The Disappointed Housewife is 5 Years Old!

It’s hard to believe, but The Disappointed Housewife is five years old this month. Our first piece was published on November 30, 2017—that is, our first piece by someone other than me. I had contributed a faux book review to get the ball rolling a couple of weeks earlier.

I remember back then wanting to do something in the literary realm that would not be about myself. I was tired of pushing my own stuff, working on the brand, always thinking about how I might be able to defeat the gatekeepers, and the idea came to me in a dream, believe it or not. Start a literary magazine. Call it The Disappointed Housewife. Get moving. It was so specific, there was no way I could refuse.

As I announced in my blog, The Disappointed Housewife would publish “short works of literary fiction and essays that stretch conventions, play with forms and genres, and in general disrespect the Iowa Workshop model in every way possible. You know, stuff that a disappointed housewife might come up with when she’s mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore. There’d be a lot of tongue-in-cheekness going on, a lot of parody, and a lot of stabs at humor. Kind of like McSweeney’s, but not nearly as snide.”

And it’s turned out to be even better than I imagined. But not because of me. All I did was open the doors to writers out there who have things to say in ways that are not always embraced by the crowd. As editor, I see plenty of material that would be embraced by the crowd, and while it’s generally nice work and produced by writers with plenty of talent, I pass it on to journals actively seeking the crowd’s approval. Here at The Disappointed Housewife, we certainly appreciate the talent but we also want vision. We like it when writers find new ways to look at old stories. When they surprise us. And when they make stuff we can’t stop thinking about.

It happens all the time here.

So: Writers, keep it coming. Sometimes it might feel like we’re not publishing a lot of pieces, but that’s because we’re looking for special pieces and they don’t always come in at a good clip. Patience is its own reward, so it’s worth waiting for something like “Reddit: Am I the Asshole?” by Caity Scott; “Welcome to Café Angst” by Chas Hawthorne; “Letter to Bernadette Mayer” by Andrew Romanelli; “Why I’m Angry” by Brooke Brannon; or “Parade, A Documentary: Shot List” by Jake Sheff. More recently, we’ve featured “From the 2354 Galaxy Museum Exhibition of Lost Civilizations” by Andrea Marcusa, “Painting Party at an Indian Buffet” by Megan Denese Mealor, and “Straight In” by Aaron Becker. These are just off the top of my head; we have so many striking, memorable works under our masthead now.

Happy Birthday to The Disappointed Housewife. I love her in-box. There’s nothing like opening up a new submission and being blown away with unexpected, genuine creativity, and even better: being able to help introduce these artists to hungry readers.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and I’m look forward to the next five years.

Kevin Brennan
The Disappointed Housewife