Poetic Matrix Press Special Project
The FM. Literary Anthology
Celebrating 10 years of Literary Harassment
Madera High School students collection of poetry and art over 10 years, Madera
Faculty Advisor: Darren Klassen
Editor: Devon Peterson
Published by Poetic Matrix Press
185 pages, price $16.00
Proceeds from the sale of FM. Literary Anthology will be donated back to the FM.
Magazine program now at Madera South High School, Madera California.
The FM. Literary Anthology is a special project of Poetic Matrix Press
done with the purpose of celebrating the unique literary and artistic work of Madera
High School students. FM. Magazine, a credited program, put out monthly
over its 10 year history and under the tutelage of Darren Klassen has given voice
to a host of young people. The ongoing support of the school and district administrations
have given students a forum to express their concerns and explore their artistic
inclinations. Madera is a small city in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California
and not noted as a center of literary activity, this Anthology proves otherwise.
Anyone can enjoy the unique and sometimes irreverent humor hence the subtitle "...10
years of Literary Harassment." Teachers will find support for their own program
and can see the fruits of a program that has a long and productive history.
Poetic Matrix Press has taken, as one of its commitments, placing contemporary poetry
into youth programs, schools, and libraries. We have donated 100s of books to a
variety of programs in Central California. The FM. Literary Anthology project is
another way to encourage the reading, writing, and artistic work of young developing
talent. If teachers and administrators have questions about our project please contact
the publisher via email.
Excerpts from faculty advisor Darren Klassen's introduction:
What does "FM." stand for?
F.M. stereo was an idea. "Yes, Words in Stereo." I thought, "Is it possible to write
in stereo, to make words as loud as music?"' With this idea, the volume was up to
11. I pitched the title to our first editor Emily Conrad and she loved it. For the
simple sake of pretentiousness, I removed the first period in F.M., and simply called
it FM. Magazine. That was it. The name has stuck, and the theme of Frequency
Modulation (F.M. Stereo) has been the backbone of who we were then, and who we are
Literary magazines in general have a tendency to be high-minded and, for my money,
a bit elitist. When asked about teaching the class, I jumped at the chance. I wanted
the magazine to counter what I viewed as the form's elitist "norm." For good or
for ill, in my mind, the magazine was to be created by and for young people.
The magazine has evolved over the course of 10 years. Initially, the mother of one
of my students owned a print shop, so we printed on glossy paper in blue and green
ink. Later that evolved to glossy paper and black & white ink. Eventually that
evolved to black & white on plain paper, and ultimately, the Madera Unified
School District print shop gained the ability to print a full-color cover. The format
hasn't changed since.
Though many have hated our unconventional and rebellious style, we have won many
awards and walked with many giants over these 10 years. 1st-3rd Place at the Madera
and Fresno Young Writers Conferences, Teen Magazine, Fresno Poets Association, San
Joaquin Valley Writing Project, California Association of Teachers of English, California
Association for the Gifted, among others have recognized our efforts to push our
artists to excel.
Excerpt from editor Devon Peterson's introduction:
"Is Your Soul Hungry?"
We here in FM.—we've got style, you know? It's something you can't fabricate
really. It's like a flare and a spark got together and made an electrical fire and
now you've got to bust out the ABC fire extinguisher ‘cause the regular one doesn't
work. Or something. It's an unspeakable thing, it's what je ne sais quoi would be
if that's what you said to get backstage at a Miles Davis/George Harrison/ Che Guevera
jam session. It's like the exact opposite of strained peas.
FM. is where you go when you don't know where to go. It'll sober you up, give you
a shave, and teach you the rudiments of several highly sophisticated graphic design
programs so you can make that picture of Tupac look just right (man people love
Tupac) . It's also what you read when you don't know what to read, but the outcome
of that experience is less definitely positive. We've got the whole range of human
emotion in our magazine: from being sad about a boy to being happy about a boy to
being inexplicably hungry at late hours. It's a tour de force of the human condition
and can cause acute aphasia if taken in over-large doses. It is neither for the
faint of heart nor the faint of butt.
What this all boils down to ultimately is that I, and we, hope you enjoy the fruits
of our leisure. Cheers.
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