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Amoratorium is ready for the world



(Photo taken by Lizzy Shramko)

Over past few months, Paper Darts has been hammering away at molten poetry, music, and lyrics in collaboration with Brian Laidlaw to forge something that was wholly greater than its parts. Emerging from the darkest days of winter, our baby is finally ready to be unveiled.


Amoratorium is ready for the world and it is beautiful.

(Photo taken by Allegra Lockstadt)

Part chapbook, part record sleeve, part lyric book, part poetry: this is Amoratorium. The hybrid format of the album is an experiment that Laidlaw has been carefully honing for over a decade. He started mixing poems with music while studying as an undergrad at Stanford University. Now he “translates” non-rhyming poetry into catchy, melodic lyrics using the same songwriting techniques he teaches students as a professor at McNally Smith College of Music.


The multimedia experiment first began about three or four five years ago, when Laidlaw was pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of Minnesota. He wrote an individual poem about Bonnie and decided that it was written by Clyde. Then he tried to move on. After repeatedly finding himself chronicling the couple’s relationship, myriad roster of crimes, and larger-than-life status as contemporary folk heroes, however, he decided to try to build the poems into a project of their own.


(Photo taken by Allegra Lockstadt)

Paper Darts was more than happy to illuminate Laidlaw's music, giving it a physical form that music and poetry lovers alike could appreciate. The chapbook is crafted in beautiful, heavy-weight paper, with stunning illustrations by Allegra Lockstadt and art direction/design by Dakota Sexton. We combed over every detail to bring you an entire experience, from the second you turn the first page, to the last note you listen to on the record.


The project is funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board and by a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant.


You can stream the full album here. Photos of the live recording of the album are available here.


(Photo taken by Ali Rogers)





Join our ranks!

We are making way for more misfits of the  art + lit world to join our ranks. Together, we want to publish content that will give those traditional, highbrow gatekeepers nightmares. If you have an unabating love for short fiction, or if you have a vision for a new era of visual art, apply to be on our staff. 

We want to co-create job descriptions for each new staff member. Your role here will be built to suit your very own special snowflake skillset. However, there are some general responsibilities all staff members share. Here are things we would like you to know about the role before enlisting:


This is a minimum of a one-year commitment with opportunity to extend involvement. All positions at Paper Darts are volunteer.

General Responsibilities:

  • A commitment to work at least ten hours per week
  • Evaluate submission queries from new writers through Submittable and make recommendations to editors
  • Attend cultural and literary events to seek out new writers and readers
  • Regular scouring of the Internet, culture blogs, and other literary journals to find new writers, then presenting recommendations to all staff
  • Research strategies to increase submissions, readership, and visibility
  • Provide Paper Darts online with original content such as blogs, reviews, articles, and interviews.


Qualified Candidates Will Have:

  • Excellent written and organizational skills
  • A stupid strong love for reading
  • A militant drive to get people to read short fiction and contemplate art
  • A deep appreciation for cultural competency
  • A longing to hang around with a bunch of feminist book lovers
  • Extensive knowledge of the literary magazine landscape and familiarity with popular culture blogs and emerging writers
  • Previous experience with editorial departments and publishing
  • Laptop and easy access to Internet (80 percent of communication is through email)
  • Crush on Paper Darts’ content and tone
  • Note: Applicants do not need to reside in Minnesota


Deadline: 3/9/2015

Click here to apply




Heartbreak Week: Recommended Reading

With Valentine's Day behind us, it's time to tap into our angst and read some literature that reminds us why love is, sometimes, just the stupidest.


Fiction: David Cotrone

A how-to guide for being a jerk.

Reading time: 6 minutes, 28 seconds
Recommended for: Bad boyfriends

Fiction: Faith Gardner 

Sometimes your online date doesn't turn out like you planned. 

Reading time: 4 minutes, 36 seconds
Recommended for: Reluctant partners

Fiction: Katie Sisneros

Don't call your ex to save you from aliens. You're better than that.

Reading time: 6 minutes, 40 seconds
Recommended for: All the single ladies

Fiction: Rachael Katz 

Inviting you to their wedding? Who does your ex think they are?

Reading time: 3 minutes, 11 seconds
Recommended for: People who are over it (or want to be over it)

Fiction: Lena Bertone

Happy endings are for chumps anyway.

Reading time: 3 minutes, 1 second
Recommended for: Ruining an annoyingly perfect couple's day

Fiction: Jillian Capewell

Finally, a solution for all that stupid stuff your ex left you with.

Reading time: 17 minutes, 30 seconds
Recommend for: Anyone dumped by a guy named Art

Fiction: Elizabeth Word Gutting

Heartbreak spares no one, especially not your teenage daughter.

Reading time: 7 minutes, 6 seconds
Recommended for: Moms and daughters


Sitspo Week: Recommended Reading

Hey, look at that! It's January and it's cold outside. Love it or hate it, the cold is a perfect reason to snuggle up on your couch, squish your blanket and maybe a cat, and let this literature warm the cockles of your heart.

