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Culture 2 Go

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About that layout: For the last couple of years it’s been the work of local artist Jen O’Malley, who convinced Annalemma editor-publisher Chris Heavener to go back to themed issues. The latest issue, No. 8, is all about creation: “making something out of nothing.” This struck me as an apt theme for print publishing indeed – it’s something we do here at Orlando Weekly every week – but as Heavener relates in his editor’s note, it began as a collaboration between Annalemma (2009 OW Best of Orlando editor’s pick) and Makr Carry Goods (2010 OW Best of Orlando editor’s pick): “It would be a celebration of craft, of people who devote their lives to a trade and do what they do with grace, precision and beauty.” The collab didn’t work out timing-wise, but the issue is a celebration of making something out of nothing all the same, with essays about a Belgian craft brewer, the history of the American bridal gown (the multi-talented O’Malley again), the people who create comic books (mostly men, it turns out: surprise!) and Gina Ishibashi, a woman who can fix things. There’s also incisive and hilarious fiction from Peg Alford Pursell, Ryan Rivas, Eliza Tudor and many more contributors.

Maybe the key is that Annalemma is local but not locally exclusive – its creators are based here but they travel frequently; its contributors are from all over the country (and hey, it’s printed in Iceland!). Those open borders don’t dilute the journal; they make for a stronger point of view, one that’s unique not just to Orlando but purely to Heavener and his crew.

– Jessica Bryce Young

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