Alta Picks: Air/Light

A new online literary journal edited by one of Alta’s own aims to surprise readers—in a good way.

david l ulin
Noah Ulin

Air/Light aims to leave readers surprised—in the best sense of the word. Published by the University of Southern California and edited by Alta books editor David L. Ulin (pictured above), the new online literary journal takes its name from a term used to describe the unique way that Southern California’s air interacts with the sun’s rays, creating light that’s alternately clear and hazy. Air/Light publishes works by established and emerging voices that blur traditional boundaries, reexamining existing social, political, and aesthetic hierarchies. The goal, Ulin says, is to “not silo the artists we’re working with, but to encourage them to seek the form they need for the work that they want to do.” The inaugural issue includes debut nonfiction from poet Lynn Melnick, multimedia art from novelist and Alta contributor Kimi Eisele, even a dance choreographed by Andre Tyson with a libretto by Douglas Kearney, presented as both text and video. Also featured are Alta contributors Carribean Fragoza, Pam Houston, and Susan Straight. The periodical, whose slick, neon-hued website evinces a West Coast vibe, is a quarterly, with a table of contents released every three months and new material from the issue published each Monday.

Sam Schuman was Alta's 2020 Summer intern.
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