RIP: The Rogue Voice
June 25, 2008
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
A literary citadel in this county has tumbled.
Editor Stacey Warde and Publisher Dell Franklin announced Monday that The Rogue Voice, a San Luis Obispo County journal of literature, eclectic writing, and grand intent, will publish its final issue in July.
Ending a 34-month romp through the world of words, The Rogue Voice found an eager and receptive audience in and around the Central Coast, bringing to its readers hard-to-find, quality writing and reporting from a plethora of big-name and no-name talent. But in the end, the publication succumbed to advertising woes, having started its life in an already slack advertising climate.
“It’s really sad,” said Warde, a Cayucos resident. “It’s like losing a lover.”
Calling itself “a literary journal with an edge,” The Rogue Voice was immensely popular along the coast, where appreciative readers often could be spotted at ocean side cafes and coffee houses. Its circulation numbers lagged inland, however, where it encountered a more conservative population.
Warde and Franklin did nearly all of the work associated with publishing and distributing The Rogue Voice, and enlisted the willing help of writers, poets, essayists and philosophers locally, and from across the country.
One of the most enduring of the journal’s regular features was Ben Leroux’s “Window Washing Across America.” Leroux described the origin of his writing:
“In the summer of 2003, I discarded all I owned and loaded a troubled 1975 Plymouth with clothes, books, a guitar, a cat named Reggie, and $17.94 worth of window cleaning equipment. I drove across the United States, stopping in nowhere towns, pail and squeegee in hand, cleaning windows for another day’s pittance. Free of any attachments, I floated vaguely east, wandering in a private stratum without itinerary or expectation. I became a true outsider, a fugitive from the banal, suffocating cycle of madness that passes for a ‘normal life’ today in America.”
And in the meantime, Leroux created a lifetime of memories which he gladly shared with a voracious reading audience in The Rogue Voice.
In his final monthly “rant,” editor Warde wrote that The Rogue Voice “hooked a few readers who believed in us, encouraged us, said we were brave, told us to keep it up. We kept it up for as long as we could. Now it’s over.”
With his comments, Warde “marveled at the artistry, pathos, and humor of our contributors, and feel humbled by their creative genius. I’ll miss them most of all.”
The Rogue Voice “stood out because we had character and color, and it showed on every page. Once read, it could never be confused with any other publication; it was unique.”
He closed by writing: “I hope in some small way The Rogue Voice added color to your life the way it did mine, made you feel part of a unique community and left an impression that won’t soon be forgotten. For now, that’s all, folks!”
The Rogue Voice – 2005-2008
Editor’s Note: Stacey Warde and Dell Franklin will be on Dave Congalton’s 920KVEC Hometown Radio show Thursday, June 26, at 5 p.m.
Tags:, Dell Franklin, Rogue Voice, Stacey Warde