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Published March 26, 2009
Jonathan Freedman, University of Michigan Professor of English and American Culture, has been named editor of Michigan Quarterly Review, the University of Michigan's flagship scholarly and literary journal. Professor Freedman holds a B.A. from Northwestern and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where he taught before coming to Michigan. He has also taught at Caltech, Oxford University, and the Bread Loaf School of English. He is the author of three books: Professions of Taste (1991), The Temple of Culture (2001), and Klezmer America (2007), and has edited numerous other volumes, including, with Sara Blair, Jewish in America, originally a special issue of MQR. In addition to his previous work with MQR, Freedman was a founding editor of the Yale Journal of Criticism and a member of its editorial collective.

MQR is a journal of the humanities, publishing essays, interviews, memoirs, fiction, poetry, and book reviews. Since 1977 MQR has been edited by University of Michigan Professor of English Laurence Goldstein, whose acute literary sensibilities and critical discernment have made the magazine an important venue for new creative work, and whose broad interests have encouraged its interdisciplinary scope.

He instituted the practice of devoting one issue a year to the exploration across disciplines of some topic of special interest, which has ranged from 1979's "The Moon Landing and Its Aftermath" and 1980-81's "The Automobile and American Culture" to the recent volumes on "Vietnam: Beyond the Frame," The Documentary Imagination," and "China." In the last two decades MQR has published work by Margaret Atwood, Robert Coles, Carol Gilligan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Barry Lopez, Czeslaw Milosz, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Rorty, Eric J. Sundquist, John Updike, William Julius Wilson, and other authorities in their fields, as well as some of the finest contemporary fiction and poetry. Work appearing in MQR is often selected for inclusion in anthologies such as the annual Pushcart Prize, Best American Essays, and Best American Poetry.

Professor Goldstein will complete his editorship with the Spring 2009 issue of MQR.
Published March 24, 2009
In "Why should I pay for your hobby?" (MastheadOnline) Stacey May Fowles responds to the CPF's established 5,000 annual circulation floor and the ignorance it will sustain: "But if you can’t get your business going, why should the average Canadian taxpayer be responsible for your personal passion? Your niche interests? Your 'little' magazine?"
Published March 23, 2009
Literary publishers protest cuts
Malahat Review among smaller periodicals facing loss of funding
By Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service
March 11, 2009

"The new Canada Periodical Fund, announced last month by Heritage Minister James Moore and still being designed by government officials, would deny certain federal grants to most publications with annual sales of fewer than 5,000 copies. 'The government is improving the way it does business to meet the changing needs of Canadians,' Moore said when the program was announced in February. 'The way in which support to Canadian periodicals is delivered will be reformed to maximize value for money and to seize opportunities in today's global, technological environment.'" [read the rest here]
Published March 18, 2009
Without the usual fanfare I've seen on lit mag covers and PR, River Teeth celebrates its 10th year of publication with a fabulously packed double issue. I was surprised at the size, which is what led me to the Editors' Notes (mind you even seeing "Volume 10" didn't set off any anniversary alarms). As quietly and as calmly as their publication has always presented itself (same gorgeous blue-tinted cover), Editors Joe Mackall and Daniel W. Lehman make no grand statements about a decade of publishing creative non-fiction. Instead, and as always, they defer to the efforts of their writer's and to their ever-important readership:

"Ten years ago we penned the first editors' notes to our readers. At this point ten years later, we should be writing at length about our humble beginnings and singing of the heights we've reached. Our words should reveal just the right amount of nostalgia, pride, and just a hint of self-congratulation. But there is no time for that; or rather, no space.

"We have to keep this note short. In the ten years River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative has been around, we have received over twenty thousand submissions, and we've published about three hundred of those twenty thousand. Most of what we reject is the work of fine writers. And now we've had to reject the work of writers whose work we've previously accepted. Worse than that - we've had to reject the very same pieces we once accepted! We had to choose the best forty or so pieces of the three hundred we've published. To make matters worse, we've had to divide the pieces up into four categories: Essay, Memoir, Literary Journalism, and Craft and Criticism. If there were no space concerns, we'd write a few sentences about how difficult it can be to say, for instance, where memoir ends and a kind of literary journalism begins, and how much we like pieces that flirt with those boundaries. If we had more space, we'd brag about our Pushcart Prize and our Best American Essays. We'd love to pat ourselves on the back and tell you how many Pulitzer Prize winners we've published — and with even more pride — shine a light on the people whose River Teeth publication was their first.

