Tyler Martin Pursch. Tyler Martin Pursch is a Washingtonian poet and short story writer with work in The Conium Review, Jazz Cigarette Magazine and Meat for Tea Magazine. He thanks his daring friends for taking on this Bohemian journey, and hopes to give a voice to many yet-unknown artists. He is a scenic builder for the theatre and a member of the infamous, underground, Pacific Northwest writing group, The Post Script.
Editor-in-Chief at The Broke Bohemian
Being an editor is not so dissimilar to overseeing the construction of a house from scratch. You lay your foundation, find what you stand for. You plan, and you scheme, and you design a homestead that protects it's inhabitants. That creates a safe space for them to speak their mind and live their life. You trust your crew in their ability to compose a thing of beauty. With precision and tweaking, you do your best to ensure that the result is something you can look upon with dignity and give to the people to decorate as they please. The Broke Bohemian Press "House" is a place of sanctuary for everyone to come in, set up camp, and talk. My desire to become an editor came from the seeds of my teenage years, writing and editing for the high school newspaper. There's something thrilling about taking someone's voice or art and laying it down in black and white, or in this case, digitally, and proceeding to spread the word, as it were. Pass it 'round and show it off, because you know in your gut it needs to be heard by more than just yourself. Reading something that hits you right in that sweet spot is unparalleled, and there's a certain tugging in you that tells you to exalt it from the mountains!
Frankly, I believe that as an editor, if the attention and recognition is focused on you, you're not doing your job. We do this for the love of it, purely and genuinely. Because at least for independent, small-time publishers, we're sure as hell not doing it for the paycheck. If I have the opportunity to dole out recognition, I'd give it to our Managing Editor, Tyler C. Tveit and the rest of my team, who are volunteer and have put in uncountable hours of work to ensure the success of this publication. We're up in the morning reading, editing, and conversing with our audience because we believe it is an integral and important vehicle for expression. Artistic, or spoken. Political, or for the sake of comedy alone. What drives us at the Bohemian is our love of shocking, interesting, and emotion-evoking art, as well as our hunger to find artists that we feel could use more representation in our culture.
Our most challenging part of being editors at the Bohemian is also our most enjoyable and crucial. We ensure that our team of four sets aside as much time as possible to discuss all of the submissions (even at the behest of the distance between us). It is a pain, and sometimes your favorite piece loses out to the majority vote of the group. But it was paramount to us that the curation of each edition was a democratic decision. That it's not one man or woman making this decision, hollering into the void about what he or she likes. And some of the best debates among us result in an altering of your perception of the piece. Having a voting system is useful in that way as well; it safeguards against ignorance or misunderstanding within each piece. One of us is bound to have an opposing opinion, so we fight it out, mull it over, make a call and move forward. It's undoubtedly brought us closer together as a team.
It is extremely important to stay on the up and up as far as technologies that can help advance your publication. Having been on the writing end of being published, I recognized and enjoyed a publisher's output more when it was clear that they cared about the functionality of the site, and cared about the practicality of the operations. The Bohemian's IT Director, Joshua K. Isbey, has been an absolute god-send. He's responsible for the well-being of the applications and technical aspects of our publication, and without him and his dogged insistence that we use the best of the best in tech, we would be dead in the water. He is our grandest asset and greatest pride. We do our best to ensure that everything we set up is designed to flow as pleasantly as possible for the readers and submitters. It's vital to consistently look at your website through fresh eyes, and what's more, listen to feedback.
Our differences lay in our roots. We began this publication from the free fall aftermath of the United States election this past November. We as a country witnessed, at it's best, persistent outrage between people on both sides of the aisle. As a citizen watching this unfold, it became apparent that discussion alone did little to encourage compromise and finding common ground. Now, discussion is truly essential, as it allows us the opportunity to listen and to draw out from others what they are fearful of. When fears are spread out plainly on the table, so to speak, we find that we're not so different after all. We all want our veterans to be cared for. We all want financial preservation and quality healthcare when we're old. We all want national security from violent peoples. To add to this, we opted to add some good to the world and facilitate the conversation a little more, and through different means. Our team believes that art and the written word have a power unlike any other to create conversation and get the cogs in your noggin to churn out that sweet, sweet opinion butter. We have experienced it in our personal lives, and believe in that philosophy as a whole. One of the duties that artistic expression should fulfill is it's uncanny ability to challenge our beliefs and subsequently, raise up a mirror that says "Now what about you?" These are the pieces we strive to discover and amplify, even those on a budget. We believe in making accessibility our priority, and because of this, The Bohemian has never charged fees to submit.
In the poetry slams of my old stomping grounds of Spokane, the audience has a sixth sense. You can pull out all the fanciful verbiage and dramatic pauses your little heart desires. But we can smell bullshit a mile away. If your art doesn't have heart, we'll know. If the words your speaking aren't true to your own waking self and experiences, we'll know. Never pander to the people. Have the agency in your artistic decisions to stand up and say "I'm taking a chance on myself. I believe in myself." As our Copy Consultant Andrew Arter says, "Don't be held back by fear. It's all heart from here."