This is a post I really didn’t want to have to write. I believe firmly in restorative justice, and the possibility for healing and recovery within a community, despite harm done. But I also believe in transparency and accountability, and that’s why I feel like I owe it to the community of writers and artists who have trusted me with their work and labor to explain what’s happened. It’s a long story, but it’s an important one for me to tell—to not let myself be silenced, and also in the hope that other people will be spared this abusive behavior.
When Ravi Shankar (then Executive Director and Editor, and the only one of four founding editors still involved) asked me to take over as Executive Director and Editor of Drunken Boat in 2015, I was hesitant. This was in part because of his history of fraud and criminal activity, and in part because of my own unpleasant experiences working with him previously as Managing Editor. But I was convinced by his guarantees that I’d have complete editorial and operational autonomy (see emails below), and my own belief in the amazing work done by the editors and contributors to the journal.
In November 2016, following a series of arrests for fraud, further criminal behavior, and public and private allegations of sexual assault and abuse, Ravi was asked to resign from the board.
Two days ago Ravi wrote to me (copying a lawyer) detailing his plans to sell Drunken Boat to a university (see below), and telling me I should take my staff and the infrastructure I built and start anew. (At that point he also shut down access to the Drunken Boat email, so if you have been trying to email anyone at Drunken Boat, their new email addresses are the same as the old ones but @anomalouspress.org.) So that’s what I’m going to do. Ravi is in violation of our contract and the organization’s bylaws, but I would rather use my energy to build something I believe in than fight for something that has always been seriously hindered by his presence (see emails below).
So, over the next few days, the current editorial staff and the journal, now called Anomaly, will move to its new home at www.anomalouspress.org! The archives will be available at www.anomalouspress.org/db, but what was known as Drunken Boat is hereby formally dissolved and will henceforth be Anomaly. As Ravi controls the URL, he might start a new project under the old name.
Anomalous Press, Anomaly, and all of us involved in their operations stand strongly against assault, stalking, abuse, and the unacknowledged theft of labor and art from anyone, but especially from people of color, women, and trans people. Anomalous Press remains committed to our readers, authors, community, and to one another. We especially remain committed to actively seeking out and promoting the work of marginalized and underrepresented artists, including especially people of color, women, queer, disabled, and gender-nonconforming artists.