At last week’s OutWrite event, there was discussion regarding the current state of independent publishers competing against the large, integrated media companies. These small presses survive when people buy the books and periodicals that they publish. I would like to recommend one, Assaracus, a quarterly journal of gay poetry published by Sibling Rivalry Press. I bought a copy of issue 3 on the recommendation of Philip CIark, who wrote one of the poems in the section called “Poems Inspired by James Franco”.
At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the title of the periodical, assuming it had something to do with “Ass”. I didn’t totally trust the Wiki result when I finally decided to google Assaracus, and so I consulted my other sources (references available upon request). Turns out that “Assaracus” is also the name of a descendant of Zeus, via Dardanus, Erichthonius, and Tros. Assaracus was one of the sons of Tros. Ganymede was his brother. Ganymede was, of course, without issue, but Assaracus was the grandfather of Anchises, who was the father of Aeneas. Aeneas relates this noble lineage to Achilles on the battlefield in a memorable passage in book 20 of the Iliad. I’m glad that the publisher decided not to call the periodical “Ganymede”. That would have been too easy. I ordered a one year subscription.