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The departure of the editor of a magazine can be difficult; the departure of the editor of a magazine with little or no financing can be disastrous. Not so for Pindeldyboz (www.pindeldyboz.com), an annual journal published in Queens, New York. After editor Jeff Boison left the magazine in March 2003 for a nobler pursuit (raising his first-born son), the new editor, Whitney Pastorek, spent the yearlong hiatus that followed maintaining the journal’s Web site, adding several new editors to the masthead, and planning some “mad fund-raising,” including an auction that featured items donated by Dave Eggers, Zadie Smith, George Saunders, and Rick Moody. It paid off: The fourth issue of Pindeldyboz was published in May with a print run of 1,000 copies. It includes 18 short stories that, like all the submissions the journal receives, were unsolicited. “We rely on the kindness of strangers,” Pastorek says. “And every day we wake up hoping our inbox will be filled with exciting new work from exciting new people.”

After a 23-year run, the biannual magazine Grand Street (www.grandstreet.com) has ceased publication. Founded as a quarterly in 1981 by Ben Sonnenberg, the magazine published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. After Jean Stein took over as editor in 1990, Grand Street’s format was expanded to include visual art. Stein says the magazine’s staff will “move on to other endeavors.” The theme of the final issue, published in June, was “Delusions.”

To mark the 20th anniversary of Verse (versemag.blogspot.com), editors Brian Henry and Andrew Zawacki compiled two humongous collections of work, most of which has previously appeared in the triquarterly journal. The first, an anniversary issue forthcoming in December, includes poems by 300 poets from more than 30 countries, and provides a comprehensive overview of the magazine’s second decade, from 1995 to 2004. And in January, the press will publish The Verse Book of Interviews, featuring conversations with 25 contemporary poets, including August Kleinzahler, Lisa Jarnot, and John Yau. By the time you get through both collections—a total of 1,100 pages—it might be time for another anniversary.

Speaking of interviews, the Paris Review (www.theparisreview.com), under the new leadership of Brigid Hughes, who was named editor after George Plimpton died last September, recently made all of the magazine’s Writers-at-Work interviews from the past 51 years available on its Web site. The free feature, titled “The DNA of Literature,” includes 10,000 searchable pages of text.

Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro, a prominent figure in Paris and Madrid following World War I, once wrote, “Take a lily and a cannonball, mix them together; there you have my soul.” Editor Daniel Connor uses Huidobro’s contrariety as the guiding principle for his new biannual literary magazine Lilies & Cannonballs Review (www.liliesandcannonballs.com), which seeks “to create a space for the synthesis of contrary elements: aesthetically driven and socially conscious literature and art; traditional and experimental forms; crazy-man conservative and bleeding liberal views.” You can find those last two on Sunday morning television; the rest can be found in the second issue of Lilies & Cannonballs Review, forthcoming this month.

Looking for a beautifully designed literary magazine that emphasizes art as well as writing? No. Like Connor’s L&CR, No: A Journal of the Arts (www.nojournal.com), the biannual magazine edited by Ben Lerner and Deb Klowden, is a study in opposites. “We’re trying to publish the most interesting writing and images we can find in the most provocative juxtaposition we can devise,” Klowden says. In addition to publishing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by contemporary writers, No includes work that has gone out of print. “We’re interested in doing our part, however small, to keep the vicissitudes of the market from consigning great writing to oblivion,” says Klowden who, with Lerner, is in the early stages of planning a book and/or chapbook series focused on collaborations among poets, visual artists, and book artists.

Kevin Larimer is the associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Literary MagNet (November/December 2004)
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