Journalist Erik Hayden and Folk Singer Sara Noelle Hatch a Print Magazine Devoted to Song Lyrics

The name says it all: Lyrics as Poetry

One of the many cool elements of Lyrics as Poetry, a new bi-annual hardbound print magazine freshly delivered this week from the New York printers and set to make a sonorous summer impact, is the blank, lined “Notes” grid that takes up the final inside page. Because the content gathered for Vol. 1 is indeed of a sort that will inspire many to want to scribble down their reactive thoughts.

As envisioned by The Hollywood Reporter assignment editor Erik Hayden and alternative folk singer-songwriter Sara Noelle, the idea here is to offer a far-distant oasis from the cluttered layout of song-lyric pages on the web, as well as afford lyrics the equivalent of a proper gallery-viewing space for paintings. It works. The theme of the starkly laid out debut issue is “Space” and its beat is comprised of 42 full transcriptions of song lyrics, strategically placed black and white nature photos and 10 short essays about additional individual songs, contributed by journalists such as Ken Layne and music-world folks like Pamela Des Barres.

Another essay-contributor to Vol. 1 is Danny Goldberg, Nirvana’s former manager. He highlights the Beatles song “Across the Universe,” under a cheeky credit line that reads: ‘By John Lennon and Paul McCartney (really by John Lennon).’ From his thoughts:

“Across the Universe” is my favorite mystical song of the hippie era. It begins with trippy reality: “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup. They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.”

The chorus has two distinct hooks. “Jai guru deva om” is pure Bhakti devotion. Lennon characteristically couples it with an affirmation of his individuality with “Nothing’s gonna change my world.” The last lines re-affirm the big picture…

Lyrics as Poetry is a sublime summer companion. Especially for those with a vacant hammock at hand. Other essay writers in Vol. 1 include Hayden’s THR colleague Aaron Couch, The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber and The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon. Printed on eco-friendly paper, the magazine retails for $10 and is available for order online here.

On the bricks and mortar side, Hayden and Noelle are for starters stocking the publication at four L.A. bookstores (Pop Hop Books & Print; Stories Books and Café; Skylight Books; Small World Books) and another in Portland, Ore. (Powell’s Books). They plan to follow that shortly with drops in San Francisco and New York.

Finally, there is one more poetic detail we must share: Hayden and Noelle are engaged to be married. They met in college in Los Angeles.