-existent. The untamed and vast landscape, left her feeling vulnerable yet at peace, bringing about a profound and unexpected spiritual awakening. Grounded in wilderness, inspired by the textures of the terrain, enchanted by the colorful sunsets over the Chisos, and drawn to the lifestyles and stories of the locals - the area instantly pulled her in. The Big Bend region remains the place where she feels deeply rooted. You can follow her visual storytelling via Instagram @BigBendForever or website www.thetexastumbleweed.photography Amanda is Big Bend Literary Magazine's Photography Editor.
Klara is originally from Pittsburgh and is now an English teacher at Big Bend High School. She has lived and taught previously in South Africa and Mississippi, and she currently lives in Terlingua with her dog. Sometimes she does other things besides teach and read, but usually she doesn't. Klara is the Electronic Edition Assistant Editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.
Please consider a donation for reading fees, website hosting, and other costs by using the donation button below. Your donation or lack thereof will have no bearing on whether or not your work is published. Unlike many other literary journals, we are not sponsored by a university, foundation, or corporation. In the spirit of Big Bend, we desire to remain a maverick publication, beholden to no other than whoever happens to be masthead at the time. Money may later sponsor awards and prizes for creative works. In order to nominate our contributors for awards, we have to pay submission fees to those awards.The sky is the limit, especially here in Big Bend.
Header photograph by Tony Drewry