"Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho (1983)
What is Bay Laurel?
Bay Laurel is a scrappy new online literary journal, specializing in the publication of poetry and fiction that has been rejected by other publishers in the past. In the spirit of the Salon des Refusés, our quarterly online review aims to publish the finest in overlooked
writing. We're nerdy, artsy, and full of-- well, you can be the judge of that.
Yeah, but what's with the name?
I'm so very glad you asked. The bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) has been a symbol of acceptance and praise for most of recorded history. Hence words like laureate. In antiquity, the Greeks used laurel leaves to crown their heroes. But laurels also have a cultural link to rejection and apparent futility. Returning to the Greeks, the legend of Daphne and Apollo comes to mind. But the original idea for our name came from the myth of Wu Gang, China's answer to Sisyphus.
There are a number of variations on the story, but here's the gist. Wu Gang was sent to the Moon as punishment for a terrible transgression. He was sentenced to chop down a bay laurel tree that grew there, but every time he chopped, the tree healed itself.
Sometimes rejection can make a writer feel like Wu Gang, endlessly working for something that seems unattainable. But in reality, perhaps we're more like the tree, or at least we should be. Rejection is never fun. But if we learn from it and keep writing, we'll never be cut down. All right, I'm done with my hokey spiel. Sorry.
Who's responsible for this insanity?
None other than these three renegade mavericks of the literary scene.
We are not affiliated in any way with this law firm, this Swedish goth rock band, this catering company, this garden center, this artist, this line of fancy house paints, this photography business, this elementary school, this horse farm, or this spiritual blog. Only after a fateful Googling did we learn that we were not alone in bearing the Bay Laurel name. We apologize for any confusion. Please don't sue us. We have no money. Thank you.