BY NADIA GERASSIMENKO
Have you ever dreamed of Xenomorph? What about Xenomorph as a literary publication? Well, dreams do come true because there's a cool new literary magazine in town: Cotton Xenomorph! I was warmly invited into the heart of their awesome hive and we got talking.
Who is in the Cotton Xenomorph Hive? What is Cotton Xenomorph?
The Hive consists of the editors Chloe Clark, Teo Mungaray, Hannah Cohen, and all of our contributors. You could say it includes our (future) readership, too. The Hive is an amorphous thing centered around the journal.
Who are creeps (and thanks to Mama Xeno for scaring them away for us)?
The Creeps are those who abuse, hurt, and otherwise stifle creativity and creative voices. We also think of other forms of creepish behavior such as exorbitant submission fees and how "pay-to-play" has become the norm for so many magazines and contests.
Creeps refers to anyone who actively works to create harm in the literary community and elsewhere—whether that be systematic harm or individual harm.
Any rough estimation on when your inaugural issue will be out?
We plan to post each work individually first. Then at the end of a "quarter" we’ll put together a digital issue. Hopefully that will mean February!
Your beloved horror film.
Teo Mungaray: There’s an Iranian vampire film called A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Amirpour 2014) that I really love. It’s an intensely quiet film with so much tension. It may not be the scariest thing in the world, but the thrilling aspect lies in that introspective horror.
Hannah Cohen: Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno). It’s one of the few movies where it beautifully balances the graphic violence and horror of war and also the dark fantastical side of childhood. The acting, the music, and the cinematography is just unbelievable. think it’s Guillermo del Toro’s best work, and we were truly robbed of a GDT Hobbit movie franchise.
Chloe N. Clark: This is too hard (as a literal horror scholar). So most recently: Get Out has had a huge impact on my scholarship and is just a phenomenal movie (#GetOutOscar, dammit). It’s not only a beautifully made, deeply tense, and wonderfully written/acted film , but it’s also a film that really forces the viewer to interact with the horror of our world. ( But also obviously the Alien series needs to be mentioned here, too. Xenomorphs FOREVER!)
Your favorite Xenomorph quote (make it up if you have to).
Teo: My favorite quote in the Alien franchise are either Newt’s "They mostly come at night…mostly." or Ripley’s "Get away from her, you bitch!" The first one was so foreboding and the second packed such a punch during that high-stakes fight.
Chloe: Seconding Teo’s quotes. But I’ll also say the Spaceballs version of the Xeno singing "Hello My Baby" is also a clearly perfect thing in the universe.
Hannah: "This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off." Too spooky.
Blurb your current and future projects.
Teo: Right now, CX is my only project. I’m finishing up my MFA and I’ve applied to grad schools for my PhD. It’s just a waiting game for me, and I’m happy to have CX in my life right now.
Chloe: So many projects. I’m looking for an agent for a story collection that’s polished, I also have a sci-fi novel-in-stories that is polished (à la Martian Chronicles), I have two poetry manuscripts out and about, and I’m right now getting ready to jump into another novel project as well as writing flash pieces which I'm thinking will form a cohesive collection soon. (*she laughs wistfully to herself*)
Hannah: Other than CX? Promoting my debut poetry chapbook Bad Anatomy, which will be out in February. Trying to put together a book launch, readings, etc. I was submitting a second chapbook (consisting of poems from the manuscript I wrote in grad school) to a few presses, but it’s not going anywhere, so maybe it’s better as part of a full-length collection. I’d like to write more essays and creative nonfiction as well.
Chloe N. Clark holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Environment. Her poetry and fiction appears such places as Booth, Glass, Hobart, Gamut, Uncanny, and more. She teaches multimodal composition and communication, writes for Nerds of a Feather, and is a very good baker. She can be found on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes or on the interwebs at www.chloenclark.com
Teo Mungaray is a chronically ill, queer, latino poet pursuing his MFA at Pacific University of Oregon. He is a co-founder and co-EIC for Cotton Xenomorph. His poems can be found in Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, Prelude Magazine and The Bellevue Literary Review. He currently lives in Portland and is running out of space on his bookshelves. You can find him on twitter @TeoMungaray.
Hannah Cohen lives in Virginia and received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Bad Anatomy (Glass Poetry Press, 2018). Recent and forthcoming publications include Noble/Gas Qtrly, Calamus Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cease, Cows, Yes Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @hcohenpoet
Nadia Gerassimenko is the managing editor at Luna Luna Magazine by day, and a moonchild and poet by night. Nadia self-published her first poetry collection "Moonchild Dreams" (2015).