The Phoenix of Phillips is a literary magazine for and by the Phillips community, the most diverse in Minneapolis. It seeks to be a quality literary voice for the community and help polished and emerging writers develop their talent and share it with a wider audience. It is part of the Semilla Center’s goal to build a multi-generational, multi-genre arts movement in Phillips.
In our third issue (Fall 2016), 14 youth and 15 adults were published. Sixteen photographs by youth juxtaposed powerful images with the words. The theme was “This is My Story”, and the work showed this: A senior citizen wrote about being raped, and how her healing is still mingled with grief. A resident of the memory unit at Ebenezer dictated her story a few weeks before she died. A middle-aged man wrote about the gay experience in the 1980’s and today.
We encourage writing that engages the community and world. In this last issue, youth wrote letter poems to Philando Castille, and to the policemen killed in Dallas. Then they wrote poems in the voice of the people they had written to, and powerful words came forth. The themes for the next two issues continue this focus: “Healing” and “Resistance and Resilience.”