Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Monday, November 22, 2010

Online Literary Journals: A Status Report

In his article published on Sunday at the Huffington Post, “Online Literary Journals Come of Age: 15 Top Online Journal Editors Speak,” Anis Shivani posed a few questions, including the following: “After at least a decade of sustained presence, what can we say about the status of journals that promote literature online?“ and “Have online journals come of age yet?” As I have indicated on numerous occasions in the past, these questions represent a sampling of those I had hoped someday to see in conversations ever since the initial publication of Valparaiso Poetry Review in October of 1999. In fact, as I previously stated a year and a half ago (“Online Literary Journals: Coming of Age”):

When Valparaiso Poetry Review was begun in 1999, I imagined universal acceptance of online literary journals would take a number of years, and I considered the possibility that a decade might pass before electronic literary magazines would come of age. With the general recognition today, by almost all poets and most short-fiction writers, of such journals as satisfactory locations for publication, as well as the nearly universal presence of print journals in some online form, perhaps the maturation of online journals has happened just as I had hoped would occur.

The editors contacted by Shivani offered various observations and opinions in their responses to the Huffington Post. Rebecca Morgan Frank, editor-in-chief of Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction, opened with the following:

Yes, online journals have "come of age": we've evolved from being the medium that people did not take seriously, and considered ephemeral, to being an enduring medium that models innovation in the important work of keeping literature relevant and accessible to readers. Print journals are following the lead of online journals by going online-only themselves (Triquarterly, Shenandoah), by having a companion online version with different content (Harvard Review, Agni), or by offering limited content and archives online. Online and print journals are essentially doing the same work: bringing together writers and readers.

Colleen Ryor, founding editor of The Adirondack Review, called attention to the universal availability of work in online journals:

Online literary journals are bringing poetry to a wider, more international audience in a way that would be highly impractical, if not impossible, for print journals to do. Because readers can now print out their favorite poems with the click of a button, and writers can reach a much wider audience than was previously possible, it's difficult for printed journals to compete with that immediacy and convenience.

Gregory Donovan, senior editor at Blackbird, noted that online journals are sometimes at the forefront of breaking literary news:

In 2006, Blackbird offered a previously unpublished sonnet by the young Sylvia Plath, including her typescripts and the annotated page from her own copy of The Great Gatsby which inspired the poem, and not only made international news, but told an important story about how a poet is made, not born. That event helped announce the online journal's arrival as a force to be taken seriously.

Andy Hunter, editor-in-chief at Electric Literature, spoke of the circulation numbers enjoyed by online journals:

The obvious answer to "What are online literary journals doing that print journals are failing to do?" is: reaching thousands of readers. A reasonably successful literary website has a readership of over 10,000; fewer than five print journals in the world have that many readers.

Ravi Shankar, editor at Drunken Boat, commented upon the possibilities of presentation in online journals:

Online, the word, once static and paginated, has morphed into movement and sound, hyperlink and interactivity, changing the experience of reading into something richer and more intertextual.

I am delighted by this attention to online literary journals on a site such as the Huffington Post, which will expand awareness to even more readers. However, those familiar with One Poet’s Notes will recall these questions have been addressed a number of times here. For instance, I again refer visitors to an April 2009 article, “Online Literary Journals: Coming of Age,” and a March 2010 article, “Literary Journals, from Print to Online: An Update.” Indeed, I wrote an introductory piece to the tenth anniversary issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review in October of 2009, “Editor’s Note of Appreciation,” that also remarked upon this issue, as in the following portion from my statement:

I believe most readers of contemporary literature have been amazed in the past decade by the growth in popularity and the increased sophistication level of various online literary journals. I know I admire the wonderful work witnessed in many electronic publications nowadays, and I regularly applaud the activities of their editors. Moreover, as I have suggested in my writing elsewhere, I believe we have finally reached a point where readers may safely say they are observing a coming of age for the online literary journal.

I have been pleased to notice, as further evidence of an increased respect for online magazines, the “table of contents” pages of some electronic literary journals now display a wide range of well-known poets and fiction writers whose presence was limited to print journals not too long ago, and whose contributions bring greater attention to those emerging authors publishing exciting work alongside them. Moreover, when I glance at the “acknowledgments” pages of new books of poetry or volumes of literary commentary, I find myself noting how many titles of online journals, including Valparaiso Poetry Review, are represented side by side with those titles of traditional print periodicals, all of which seem to have adopted at least some degree of online presence as well in recent years. In fact, various print journals have evolved into “hybrids,” also offering their content online, and during the past few years, readers have seen esteemed literary magazines start to migrate fully from a print format to an online-only status.

I invite readers to visit the links above. Please take a moment or two to reflect upon and appreciate the progress made by online literary journals in the first decade of this century.


Elliot said...

Is the true question whether the journals have come of age, or whether people themselves have matured to a point where they now more fully appreciate the moments that only those journals can provide?

Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference between poetry and prose; between journal writing and blogging; between journalism and opinion. Although technically fitting under the umbrella of literature, not everything posted online is 'art' and not everything refines or defines our culture. Much of what is posted is trash that an editor with an obvious slant wants to put forth as significant. Read the masters of literature and you can quickly see the difference.

Dorianne said...

Certainly not all on-line journals are equal, though few are equal to The Valparaiso Review! Thanks Ed for maintaining the quality, breadth and depth of VPR!

Anonymous said...

I quit submitting my work to online journals. I find that the journal editors have a narrow view of what they will place on their site. My work is widely published in printed format but finds rejection when submitted to online journals. After some consideration I have come to the conclusion that many online journals are not there for the art but the coin.

Rachel Dacus said...

Most of the poetry I read to acquaint myself with poets new to me is online. I can't afford to buy all the literary magazines out there or go to all the readings in order to find the poets that interest me. So Internet-published literature is essential in my process of engaging with the contemporary poetry scene. It remains for the chaff to be separated out by discerning readers. But there are far more readers online than reading print poetry, as declining subscriptions and the increasing presence of online versions or presences of print magazines indicate. The future of publishing is online; the question is how to raise the editorial standards. I have a feeling the problem will sort itself out as more poets migrate to the Web.

Stacia said...

I take issue with the notion that the problem of editorial standards only exists, or even primarily exists, in the realm of online journals. Higher production and distribution costs do not a quality publication make. Thanks to EB and the hard work of many, many other online journal editors for breaking cyber-ground and continuing to stick it out amidst this stereotype--which is now floundering in the face of quality writing consistently found online.

Dorianne said...

Where's the "coin"?? I want the "coin"! I have yet to receive my many glittery "coins"....