Mal is a literary journal themed around sexuality and erotics publishing essays, fiction and poetry.
Created as a platform for the most incisive and original voices engaging with sex, gender, race & LGBTQ+ issues today, Mal takes its name from 'malcontent': literally bad content.
Mal is for the bad content that is good writing.
Each edition of Mal features a selection of original essays, fiction and poetry by emerging and established poets, writers and academics. For each issue, Mal commissions an illustrator to produce artworks in response to the texts. An online issue featuring a selection of the pieces in print is published in conjuction with the print edition.
Buy a single copy of MAL JOURNAL or a subscription of your desired length, delivered worldwide. Current issues sent same day up to 3pm!
All magazines sent by 1st Class Mail UK & by Airmail worldwide (bar UK over 750g which may go 2nd Class).
Mal Journal Issue 3: PLANTSEX, produced and edited in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries, focuses on the complex intersections of plant life and sex life, from anthropomorphised sacred trees to 18th century botanical classification and pornography. This issue brings together many of these contemporary and ancient strands, from gardening as an act of active looking and queer disruption to botanical nursery rhymes moulded on the structure of medieval song. A plant, as Chloe Aridjis writes, can become destiny, flora an agent of transformation. While plant life has been used as blueprint on which to project biopolitical anxieties related to gender and race, it is worth remembering that, as Daisy Lafarge reminds us, plants are ‘unaware of their status as moralised protagonists’. Europe’s oldest tree has been observed to ‘switch’ sex. ‘To have sex,’ Emanuele Coccia writes, ‘plants need more than two individuals. They need a whole world.’
The issue features an essay by novelist Chloe Aridjis on Mexican flora and its foreigners, a sequence of floral poems by Bhanu Kapil, an essay on the sex lives of plants by academic and author of The Life of Plants Emanuele Coccia, a personal exploration of the queerness of gardening by Julia Bell, an essay on queer botanics by Sorbonne professor Teresa Castro, a sequence of botanical nursery rhymes and artworks by Alex Cechetti, a new poem (and somatic poetry ritual) by CAConrad, and an essay by writer and poet Daisy Lafarge asking ‘Can you be a revolutionary & still love flowers?’
Included in the issue are also three excerpts from antiquity – the Song of Songs and Ovid’s Fasti V and Metamorphosis – reminding us of the ancient origins of the co-evolution between human and plant and the tradition of writing not just about but together with plants.
The issue features original illustrations by Australian artist Yi Xiao Chen.
Mal is supported by Feeld, the alternative dating platform open to all genders and sexual identities, and operates with editorial independence and without ads.