Announcing: ENTRAILS Magazine and Collective

izzy johnson

My name is Izzy Johnson, and I’m an artist and musician based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’ve been living with inflammatory bowel disease (due to Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis*) for over 20 years and a permanent ileostomy for about four years. At age 33, I have about one third of my intestines left. While this sounds extreme, my ileostomy has given me a new beginning in life and somewhat consistent health for the first time since I can remember. Over the past few years, I’ve been able to reflect on my experience with Crohn’s. Although my disease doesn’t completely define me, it is a significant part of who I am. It’s my desire to help those in similar situations to my own. 

I’m reaching out today because I’m launching a literary and visual art publication called ENTRAILS MAGAZINE. We live in a society which unfortunately doesn’t allow much space for us to talk about our lived experience with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), so instead we become isolated and embarrassed in our painful realities. I hope this magazine can help to shift that. I’m starting ENTRAILS for several reasons. First, making art and writing saved and changed my life—it’s been a way for me to proactively process living in a sick body. ENTRAILS will show others how transformative art and writing can be. Second, I want to see a world that is more compassionate toward and understanding of the limitations for those living with IBD. As a platform, ENTRAILS will advance IBD representation in sick and disabled communities as well as the mainstream. Finally, this magazine is for kids and young adults newly diagnosed with this life-long disease. ENTRAILS will be the space I wish had existed for my terrified and traumatized younger self to find others with relatable experiences and interests. 

Mott Children’s Hospital, 2003

post ileostomy surgery, Michigan Med, 2018

happy to be here, 2022

If this project sounds like something you want to support, please consider the following:

ENTRAILS COLLECTIVE!! If you or someone you know is interested in joining a monthly online group for collective learning, support and connection, email with “connect” as the subject title. We can’t wait to talk!

WE NEED SUBMISSIONS!!  To have a submission based magazine, we need submissions from people living with IBD!  All ages and skill levels are welcome, and we consider all types of submissions—from poetry to recipes, from paintings to comics. Please share this email with anyone and everyone living with IBD and check out our website for submission guidelines. The deadline for ISSUE 1 is October 1, 2022. 

WE NEED DONATIONS…NOW!!  ENTRAILS MAGAZINE depends on the generosity of others to launch this project. We are fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas—one of the largest arts nonprofits in the U.S. with 501c3 status. That means we can receive tax deductible donations on behalf of Fractured Atlas! By clicking this link you can make a one time donation or monthly recurring donations through Fractured Atlas, which will then go to ENTRAILS MAGAZINE. Donations will directly contribute to the creation of this magazine, the expenses and work involved, as well as honorariums to those whose work is published. I dream that, in time, I’ll be able to employ a small team of people living with IBD to be a part of a flexible and inclusive work environment—something that is critical for a chronically ill existence.

WE NEED THIS PROJECT SHARED!!  Please help get the word out by sharing this email, the website, and/or our instagram page with friends, family, gastrointestinal doctors, clinics, support groups and/or anyone you can think of!!

Be a part of our email list to stay up to date with all things ENTRAILS.

* Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic and debilitating autoimmune diseases predominantly affecting—but not limited to—the gastrointestinal tract (mouth to anus). These two life-long conditions fall under the broader category of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in which the immune system attacks its own tissue leading to a number of painful and damaging symptoms. IBD causes ulcerations throughout the GI tract which can have life-threatening complications, including GI bleeding, strictures, obstructions, fistulas, infections, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting and severe pain, to name a few. While the cause of IBD is not yet confirmed, researchers believe it has to do with genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, chemo-like medications and surgeries (to remove segments of irreversibly diseased intestines) can provide temporary relief but, at this time, there is no known cure.   

ENTRAILS MAGAZINE is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of ENTRAILS MAGAZINE must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.