Cagibi, qu’est ce que c’est? What is a cagibi?
American phonetic transcription: /kä’jēbē/
French phonetic transcription: /kaʒibi/
A cagibi, from the spoken French, is versatile in its purpose: it may be a shed, a cubbyhole, a cupboard. It is a space to store tools or personal items for safekeeping: shovels, love letters, suitcases, pails, heirlooms, tchotchkes. It is a space too low for grown-ups but perfect for children to hide and play. It is that snug space under the stairs just large enough to fit a small writing desk. It is a space that isn’t quite a room, usually windowless, but also door-less, a space that is at once intimate and yet open to the world.
It is any shelter, no matter how tiny, that allows for big imaginings to take shape.
Cagibi is invested in sharing the universal human experiences to be found in works of prose and poetry set within places unfamiliar to readers; thus, our expressed interest in international—or world—literature, and works in translation. Cagibi is versatile in its purpose and mission to readers and writers. The journal concerns literature in which character conflict, ultimately story, is tied to place. The retreats provide unique and stimulating place experience. In one interpretation, le cagibi is the place at which a writer’s inspiration is rendered into story, or shaped into poem.
“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” —Hilaire Belloc
Cagibi’s journal is bundled online in quarterly issues, with one print issue each year. Issues are in January, April, July, and October. Each issue publishes stories, essays, poetry, and art, as well as extra features including writers in conversation, essays on the writing craft, and excerpts from forthcoming books. We welcome non-traditional and emerging writers, as well as minority and marginalized viewpoints. Occasionally, there are editorial themes, such as the “Recovery” section in Issue 3.
Cagibi Express is a separate online section: a space between issues. Our express delivers the real-time pulse of all that Cagibi represents in contemporary literature. What you will find in Cagibi Express are dispatches from abroad, postcards of literary perspectives, cultural reports from far afield, notes from closer to home, and the Cagibi Express interview with various authors.
Cagibi’s retreats are held in the US and abroad. The first retreat took place in the Hudson Valley in October 2018.
Cagibi was co-founded in 2017 by NYC writing colleagues Sylvie Bertrand and Christopher X. Shade.
To submit your work, visit the Submission Guidelines.
Cagibi is a member publisher of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses.
The copyright to all contents of this site is held either by Cagibi or by the individual authors-artists, unless otherwise or obviously stated, and none of the material may be used elsewhere without written permission. For reprint enquiries, contact us.
Browse Cagibi Issues