About us

The Curator is a platform for sharing the literary work of contemporary Anabaptist writers. We publish artists from any tradition, but the values we hope to share are informed by our own experience in the particular cultural and faith traditions from which our artwork arises.

In recent years, there has been a rekindling of interest, within various Anabaptist communities, in reading and creating art. As writers and artists who value this contemporary renaissance, we wish to provide a medium for it. We believe that art thrives best within community, as various individuals receive the blessing of learning from the joy and insight of others.

Language and art are divine gifts, speaking out of the past and continually made new in every lived experience. We learn through and are inspired by the praises of psalms, the lamentations of prophets, and the ordinary experiences of particular lives.

The editorial team at the Curator is made up of authors and readers who attempt to find and showcase the best unpublished poetry with the values we share. By our work, we hope to encourage a culture that recognizes quality and strives to create things of value. Besides poetry, we are interested in other genres as well, especially short fiction, visual art, and literary criticism. If you write, we would love to see your work!

We are completely staffed by volunteers who spend many hours working on the Curator because of our love for Anabaptism and for literature. Please consider supporting us on Patreon or making a donation.

Our work

  • Our weekly poetry emails are intended to encourage the reading and writing of poetry. We hope to publish new writers and to spread an awareness of the value of poetry. You can subscribe to the emails here. Our postcards are an outgrowth of this.
  • Our monthly poetry readings are a space to gather to read and discuss literature.
  • Our annual print magazine, the Leaf, brings together some of the best of poetry and art created by Anabaptists today. You can purchase it here.
  • Our annual literature camp is a place to build connections between writers and readers of literature, to encourage writers who often don’t get enough encouragement in their communities, and to provide all of us with an opportunity to hone our craft and understanding of literature.
  • Our blog facilitates a dialogue on the meaning and value of literature, especially as it can bring us a knowledge of God.
  • You can subscribe to the emails here.

Join us in spreading the Heavenly Kingdom in the arts!

Submissions guidelines

We accept poetry, stories, visual art, and essays. These are printed in the Curator weekly poems, the Curator blog, and the Leaf Magazine.

Submissions should be emailed to info@thecuratorblog.org with the subject “Weekly Poem Submission,” “Essay Submission,” or “Leaf Submission” as applies. Attach a profile picture and include a one-sentence description of yourself. For Leaf submissions, include your mailing address If you wish, you may also include a short paragraph giving some background for the inspiration of your creative piece. Leaf submissions are accepted year-round, but our soft deadline for the 2020 Leaf is May 1st, 2020.

If you wish to send a physical copy of a submission, send it to the following address. Include your email address or phone number and your mailing address. If you want your submission back in case we don’t publish it, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The Curator: Leaf Magazine
11608 Greencastle Pike
Hagerstown, MD 21740

  • All work should be previously unpublished, unless it has appeared only on a personal website. If it has, please let us know.
  • Poetry—will be published on the Curator or in the Leaf. If we do not accept a poem for the Leaf, we will put it under consideration for the Curator’s weekly poems, unless the author requests otherwise. We tend to print more longer works in the Leaf than on the Curator.
  • Stories—We are looking both for fiction and for creative nonfiction. Stories should be shorter than 8,000 words, though we may make exceptions in exceptional cases.
  • Visual art—We print in color. Drawings, photography, and other art forms are welcome.
  • We accept multiple and simultaneous submissions. We require first rights for publishing work on our website or magazine, as well as the right to publish in other types of media should we decide to do so. We choose photos and art to go with the creative and expository work that we publish, but if the writer has a picture that goes with the work, we will consider it.

Poems and other works of art are accepted based on their depth and quality of composition, and always at the discretion of the editors. We are less interested in inspirational verse or aimless ramblings, but rather in poetry with which a reader can engage in thought, and which speaks not to the mind but to the heart. But our primary interest is to publish worthwhile poetry, and if you aren’t sure whether your writing fits our expectations, please submit it anyway! Similar qualifications apply to fiction and visual art.

We accept essay submissions that have to do with literature: close readings of poetry, book reviews, opinions on literature, etc. are all welcome. We will also certainly consider essays that do not fall under these categories.

We are committed to helping writers and artists to improve their craft and to publish their work. Thus if we don’t publish your work, we will provide you with feedback about our decision.

Contact us

You can contact us via email or follow us on Facebook or YouTube, or sign up for our weekly emails.

Masthead

Managing Editor: Lynn Michael Martin

Lynn Martin lives, writes, and sings in Hagerstown, MD. Occasionally he also thinks, and he has come to the belief that the arts can help us to remake the world in the image of God. He is especially interested in literature and early music, and he spends much time with J.S. Bach and George MacDonald. He began his studies at Hagerstown Community College, where he edited the Hedge Apple Magazine as a student editor. Currently, he studies at the University of Maryland, majoring in English and philosophy.

In his poetry, Lynn is currently exploring a lyrical style for which he derives inspiration from Yeats’s early work. He is also fascinated by George MacDonald’s use of the fantastic to convey truths that are buried deeply in the human person. Lynn’s poetry has appeared in publications such as the Society of Classical Poets, the Journal of Inventive Literature, and the Penwood Review.

Blog Editor: Conrad Martin

Conrad Martin has not planned his life, but an order emerges. He finished 10th grade in the deserts of New Mexico, and in those deserts knew that he would write poetry and be a philosopher. Or philosophize and be a poet—he often can’t tell which. He then taught wild children in Honduras and California, stopped for a few years to design some machines (during which time he fell in with a band of fresh young emailing poets who developed him more than he can think), then journeyed to a wooded spot in northwest Pennsylvania, where Faith Builders builds, and in those two years of college he knew he would go further and find the people who would tell him the things, so he does not have to come up with them on his own, because that is much slower. But in some ways it may be better, perhaps, because when one has all one’s own . . . He begins two more years at Messiah College the fall of 2019, majoring in philosophy, with wistful glances at the English department. He has not planned further. 

Leaf Editor: Claudia Lehman

Claudia Lehman grew up in one of Lancaster County’s rare woods, surrounded by a loud and loving family, squirrels, visitors, and several hundred books. Her father read and recited poetry to her and copiously encouraged her own. For several years, between scrubbing floors at home and making coffee at a market stand, she taught ESL, music, and creative writing to homeschooling families and refugees not far from her woods. Then she flew to Chihuahua, Mexico, where she ran in and out of nine classrooms and one hundred German children taught her patience and wonder while she explained verbs and pronouns.

In a critique group of young writers called the Refiners, she thought through classic masterpieces, sharp-edged advice, and arguments over phrases and philosophy, and was introduced to friends of the loveliest sort, including a strangely interesting school teacher called Kyle Lehman. In 2017 they were married, and the following year they moved to Păltiniş, Romania, where they taught school together and soon bought an unkempt little orchard in which to build a nest. She has now shelved teaching (mostly) for a decade or two to take care of a quite new person called Josephine.

Besides writing poetry and editing the Leaf, Claudia is the poetry editor for Crosswind magazine and has published several works of historical fiction. She also enjoys writing unrealistic to-do lists. She reads anything she finds, but has been deeply changed by the writings of Sarah Hagerty, George MacDonald, Isobel Kuhn, N.D. Wilson, George Eliot, G.K. Chesterton, and Tolkien. She believes that creating true and beautiful things is the calling and privilege of the sons and daughters of the King as He redeems His world.

Other People

Many others contribute to the success of the Curator: James Weaver and Grace Weaver, the graphics team; Kenneth Godoy, our photographer; and Obi Martin, Natasha Eby, Kyle Lehman, and Daniel Lowry, who perform roles that are just as important, but harder to describe in so few words.