Continuing its history of progressing literature to new places, Hobart and William Smith’s national literary magazine Seneca Review recently released its latest – and perhaps most innovative – issue, Volume 38/2.
In the magazine’s effort to bring new life to the written and printed work, Seneca Review Editor and Professor of English David Weiss and his editorial staff have composed their latest issue with an eye for literary innovation. “What’s different about Seneca Review since our special issue on the lyric essay is our interest in publishing creative work that blurs the line – more fully than before – between poetry and the essay as well as fiction and the essay,” explains Weiss.
The issue features 19 authors, including seven lyric essayists, 11 poets and one interviewer. The innovative pieces include a range of literary styles, from poems in translation, such as the work of Yin Li-Chuan and Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, to the poetry of Patrick Moran that makes use of the chalk mark language of hobos, to Brian Christian’s lyric essay, “Our Lot,” comprised completely of excerpts from other literary works.
Complementing its creative works, Volume 38/2 also paves new ground for Seneca Review by including an interview with one of its essayists, Aaron Kunin. Kunin’s essay, “Awkward without w,” follows in the lineage of the lyric essay, a subgenre that was pioneered by Seneca Review’s former editor the late Deborah Tall, John Milton Potter Professor of English at HWS, and her student, John D’Agata ’95, the publication’s current associate nonfiction editor.
“Our aim is to create an archive of ideas about the essay and the working aesthetics and practice of writers we’re publishing, writers who are exploring the reaches of the essay form,” explain Weiss and D’Agata in the Editor’s Note. “We’d like, as well, to create an environment for discussion.”
Along with its more avant-garde writing, Seneca Review also features a forward-thinking design and, to complement its new presence in print, Seneca Review launched a new Web component that soon wil provide the latest issue online.
Other contributors included: Joshua Unikel ’07, assistant editor; Karl Parker, assistant professor of English and associate poetry editor; and Katherine Jackson, art editor.
Any member of the HWS community can receive a complimentary copy of Seneca Review by sending an e-mail request to SenecaReview@hws.edu .