waves and murmurs october 2011

Update – December 2011

Things change indeed. This issue has experienced a series of setbacks that has caused us to go on hiatus from the middle of November until now. Normally, each issue of toto features between 24 and 32 pieces over a period of three months. This issue, however, has turned out to be much smaller so far, and was originally scheduled to end this weekend.

We’ve worked on the challenges and are now in a position to continue. The February issue is due out in February, so the October issue will run into January. It’ll still be smaller, but not drastically so.

Anyway, change is good. Transitions, even silences, are sometimes productive. Fallow times allow for regeneration. toto is germinating. Watch this space.

Nicolette Bethel
December 2011


Let’s start with a cliché: things change.

For some time now, tongues of the ocean has been receiving a steady stream of submissions, most of them very solid pieces of work from around the Caribbean, and we’ve been publishing the ones that, as we say, speak to us. We’ve been following our habit of publishing one every Sunday at 00:01 and 00:02 without wavering.

Recently, though, things are changing. For this issue, we’re trying something different — instead of publishing one work every Sunday, we’re going to see what happens if we leave works up for 10 days rather than 7 — publishing every other Sunday, and every other Wednesday.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that this issue, we would like to focus a little more on things other than just the written word. We have had a lot of interest in, and participation from, writers of conventional poetry, and we thank them all — so many of the works demonstrate that the literary arts are flourishing in the Caribbean. But the internet is opening up whole new worlds of expression, and some of our fellow online journals are taking full advantage of these. In particular, there’s qarrtsiluni, one of the online journals that served as an inspiration for toto, which has become an online force to be reckoned with, publishing not only online by in numerous formats.

So in this issue, you’ll find some written word, to be sure (we opened with three poems, and will continue to scatter some through our issue), but you will also find  various other formats that people are playing with not only in the Caribbean but also around the world. In particular, we’ll be talking with some people who are playing around with the sound and video dimensions of online poetry, specifically Nic Sebastian, a transnational poet whose work has been featured in toto, but who has been playing with sound and images more recently, having maintained Whale Sound, a blog for the reading of poetry, for the past year, and whose ongoing literary blog, Very Like a Whale, provides an excellent introduction to her approach to poetry.

We’ll also feature a conversation with Helen Klonaris, one of the two Bahamian writers behind the Bahamas Writers’ Summer Institute, and some of her own works. That will go live sometime in November.



Nicolette Bethel
October 2011

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