About Cagibi

Cagibi Literary Journal A cagibi at Saint James Paris. Photo credit: Unknown

Cagibi is a literary journal and will be hosting its first writing retreat in 2019.

Cagibi’s literary journal is bundled online in quarterly issues, with one print issue each year. Each online issue’s Letter from the Editors is both a linked table of contents and reading guide. The journal publishes stories, essays, poetry, and art, from seasoned to new voices from the world over. We welcome minority and marginalized viewpoints, as well as work in translation. Each issue will bring you extra features including authors in conversation, authors sharing essays on craft, and excerpts from forthcoming books. Look for new online issues in January, April, July, and October.

So, Cagibi, qu’est ce que c’est? What is a cagibi?

American phonetic transcription: /kä’jēbē/

French phonetic transcription: /kaʒibi/

It is a French word. You may pronounce it KGB, and you won’t be far off, phonetically. But don’t worry, it has nothing to do with the Soviet Secret Police.

Unless you want it to. A cagibi can be so many things.

It is a space. Usually windowless. It can be the tight storeroom where you keep things, the things that you don’t need to survive every day but that define who you are: letters from former lovers, family albums, old diaries, your birth certificate, your health records, the title to your home.

Or, it can be a shed where you keep your tools. Brooms and mops, shovels and rakes, extension cords, drills, air pumps, water hose. Snow blower. Whatever suits your fancy, or the task at hand.

In some French-speaking parts of the world, it is also known as a cage a bijoux, (ca-bi-j) the box where you keep your most precious jewels.

Or, it can be a cubbyhole, the kind you see in schools or common workspaces, each cubby holding someone’s uniquely personal belongings.

Or, it can be a cubby-hole or cubby house—a snug, small space children will inevitably go to and hide in.

It can also be a cupboard space under the stairs just large enough to fit a small writing desk.

In other words, it is any shelter, no matter how tiny, that allows for big imaginings to take place.

Dans le cagibi, il y a des étagères remplies de documents, et tout ce dont on ne se sert pas souvent. —French dictionary example usage

Cagibi was co-founded in 2017 by NYC writing colleagues Sylvie Bertrand and Christopher X. Shade.

Read our latest issue of Cagibi’s online literary journal. Sign up for our newsletter to hear about each issue as it comes out, and be the first to hear about upcoming retreats.

To submit your work, visit our Submission Guidelines.

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.