Hello and welcome to another interview with one of our beloved publishing partners! This week we’re picking the brains to Marcia Lynx Qualey, the chief editor of ArabLit Quarterly.

ArabLit Quarterly first emerged in 2018 from the community around the ArabLit website and Bulaq podcast. Each issue features beautiful literary translations from Arabic, fresh work by Arab artists and new forms of literary criticism that re-frame the discussions around Arabic literature, translation, and art.

The Fall 2018, Winter/Spring 2019 and Summer 2019 Issues

You can keep up with all the latest news from the magazine on Twitter: @arablit.

Subscriptions to the ever-growing archive can be purchased in the Exact Editions individual and institutional shops.

For those who want to glimpse into the brand new archive, gather round: for a limited time only, you can delight in a sneak peek into the Summer 2019 issue and read the featured poem by Nazik al-Mala-ika, “And We Still Have The Sea”

So now the formalities are done and dusted, we can’t wait to get on with the interview. Take it away Marcia! 

1) What’s your role within ArabLit Quarterly?

I’m the chief editor: the person who ticks the boxes, chases down the stories, squints at all the translations, and sits idly while Hassan creates magic with the design.

2) What attracted you to the magazine publishing industry?

I started the “ArabLit” website in 2009. It’s useful as a source of daily news, opinion, reviews, listicles & resources, but too often I feel as though I’m on a bicycle headed precipitously downhill, and I can only grab what is immediately to the left or right of my handlebars. With a quarterly magazine, I can be a bit more thoughtful. Take my time. Help curate something really beautiful.

3) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ohh, but the whole joy of food is in its variety!

4) If you weren’t working in publishing, what would you be doing?

I would be proprietor of a surfing-and-language school on the coast here in Morocco, and I would be the absolute worst surfer on the beach.

5) Do you have an all-time favourite ArabLit Quarterly issue?

Absolutely: “The Sea,” because I love the transgression and danger and brightness of the sea.

The illustration accompanying Taleb al-Refai’s shipwreck-novel Najdi, featured in “The Sea” issue

6) If you could live in any city, where would it be?

I think I’d time-share moving around all the brilliant cities here in Morocco.

7) What do you think will have changed in the publishing industry in 5 years?

Optimistically, I think we see movement away from the bottlenecks of NYC and Paris and London, and more co-publishing and collaborative projects between different African countries, and African and Middle Eastern countries.

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Thanks so much for taking part Marcia! We’re very jealous of your location on the sunny Moroccan coast. 

If you fancy enlightening our blog readers with some publishing expertise in a future interview, do get in touch by emailing us at publisher@exacteditions.com.