By founder: David M. Olsen
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe
The road to this project was a long one. I started tinkering with the idea of a literary site several years ago, but I just thought that there were too many already, and that readership was limited for them. And, for the most part, this seems to be true. But the one thing that I found that underpins many literary reviews is that they are boring. Many of them really boring, and focused solely on prose or poetry relevant to a specific audience. So I started to think of a way to differentiate my project from the many, and eventually I decided that I should focus on what I love most: Surfing, Art, Culture, and Travel.
The result, as you can see, is Kelp Journal. As best as I can describe at the current moment, Kelp Journal is an adventure-themed literary review that showcases not just the written word, but also artists, filmmakers, photographers, and Instagram influencers who embody the things that I love. Artists and writers who are talented and are taking on the world with a boldness of spirit and an ever-present fortitude of character.
At the masthead, a reader will see a logo that I lovingly refer to as the “Hemingway Shred.” I think it’s important to point out why I chose this particular person and this activity. Hemingway was an adventurer, and while he wasn’t a surfer so far as I know, he did endure many incredible and dangerous forays into the wilderness, war zones, and destinations around the world. He was blown up in an ambulance as a volunteer in WWI, he survived two plane crashes in Africa, he covered multiple wars as a journalist, and he wrote bravely and honestly: an art that garnered him the Nobel Prize, as well as the Pulitzer.
All this is to say, what I admire about Hemingway, is the same thing that I admire about all of the people that we are showcasing in this issue, and in this Literary Journal. They are all intrepid spirits who are braving out into the world and reporting back to us, here, so that we can share in their experiences if anything, vicariously.
This issue is special to me. Not just because it is the inaugural issue, but because this is a passion project that has been brought to life by the work of a huge network of people from all over the world. It’s exciting that, through social media, we can connect with a photographer on the North Shore of Oahu, a Swedish professional surfer, famous writers, and a poet living in Malaysia. If there is any message that I would like to portray through this experience, it is that no matter who we are, no matter where we are, we are all on this planet together and we all share its beauty and its resources.
So, go forth, be fearless, and if you chose to chronicle your experiences, send them to us to share with the world. I love you all.
David M. Olsen
Pacific Grove, Ca
July 4th, 2019