SUBLEVEL is an online literary magazine devoted to the nexus of literature, poetics, art, criticism, philosophy, culture, and politics. SUBLEVEL inherits and reflects the dynamism of contemporary Los Angeles as a hub of literature, art, and activism, while also stretching beyond our locality. Based in the CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program, an innovative and interdisciplinary environment dedicated to the experimental impulse in writing and thinking, SUBLEVEL is a literary publication immersed in the world of art without being in service to it. We make no hard distinctions between creative and critical enterprise, but rather celebrate writing of any kind that we find stimulating, timely, or otherwise compelling. We will publish original essays, interviews, roundtables, and other features online; there will also be an annual print component (SUBLEVEL B-sides). In time SUBLEVEL will expand in ways we can only begin to imagine.


SUBLEVEL #1 was co-edited by Janice Lee and Maggie Nelson.

Editorial Assistants

  • Thomas Aguila
  • Giovan Alonzi
  • Vanessa Baish
  • Rosa Boshier
  • Leann Lo
  • Alyssa Manansala
  • Rose Servis
  • Jesse VanDenKooy


  • Tisa Bryant
  • Brian Evenson
  • Douglas Kearney
  • Janet Sarbanes
  • Matias Viegener
  • Jon Wagner
  • Christine Wertheim

Feature Descriptions

SESSION: A roundtable discussion bringing people from different fields into conversation.

PORTFOLIO: New writing selected from our open submissions reading period.

STUDY: A consideration of a phenomenon in art or culture.

CORRESPONDENT: A report from the field, in the form of recommendations.

EXHIBIT: A representation of a project that may or may not have taken verbal form.

STUDIO: A piece created for SUBLEVEL.

DIALOGUE: A wide-ranging conversation between two people.

L.A. LETTER: A local dispatch from Southern California.


SUBLEVEL is produced in collaboration with the online magazine ENTROPY, and in conversation with EAST OF BORNEO, an online art magazine also housed at CalArts. SUBLEVEL is based in the MFA Creative Writing Program of CalArts but is not a student publication, nor does it publish the work of current students. We neither focus on faculty or alumni of CalArts nor exclude them.