April 30, 2020
Discover the new lit mag of the avant-Gordita: Taco Bell Quarterly
by Ryan Harrington
“Taco Bell Quarterly is the literary magazine for the Taco Bell Arts and Letters. We’re a reaction against everything. The gatekeepers. The taste-makers. The hipsters. Health food. Artists Who Wear Cute Scarves. Bitch-ass Wendy’s. We seek to demystify what it means to literary, artistic, important, and elite.”
So begins the mission statement of the not-Taco-Bell-affiliated literary magazine about Taco Bell. And thanks to Constance Grady’s interview with TBQ’s mastermind MM Carrigan over at Vox, we’re all now hip to the journal Baja Blasting its way onto the scene.
In that interview, Carrigan draws a connection between the project and our generation’s (I think we can define this as broadly as an FM radio station might: 80s, 90s and today) strange intimacy with huge brands. Are they our friends? Our overlords? An easy punchline?
There is space, it seems, in the Quarterly’s vision for all of these to be true. As TBQ’s submission guidelines put it:
Taco Bell Quarterly is currently looking for literary/creative essays, short stories, fiction/prose, poems, multimedia, your stupid status updates, whatever, that explore any and all elements of Taco Bell. An elegy for the discontinued menu items? Fine. An experimental essay about marine biology and the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito? Awesome. Review the new Beefy Fritos Burrito and how it reminds you of the time your grandma died? We want it. Something that introduces us to inventive form, dynamic language, and strong voice. Or not. We’re not judgey and pretentious. We’re Taco Bell Quarterly.
Of Taco Bell proper’s awareness of the project, Carrigan says happily: “they reached out to me and have been really cool.”
Submissions for Volume 3 are open through July 1st. Shoot your shot at: [email protected]
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.