Fiction: Jason Heller

The daily coffee shop line gets retroactively interesting.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Coffee drinkers

Fiction: Christine Friedlander

A car crash victim and a dead neighbor's icy driveway: they both need your help.

Reading time: 9 minutes
Recommended for: Heroes

Fiction: Laura Shadler 

Getting over an ex might be a little like recovering from Agoraphobia. 

Reading time: 27 minutes
Recommended for: The brave

Poetry: Samiah Haque

Snow is the most romantic backdrop of them all.

Reading time: 30 seconds
Recommended for: Friends and lovers

Poetry: Kimberly Ann Southwick

Texas has frozen over.

Reading time: 48 seconds
Recommended for: Texans 

Fiction: Eric Magnuson

On top of a frozen lake is a terrible place to be when you're in love.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Young lovers


Catch Up on Simon Jacobs' Exclusive Series: MASTERWORKS

Simon Jacobs had an idea for a recurring series: flash fiction pieces in which the characters reenact famous works of art. Being a home for art and lit to meet and clash and mix, Paper Darts couldn't say no.

Welcome to MASTERWORKS. This serialized content is delivered exclusively to Paper Darts e-news subscribers each month. If you don't want to miss out on the next one, sign up for the Paper Darts e-news.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Pseudo-witches 

I am doing something lewd with a grape. You've created two enormous papier-mâché blueberries molded on oversized party balloons that we're meant to put over our heads and stumble blindly around in—there are no eye-holes and absolutely no light gets in.

We don the giant fruit heads and try to have sex on the kitchen table. In addition to being blind, I can barely breathe and sweat horribly, and our spherical shells knock dumbly against each other, forcing our necks into awkward and unfortunate angles. By the time our relevant naked parts find each other, we're long past feeling amorous. We carry it out with a kind of vague artistic stoicism—hardly a match for the old Flemish master—and when we're both depleted I rip my fruit head off with a strong whiff of glue and craft-hour and say something grandiose like, "The world's first couple," but you can't hear anything through the papier-mâché. You cock your blueberry to one side (the paint is flaking off where mine kept colliding with it) like, "What?"

Keep reading…


Reading time: 4 minutes
Recommended for: Spookmeisters 

Samhain is drawing near. You find the photos I have hidden on the computer. "I see you're into group stuff now," you say, the disgust evident in your voice. "This is certainly…a discovery."

 I don't have even a glimmer of response—sometimes, things just get rude—but you don't mention it again, and I spend a quiet forty-eight hours listening to the Suspiriasoundtrack and working on my woolly bats and arcane twig constructions in my room; it's harmless spookmeister stuff, not everything needs to be canonical.

Keep reading…

Reading time: 2 minutes
Recommended for: Ritualists 

I am stately as fuck.

I stand absolutely still, the way most inanimate objects do, bracing myself for something to happen while praying that it won't. My new confines fit me like a second skin, and my eyes strain constantly to resolve the darkness into anything concrete. Dust settles over me.

They are moving down the hallway. Inches away from my precious temple, spike heels and combat boots creak across the floor, a search party combing the depths of the inverted tower where I once lived.

Keep reading…


Gluttony Week: Recommended Reading

Tis the season to get your om nom on. Whether you're reheating Thanksgiving leftovers or planning what to cook for your upcoming holiday party, you've got food on the brain and (hopefully) in your tummy. Here's some food-focused literature to snack on between meals.

Poetry: Kaitlyn Tiffany

It's hard out there for a Vitamin C deficient smoker.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Spores

Poetry: Lauren Shimulunas

Batman has been feeling a little down lately. Chinese food helps.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Heroes

Poetry: Christianna Fritz

After all, it might taste like chicken. It might taste better than chicken.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Cat people

Poetry: Gina Keicher

Ever get the feeling there's an anvil in your chest? Or is that just this gal?

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Churchgoers

Poetry: John Sierpinksi

The upside of a plain supper is that it probably won't make you sick.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Sorters


Ghost Stories Week: Recommended Reading

If you're looking for bone-chilling tales of horror, you…won't find them here. You will find stories ranging from funny to creepy, though, and they do all feature ghosts. We didn't make that part up.

Poetry: Ben Clark and Colin Winnette

"Don’t let them out." When has anyone ever listened to that? 

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Grandfathers

Fiction: Wendy Wimmer

Some believed the whole island was haunted, stem to stern.

Reading time: 4 minutes
Recommended for: Skeletons

Fiction: Mark Manner

I ain't a ghost, said the ghost. I'm here to rob you, you dumb motherfucker.

Reading time: 10 minutes
Recommended for: Spiders

Poetry: Molly Jean Bennett

The sisters are afraid of men, but not ghosts. #yesallwomen

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Boogeymen

Fiction: Ryan Bradford

This story contains numerous, unintelligible sounds. Thankfully, there's a guide at the beginning. COOOWOOSHAROOAGH!

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Severed heads