The eleventh issue of Drunken Boat is a thing transformed in a number of ways. First, we’re no longer an annual, but a semi-annual. This meant we had to add staff—both editorial and support staff—in order to step up the pace of publishing. We streamlined our internal communications and examined our intentions as a magazine of the arts in the twenty-first century. Because we want to be more responsive to our times, this issue includes a special folio of art and nonfiction, Life in a Time of Contraction. We've also introduced the small folio, focused on a single writer or artist. Our inaugural writer is the current U. S. Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan, whose poems and a lengthy craft interview with contributing editor Jane M. Collins are featured.We’ve changed our colors to a more elegant combination which is easier to read, and will be firming up our blog and other social media outlets. A literary and arts magazine as large as Drunken Boat risks being daunting to the reader. The staff (and our early Twitter followers) have often been surprised and delighted by the 140-character “small bites” our new Social Media Assistant, Joseph Ramelo, has been finding in our archives. I’ve used them as writing prompts.
Until recently, Drunken Boat’s issues have been rich in poetry and light in fiction and nonfiction. Part of the reason was that both founding editor Ravi Shankar and I are poets, gravitating toward that genre (and being gravitated toward by other poets). In order to create a better balance between literary genres, we looked far and wide for genre editors. Deborah Poe came on as our Fiction Editor early last fall. Tamiko Beyer has served as our Assistant Poetry editor over the last few months and as of the launch of this issue is our Poetry Editor. Heather Bryant has recently joined the masthead as Nonfiction editor. Each of these three editors is established and published in the genre she manages and each brings to our staff a great combination of knowledge and enthusiasm. Look for writing from other continents, socially-conscious folios, cross-genre folios, and, as always, a very broad aesthetic spectrum.
Issue 11 may be leaner than our anniversary issue, but rich in writing and the arts. Be sure to spend some time in our first sound art folio, as well as the art section of Life in a Time of Contraction. You’ll notice that navigation throughout the issue is much easier with the help of a side navigation bar on every page—a gift from the talented Dia Lacina, whose gallery of photos of European graffiti were the impetus for the Contraction folio.
It’s been a very full six months of change and growth, and I’m most grateful to our Assistant Managing Editor Sarah Clark for her ideas and creative solutions, her dedication to writers and artists, and her devotion to Drunken Boat.
Even as I sit here at the end of a frigid January afternoon, I’m looking forward to our twelfth issue, due for launch in midsummer, 2010. We’ll be featuring a folio on Eugene O’Neill and his influence on Irish American artists, playwrights, actors, and writers. We’ll also have a mixed arts folio curated by contributing editor Dara Greenwald. And plenty of the best nonfiction, fiction, and poetry being written across the world.
It’s a privilege to have edited this issue. Thanks to all our contributors and those of you who submitted work to us. You are the reason we exist.
We welcome feedback about the issue on our Facebook page, as well as emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.