"Saying no to our own writers was the hardest thing we've had to do as editors. We hate to reject a piece we love because there's simply no more space. So the best thing we can do right now is to shut up, and thank you for reading."
Published March 14, 2009
Can I just say how happy I am with the new Chattahoochee Review covers? Okay, I will. Not that traditionally-styled lit mag covers don't have their place, but with the concern about lit mags being able to survive these days, and the more "image-driven" culture in which we live, it does become more important (perhaps critical) for publications to be able to "catch" new readers. Covers are the place we all begin, like it or not: we do judge our reading material by this to some degree. Funny enough, you can't even find an image of CR's old cover on their website. Erased from memory. Perhaps they'll end up as collector's editions on ebay.
Published February 06, 2009
The Iowa Review, Winter 2008/09, features Winners of the 2008 Iowa Review Awards:

Nonfiction: Nancy Geyer for "Where the Children Are"
Poetry: Dave Snyder for "Bamboo Poem"
Fiction: Andrew Mortazavi for "Stop Six, Ft. Worth"

IR also announced a tie for the Tim McGinnis Award for 2008 for "the most unusually pleasing and unexpected work of the year" : Jim Barnes ("Five Villanelles," Spring 2008) and Ron Carlson ("Victory at Sea," in this current issue).

IR makes several works from their most current issue available online.
Published February 05, 2009
The newest issue of Michigan Quarterly Review (under the new editorial guidance of Jonathan Freedman, University of Michigan Professor of English and American Culture) includes an article by Margaret Morganroth Gullette: "Annals of Caregiving: Does Emma Woodhouse's Father Suffer from 'Dementia'?" For Austen fans, this is a compelling analysis, ready for controversy: "Some readers may deny that Mr. Woodhouse has any form of cognitive impairment, veering back to the simplicities of the 'polite old man' characterizations and ignoring the tender manipulations of his caregivers that I have tried to put into relief. Many of us may be diminished in our capacity to connect his condition with our contemporary of the old people Americans fear most - even, sometimes when they are our own relatives."
Published February 05, 2009
Ecotone's latest issue is a whopping 430 pages - a double issue - in celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the sesquicentennial of the publication of The Origin of Species. The editorial alone ("Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys) is worth the issue price, in reading how David Gessner once taught a course called "When Thoreau Met Darwin."

The issue includes winners of the 2008 Ecotone Evoluntion Contest, judeged by Jennifer Ackerman:

First Prize: Emily Taylor for her short story "Beginning"
Second Prize: Kathryn Miles for her essay "Dog Is Our Copilot
Third Prize: Lynn Pederson for her poem "On Reading about the Illness adn Death of Darwin's Daughter Annie

And a shout out to Jennifer Sinor for her essay, "The Certainty of Spinning," and for Birkerts fans (me!), he's here too, with the nonfiction piece, "The Points of Sail."
Published January 30, 2009
Thanks to Daniel Nester for mentioning NewPages as a "best online portal" in The Library Journal's January installment of The Magazine Rack. Magazines mentioned in this column include Cave Wall, Bateau, 1913, The Lumberyard, Caketrain, Alimentum, Habitus, Chautauqua, Atlas, and Greatest Uncommon Denominator.
Published January 12, 2009
Special classroom rates of the Georgia Review are available to instructors and college bookstores. Single issues are $6 instead of $10, and a student subscription rate is $24 instead of $30 for one year (four issues). As an added bonus, for every ten subscriptions, GR provides one free. Students: don't hesitate to ask your instructors to assign this as a class text!

The Spring 2009 issue will focus on culture and the environment, with essays by Alison Hawthorne Deming, David Gessner, Scott Russell Sanders, Reg Saner, and Lauret Edith Savoy. Also featuring works by Alice Friman, Margaret Gibson, Jeff Gundy, David Huddle, Greg Johnson, Maxine Kumin and others.

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