Whether the Gothic Funk is a budding literary empire or an experimental literary collective, it sounds as if they know how to throw a party.
– Robert Duffer, Chicago Examiner
The Gothic Funk Nation…, while sounding in name like a Parliament Funkadelic cover band, is actually an art collective with ‘a whole lotta rhythm goin’ down.’
– bkish literary blog
Gothic Funk is: Narrowly, an updated romanticism that exploits postmodern narrative technique, and more broadly an edgy, contemporary style that is filled with energy and steers clear of murky despair.
In November 2004, members of the Michigan diaspora in Chicago reacted to bad news with a party. They called on the ghosts of Ann Radcliffe and James Brown, Ian Curtis and Chicago’s Warehouse (and director Baz Luhrman, too). The collective included artists, authors, DJs, architects, physicists, actors, physicians, activists, clerks, temp workers, and more. Their work was a synthesis of dark gothic sublimity and the earthy passion of funk. They called themselves “gothic funk” and their parties gave birth to the Gothic Funk Nation. Since then, the Paramanu Pentaquark arts journal has published issues featuring dozens of entries for Images, Sounds, and Words. Their Tuesday Funk reading series has become one of the most dynamic of Chicago’s literary events, and has featured luminaries such as Bill Shunn, Parneshia Jones, Megan Stielstra, Maggie Kast, and J-L Deher-Lessaint, among many others. And for a time, the National Address reading circle provided a safe and friendly place for artists to workshop works-in-progress, while the infamous Gothic Funk Parties gave Chicago a chance to unwind to a beautiful, bizarre beat.
In 2010, with the support of the Nation, cofounder Connor Coyne has launched the Gothic Funk Press to establish an independent publishing voice in the Midwest. He’s been aided in this endeavor by editors Elisabeth Blair and Reinhardt Suarez, proofreader Jessica Coyne, publicist Skylar Moran, and designer Sam Perkins-Harbin. For its first project, the Press published Coyne’s novel Hungry Rats, and in 2011 he moved back to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, a city whose notorious poverty is easily matched by its innovative traditions and fertile artistic soil. As of the year 2012, the Gothic Funk Press has activated in Flint, Michigan, and with each project and each success, advances its mission of spreading Gothic Funk throughout the world.