Literary MagNet

by Staff
From the September/October 2002 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

In its first five months of publication One Story (, the literary magazine that every three weeks features—what else?—a single short story in a nifty, 5-by-7-inch, stapled booklet, has attracted nearly a thousand subscribers. With a consistent, no-frills design served up by subscription only, One Story seeks to take advantage of a simple concept. "Everyone loves mail," says publisher Maribeth Batcha. "It feels very intimate when you get one story in an envelope. We want people to feel like it's a little present." Forthcoming stories include "The Death of Vae" by Dan Taulapapa McMullin in September; and "The Cryerer" by Jim Hanas and "Boys Industrial School" by Jerry Gabriel in October.

The 56-year-old Chicago Review ( continues to solidify its reputation for publishing sturdy double-issues featuring special sections—recent examples include New Polish Writing; Stan Brakhage: Correspondences; and On Robert Duncan—with its Summer 2002, 360-page offering, New Writing in German, collecting the work of 50 German-language writers in translation. "What distinguishes any journal worth keeping is its ability to arrest the stream of complacency and self-importance that much of the literary world wallows in," says editor Eirik Steinhoff. "Criticism—and I have in mind here intelligent, critical essays and honest, pointed reviews—is one way to do this; and special issues that present constellations of archival material or contemporary literatures in translation are another."

For nearly 20 years the Poet's Sampler has been a regular feature of the bimonthly Boston Review (, devoting a full tabloid-sized page to a selection of work by an "emerging" or "underappreciated" poet, accompanied by a brief introduction by an established poet or critic. Since 1996, when Mary Jo Bang and Timothy Donnelly began editing it, the section has featured Jeff Clark introduced by Heather McHugh; Brenda Shaughnessy by Richard Howard; Catherine Wagner by Rae Armantrout; and Emily Wilson by James Galvin, among others. The Boston Review's October/November Poet's Sampler features poems by Katy Lederer introduced by Gillian Conoley.

Sven Birkerts, a creative writing teacher at Mount Holyoke College, on July 1 became the second editor of Agni (, the twice-yearly literary magazine published at Boston University. Birkerts took over the position from Askold Melnyczuk, who founded Agni—named after the Vedic god of fire and guardian of humanity—in 1972.

Ploughshares (, the Emerson College triquarterly that enlists a prominent writer to guest-edit each issue, is following up its Fall 2002 fiction issue, edited by Margot Livesey, with an issue compiled by C.D. Wright in December. Carl Phillips will edit the Spring 2003 issue, available next April.

To help celebrate the 90th anniversary of Poetry (, the monthly literary magazine founded in Chicago in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, Norton is publishing Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters, a collection of correspondence to and from the editors of the magazine during its first 50 years.

The second issue of Blackbird (, the twice-yearly online-only journal that debuted on April 15 with plans to utilize "the distributive power of the Internet while keeping to the editorial standards associated with print journals," will be available in November. Edited by Gregory Donovan, Mary Flinn, and William Tester, the magazine aims to set a new standard for quality in online literary publication.

Issue 19 of Creative Nonfiction, edited by Lee Gutkind, collects essays examining aspects of diversity, including race, ethnicity, religion, and, of course, language. Included in Diversity Dialogues is an essay by Floyd Skloot, the winner of the $10,000 Walter V. Shipley Award, underwritten by JPMorgan Chase.