SAND was originally co-founded in late 2009 by Becky Crook and Jason Andrews, but it was Becky who carried it forward into the literary journal we know today. As far as we can tell, this brief article in EXBERLINER is the earliest surviving mention of SAND’s existence preserved on the Internet. Before the first public launch party at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, legend has it that there was a smaller informal launch reading at a courtyard in Friedrichshain. Here is an excerpt from our birth announcement:
Crook, a Seattleite who works at the Friedrichshain-based “platform for social projects” betterplace.org, met Andrews at a writing class; both were enamoured with Berlin’s literature and poetry scene. This month, they’re joining forces to launch SAND, the first local magazine of its kind since Border Crossings disappeared one-and-a-half years ago. “I want SAND to be a central watering hole,” says Crook. “To reflect on Berlin’s vibrant [literary] scene.”
Their project has created ripples of anticipation in the English literary community: it has been supported by the likes of Rob Grant, the man behind Beat Street, and Fuel hostess Lady Gaby; it has also garnered financial support (and subscriptions) from cafés, bookshops and online donors. The deadline for initial submissions was in February, but that shouldn’t stop all you Christopher Isherwood wannabes from sending in your writings: they could be included in the next issue. Crook and Andrews have invested their own savings in the project . “We're sure we'll make our money back,” they say enthusiastically. Even if they don’t, it’s sure to be a fun, fulfilling project.