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Let's Talk Taco Bell Lit
By Ghia Vitale
Taco Bell Quarterly is the quirky, fast food-themed literary zine we all needed in our lives. Learn more about this indie publication and the editor who runs it through this exclusive interview.
Yes, Taco Bell Quarterly is a thing and no, this is not a drill. It’s a hip indie zine that features poetry, prose, stories, essays, multimedia, status updates, etc. about Taco Bell. So far, two volumes have been published and a third one is in the works. You can just tell by reading the submission guidelines that Taco Bell Quarterly is an eclectic and groundbreaking publication, but the most recent Vox interview gave the world a taste of their special spice. (More on that later.) Since then, everyone has been wanting to know more about "the Taco Bell lit magazine” and the individual who brought it to life.
Fortunately, the editor of Taco Bell Quarterly agreed to answer some questions for Quail Bell Magazine’s readers about the lit mag, plans for Taco Bell, coronavirus, and more. Settle down with some nachos and keep reading:
Who are you and what is your affiliation to Taco Bell Quarterly?
I am MM Carrigan, a writer based out of the Baltimore area, and I am the Editor Grande Supreme of Taco Bell Quarterly.
What inspired you to start running with Taco Bell Quarterly?
I think it's the same stuff that inspires writers anywhere, everywhere, to start running toward anything, everything: Boredom, depression, exhaustion with rejection, writer's block, isolation. And then one day, it's time to just hit the pavement with a new idea.
What are some of the published pieces you’re especially proud of at Taco Bell Quarterly?
I'm going to be like somebody's mom and say all of them. I cannot choose a favorite child.
In your interview with Vox, you mentioned you’re trying to convince Taco Bell to create a Taco Bell Endowment for the Arts. Can you please tell us more about that and how it’s been going?
Remember that hippy-dippy new age book, The Secret, that everybody's mother loved in the mid-2000's? It was all about putting your energy into the universe and saying things out loud to attract the earth's powerful magnets to get what you want. So that is where I am right now. I am attracting the earth's magnets with my grand wishes. I would love for Taco Bell to fund literature through us. We could pay writers, have writing retreats at that Taco Bell hotel, and release Golden Omnibus Editions of Taco Bell Literature.
I read that you’re vegetarian in the Vox interview. Are there any items you like on Taco Bell’s vegetarian menu and if so, what are they? (Personally, I usually get the black bean Crunchwrap Supreme for myself.)
I've been subbing refried beans for years on tacos, Mexican pizzas, and nachos, but Taco Bell introducing the black beans has been a gateway to the more dangerous items like the quesarito, the crunchwrap, and reaper ranch double-stacked tacos.
How has coronavirus affected you and/or Taco Bell Quarterly as a lit zine? Feel free to include personal and professional details alike based on your comfort level.
My kids are home 24/7, driving me bonkers. It's a good problem to have, though, and I just feel fortunate we're safe at home.
What do you think is the best way to support the arts and literature during this pandemic?
Take care of your part of the world, tend to what you can, water the plants within your reach. I've been collecting chapbooks from some of my favorite poets. They get a few bucks, I get a few poems. It's a good deal. I get scared when seeing closing bookstores, people struggling. I try to support what I can. I try to care for what I can.
What do you think Taco Bell Quarterly’s future looks like as of now?
"To rule the world." - Madonna to Dick Clark, American Bandstand, 1984. Same answer.
For more updates, follow Taco Bell Quarterly on Twitter.
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