“Storytellers, by the very act of telling, communicate a radical learning that changes lives and the world”
belles-lettres (bel le’tr’, -trə) pl.n.[Fr, lit., beautiful letters, fine literature] literature as one of the fine arts; imaginative writings as distinguished from technical and scientific writings, esp. when characterized by a polished, highly literary style
belletrist (bel le’trist) n. a writer or lover of belles-lettres
coterie (kōt’ə rē) n. [Fr, orig., organization of peasants holding land from a feudal lord < OFr cotier, Cotter] a close circle of friends who share a common interest or background; clique
Belletrist Coterie is an independent literature, arts, and culture magazine dedicated to spotlighting the spirit and ebullience of storytelling in its many forms. Our inaugural issue will be released online and in print of Spring 2012
The magazine began with a reverence for the story as an almost spiritual artifact. With its power to bind and edify, to distinguish, to upheave, to transform and guide history, and to shape the clay of the human myth in its universal tongue, the narrative represents the ongoing glossolalia of our earthly experience.
The story, then, is a sacred but endangered language. The prophets, bards, and virtuosos that still speak it do so from sundry worldwide podiums and must compete with newer – and often louder – cultural voices: technology, immediacy, efficiency, inanity, entropy, modernity. The desert of our current world finds the story a trunkless pair of stone legs standing like Shelley’s Ozymandias, a proud but haggard ruin of fading or forgotten grandeur.
As such, Belletrist Coterie is as much about looking to the ancient traditions as it is about contemporizing them, and we’ve made it our mission to haul this hobbling golem into the modern world. Our job is to protect and promote it. We are the oasis, the haven, the home, and the haunt. We are the chrysalis. And thanks to some savvy networking and lucky floundering, some might say that we’re starting a movement.
Our initial call for submissions was met with a torrent of original work from around the world, and our acquisitions desk has since become a vault ever-swelling with the bold, delightful, and strange.
Somewhere between sifting fastidiously through the depths of this vault and cultivating an online following, we succeeded in wooing some big names and personal heroes who were eager to help us spark a true storytelling revival. Thanks to their support and enthusiasm, we have an eclectic roster of major writers, musicians, and artists lined up for Issue One. Click the link below the grid to access our full list of featured contributors:
Won’t you Join Us?
As we continue to collaborate with the world’s most passionate storytellers and story-lovers, the idea of “the coterie” strengthens and grows. The coterie now is an elegant but motley crew of venerable raconteurs, quixotic wayfarers, salty sea-pirates, reclusive linguists, travelling gypsies, shanty-singers, obsessive logophiles, and those they inspire. Belletrist Coterie is the storyteller’s community, a bastion of faith in this fantastical tradition. Won’t you join us?
Our primary goal with this print version is to provide our readers not just with a collection of experiences but with something artifactual: something real, and something to hold. This is the ink-and-paper-proof of their involvement – your involvement – with this all-important revival.
This is a revival eons in the making.
This is a revival that shivers across your skin.
Meet the staff:
Bios coming shortly!