Our fiction editor for January and February, Aaron Counts has written and read with professors, prisoners, dropouts & scholars. He is the co-author of the non-fiction text Reclaiming Black Manhood, and is a social justice speaker and educator. Aaron is an artist-in-residence with the Writers-in-the-Schools program, and the lead artist with King County’s Creative Alternatives Program, which uses art to reduce the number of kids we lock away in detention.
Aaron’s writing has recently appeared in Specter Magazine, Bestiary, Aldebaran Review and Rufous City Review, though his first publication was on an old Kenmore refrigerator on 7th Street in Yakima, Washington. He holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia.
Why be an editor for The James Franco Review?
The idea of The James Franco Review is exciting, because it positions itself the way all lit magazines should, in a place where everyone is granted equal legitimacy and credibility so the words are what hold power. Things can get a little dangerous or quirky or angry or fun. It’s an exciting way to read.
What are you reading now?
It feels like we’re at a place of great possibilities in our country right now. Despite the frustrations or despair at the inequalities we still face, it also feels like a time of great hope as well. Lately I’ve been taking solace in the words of poets and writers standing straight in the face of this divide. Young, essential voices like poets Nate Marshall and Danez Smith, or established voices like Junot Diaz continue to give me life. I’m also reading lyrics on Rap Genius way more than I care to admit.