Mission Statement

The Rumen is mostly committed to publishing the highest-quality poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art by all peoples, especially individuals from historically underrepresented demographics. We believe that art is a vehicle for inter- and intrapersonal connection, and we are especially interested in work that effectively describes what it means to be human, in an intellectual, emotional, bodily, and/or communal way.

Our Roots

The Rumen is a collaboration between writers, poets, and artists from a variety of demographics and backgrounds. Like the guts of an ungulate, we want The Rumen to be a space for ideas and experiences to digest, ferment, and transform. We are especially interested in publishing contributors from historically underrepresented people groups.

Our editors bring their own expertise from artistic, scientific, and technical fields. No discipline exists in isolation, and we believe that in The Rumen the ripples of these intersections can gather, collapse, and mutate into some greater, more meaningful summation.

The Rumen was founded in 2022 by James Cole and Dave Sorensen, but made possible through the work of artists from across the cosmos.

James Cole

James Cole, Doctor

James Cole is an author, poet, filmmaker, scientist, and ranidaphobe based out of Charlottesville, VA. He graduated from The College of William and Mary in 2018 with a degree in neuroscience and a bunch of unnecessary credits in creative writing and medieval studies.

During the days he researches developmental eye disorders as Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia Medical School. By night, he blathers poetry at anyone who will listen, and many who will not. His own writings appear in a number of publications, including Oddball Magazine, Poetica Review, and The Artemis Journal.

In 2019 he released his first poetry collection, Crow, Come Home with VerbalEyze Press. He also founded Charlottesville Poetry Critique Circle and Poetry Live! Showcase. When he is not engaged in literary slapfighting he has been known to suffer horrific deaths in historic short films, simulate adventures with tiny plastic people, and clap way too loud for buskers.

Dave Sorensen

James Cole, Doctor

Dave Sorensen is a writer, editor, musician, and web developer living in central Virginia. His stories have appeared in a number of literary magazines, including New Reader Magazine, The Squawk Back, Infinite Rust, and others. In 2017 his one-act play "Soup" was featured as part of Live Arts's New Works on Fire series. His upcoming novel, Unconventional Desire, will probably never actually be released or even finished.

For anyone who is interested, Dave’s favorite writers include David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Douglas Coupland, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Mann, and Ivan Turgenev. He also likes trashy memoirs, by anyone.