Collective Quarterly Magazine

Collective Quarterly Magazine



Change. Tension. Duality. These are the themes in the latest dispatch from The Collective Quarterly, which traces a right triangle along California's central coast between Santa Barbara, Ojai, and Ventura.

There, Collective Quarterly encountered a collection of wild souls: the Southern belle who explores the scary creatures inside her head, the Seattle-born surfer who’s making waves with his freehand-shaped boards, the Ojai native who strives to make sense of the otherworldly energy that draws eccentric characters from all over the world to his hometown, and the Ventura townie who might just be California’s version of a genuine, self-proclaimed redneck.

Each of these characters gave Collective Quarterly a window into the way a place grapples with what it was—and what it is now.



This issue focuses on the area surrounding Asheville, North Carolina. Collective Quarterly listens to itinerant buskers passing through town via railroad, delves inside complicated neo-primitive communities seeking to live outside of civilization, meets a French World War II survivor who has devoted her life to building an art cathedral, and much more.

Social divisions here are often tangled in misunderstanding. Carefree vacationers exist alongside deeply philosophical counterculturalists, who in turn live next to artisans quietly practicing their craft as they have for generations. Just as in the Promised Land of old, coexistence doesn’t come easy. We must continue the endeavor to find each other where we live. 



Maine’s Penobscot Bay is a place where life teeters between unswerving individuality and fierce communal loyalty.

When you and your kind live shoulder-to- shoulder at the edge of the sea, and suck your life from it each day, it’s almost akin to being a barnacle. You learn to hold fast to your piece of the rock, and you grow a tough crust—one that can handle the waves and the weather, and keep your neighbors in their place. You strike a Faustian bargain with the ocean: It brings you a living, but all the while it’s pounding on you. 

In this issue, we meet the last two inhabitants of Eagle Island, tag along with the men and women who make their living fishing lobsters from the deep, and—for the first time in print—present a Stonington photographer’s images from decades of hard living in Penobscot Bay.



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