MANSFIELD -- Jillian Kyrou wants to start an offline conversation. That's why the Lexington native is launching a new art and literary journal, designed by and for the people of Richland County.
Tributary Reader: a Journal of Art, Literature and Environment for Richland County is accepting submissions through March 31 for its first issue, slated for this summer.
The journal will include fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, reviews, art and more by writers and artists connected to the Richland County area.
“We have such a vibrant arts community here,” Kyrou said. “I felt, especially now without a bookstore, we really needed an outlet for the literary arts and something that showcased the local talent, because there really is so much.”
Kyrou’s decision to create a print journal in the digital age is a deliberate one -- an invitation to put down the screens and truly engage with the content.
“We take in so much information (online), but how much are we really holding on to, digesting, thinking about for longer than a few seconds?” Kyrou said.
“If you have a journal that's sitting on your coffee table, let's say you pick it up and read half an essay and you come back to it later. For myself, I am much more likely to digest that information and it stays with me longer.”
The journal’s editorial team consists of Kyrou, Kate Shannon, Crystal Davis Weese and former Main Street Books manager Llalan Fowler.
The title of the journal is meant to bring together different perspectives, but it's also a nod to Richland County's natural resources.
“We talked a lot about what elements compose us as Richland County residents and the environment is such a big part of it, even if we don't think about it every day,” Fowler said.
Kyrou said she hopes nature writing and art will form a significant part of the journal's content.
“In my mind, art and nature really go hand in hand,” Kyrou said. “Art, literature, and nature are essential parts of the community and of a place worth living in.”