Longtime MT readers who love literature may already know the name Dwayne Hayes. We first noted him
more than a decade ago, when he started up his biannual journal of European writing, Absinthe
Last year, after 20 issues, Hayes was pleased to allow the University of Michigan’s comparative literature department to take over the magazine, which will continue to publish.
That frees him up to publish a new magazine, which will debut at a launch party tomorrow evening.
The magazine is called Stand
, and it’s called the magazine for men who give a damn about being better men.
But those leery of the men’s movement should take a closer look: This isn’t a magazine about drumming circles, primal screams, or wilderness retreats. It’s an accessible magazine of writing and photography aimed at the average male reader.
Hayes tells us, “It has really great articles, essays, fiction, poetry, photo essays, all meant to encourage and challenge men to be better, to think a little more consciously about the way they live and love.”
The inaugural issue includes men writing about their fathers, a photo essay on sex trafficking from photographer and documentarian Tim Matsui, and a memoir on male depression. Another photo essay features images of men at work in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “What moved me about the photos,” Hayes says, “is that they just show this quiet dignity these men had going about their day-to-day work. Like there’s some inherent dignity in just going to work and doing their job very well.”
Why a magazine about being a man? Hayes offers a simple answer: “There’s nothing like it. When you look at the state of men’s magazines, you could be forgiven for thinking being a successful man is about money or power or having six-pack abs or dating a supermodel. There’s very little attention paid to character and just getting up every day and fulfilling your responsibilities: loving your family, being a good neighbor, and being a good citizen. I wanted to fill that gap, to provide an alternative to the other magazines out there.”
“It’s an idea I’ve had for five years or so,” Hayes says, “and one I resisted for a long time. It’s a little daunting to take on a magazine that seems to focus on character and doing the right thing when you so often do the wrong things.”
What finally spurred Hayes on to publish, and helped inspire the name, was a Japanese proverb: “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
“The magazine would be an encouragement to en to get back up,” Hayes says. “Not that it’s a magazine for perfect men or men who want to be perfect. It’s for men who think seriously about their lives and want to make a difference in their world.”
The launch party for Stand will feature opportunities to meet the editors, a reading from Michigan poet Keith Taylor, and a chance to buy the magazine and have it signed. It takes place at 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at John Cowley & Sons, 33338 Grand River Ave., Farmington; copies will be available for $15; to learn more, see stand-magazine.com.