• ,

A new beat for Southern Belles

belleBelle Journal to host release parties in New Orleans debuting a brand new literary journal

With a mantra that rises from the soul of a sometimes forgotten land and a tenacity instilled by those that came before, Belle Journal emerges as a home for the voices of “alternative” South- ern belles. Based in Baton Rouge, this new literary journal features prose, poetry and visual art from women across the South.

There will be two release parties in New Orleans this week, tonight at the Banks Street Bar, and Saturday at The Community Center (details below).

“It is thrilling and humbling to watch your idea receive so much support and community involvement that it is able to bloom into a reality,” says Hogan. “Amelia (Designer/Co-editor) and I constantly look at each other and remark that we have no idea what we’re doing, but somehow it’s working.”

Belle Journal began as an idea discussed over glasses of wine after Hogan googled the term “Southern belle.” She was disappointed to discover the word still carried a heavy stereotype that no longer described the women she had grown up around.

“The world still seems to view Southern women as sheltered dolls with perfectly groomed hair, manicured nails, and fragile dispositions. These stereotypes are oversimplifications that fail to represent the true soul and grit of the Southern woman,” says Hogan.

Hogan decided to create a literary journal to capture the deeper experience of Southern women. Coining the term, “alternabelles,” she set out to break the cliché image crafted by past decades.

The first of the two release parties in New Orleans will be held at Banks Street Bar on June 6 at 10 p.m. Featured music will include Hammond-based band The Shiz. The second party will be on June 8 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Community Center, 623 North Rendon St. Featured music will be by female DJ The Young Professional.

For more information about Belle Journal or how to submit, contact Janey Hogan or Amelia Tritico, or visit www.bellejournal.com. Belle Journal is currently accepting submissions for Volume II, set to be released this fall.