The Philadelphia-based American Poetry Review (www.aprweb.org), one of the most widely read literary magazines devoted exclusively to the genre—circulation: 14,000—recently launched a regular feature in which poets write about the room (office, studio, torture chamber—call it what you will) where the magic happens. So far, In the Studio has offered personal essays by Joyce Carol Oates and James McCorkle, who likens his attic studio to a ship. The November/December issue of APR includes Dana Levin’s metaphysical take on her writing space.
While APR publishes only poetry, the new biannual literary magazine Land-Grant College Review (www.land-grantcollegereview.com) publishes nearly everything but poetry. The first issue of the New York City–based journal, released in June, features stories by Aimee Bender, Robert Olmstead, Ron Carlson, Stephen Dixon, and Josip Novakovich, an interview with Thisbe Nissen, and artwork by Joy Kolitsky. The next issue is scheduled to hit bookstores in January.
The third issue of 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry (www.hollyridgepress.com) was published last month and includes work by Anselm Berrigan, Matthea Harvey, Rosemarie Waldrop, Cal Bedient, Tony Hoagland, and more than 50 others. Readers who missed the first two issues (three poems from the premiere issue were selected for Best American Poetry 2003), do not despair! The annual 88 is published by Hollyridge Press, a small literary house using print-on-demand technology, which keeps each issue in print and always available.
Citing the influence of Peter Johnson’s literary magazine The Prose Poem: An International Journal (www.webdelsol.com/tpp), editor Brian Clements recently unveiled the premiere issue of Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics (firewheel-editions.org), featuring prose poems by Russell Edson, Maxine Chernoff, Denise Duhamel, and David Lehman—who, by the way, edited Great American Prose Poems, published by Scribner in April. Sentence aims to explore the “gray areas” around prose poetry and to extend readers’ conceptions of the genre.
Named after a sea creature that uses ink as a defense mechanism, Octopus Magazine (www.octopusmagazine.com), a new poetry journal edited by Zachary Schomburg and Tony Tost, seeks to “create a space that moves, that stretches.” Cyberspace seems an appropriate place for the project. The first issue of the online journal includes poems by Arielle Greenberg, Joshua Corey, Brian Henry, Joshua Edwards, and 12 others.
Transition (www.transitionmagazine.com) is going through yet another transition. After getting its start in 1961 in Kampala, Uganda, where it quickly became Africa’s leading intellectual magazine—publishing such diverse figures as Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, and American writers James Baldwin, Paul Theroux, and Langston Hughes—then folding in 1976, only to be resurrected by Henry Louis Gates Jr. in the United States in 1991, Transition is moving from Duke University, where it was published for the last eight years, to Soft Skull Press. It will be the Brooklyn-based independent press’s first journal, but publisher Richard Nash, who calls Transition the “smartest, sassiest, and most global periodical in the English language,” has high ambitions. “It is very much our intention to take this to the level of Granta (www.granta.com), and perhaps more ambitiously still, to the level of Barney Rosset’s Evergreen Review (www.evergreenreview.com) in the late 1960s.” The next issue of Transition will be published in December.