Purchasing and Subscriptions
Issue 2.4 can be ordered from the Caffeinated Press online store.
Table of Contents
From the Editor’s Desk (editorial)
Lauren Haddad – She Heads West (fiction)
Paige Leland – 3 poems (“Voicemail Recorded at 2 a.m. That Only the Machine Will Hear,” “This Is Not An I Miss You,” “Moving On Only Makes Sense After All Other Options Have Been Exhausted”)
Melissa Sharpe – The One That’s Not (fiction)
Roy Bentley – 5 poems (“World Enough and Time,” “Retiarius,” “March, 1975,” “Nosferatu Exits the Garden State Parkway to Gas Up at the Wawa in Barnegat,” “And Every Cell of Creation Opened Its Mouth to Drink Grace”)
Elizabeth A. Trembley – The Book of Common Prayer (artwork)
David James – 2 poems (“A Seed of Doubt,” “The Older I Get, The More I Feel”)
Gloria Keeley – 5 poems (“Painting Rivers,” “Apples Blow Red,” “Twined and Choked,” “Thin Blue Veins,” “String Theory”)
Jane O’Keeffe – Bedside Eulogy (fiction)
Natalie Martell – 5 poems (“The White Noise of the Hive Exhibits Finite Variance,” “Midas,” “Honey Bee (The Box is Only Temporary),” “Apiary,” “Honey Bees Don’t See Red and You Are the Red I Don’t See”)
Moira J. – 5 poems (“Women Sleeping On the Ground,” “Offerings as a Placeholder for Conversation,” “Parable of the Man-eater,” “Encountering the Monster,” “I Have Everything”)
Rick Haberman – Lefkowitz Gets Married (fiction)
Kyle Vandeventer – 2 poems (“Hummingbird,” “Mullein”)
Marissa Wais – 2 poems (“Adams Trail, Lorax Forest,” “Desolation Lake “)
Terry Barr – Walk On By (Foolish Pride) (essay)
Jason Gillikin – From the Corner Office (editorial)
Cover photography courtesy of J. Amadeaus Scott
From the Editor’s Desk
Welcome to the eighth issue of The 3288 Review. We have come a long way in a very short amount of time, and have now reached a point of transition. This is our last issue as a quarterly. Starting in October 2017, with issue 3.1, we will move to a biannual schedule. It has been a long time coming. As of March of this year we are only accepting work from people who are from, or have a significant connection to, West Michigan. These two changes alone have reduced our workload by more than half, which gives us some much-needed space to take care of tasks outside of the submit-read-edit-publish-sell pipeline. Our submission and publication schedule is on the last page of this issue.
Everyone at Caffeinated Press has a day job and pursuits outside of the literary world, which means our time must be managed in very small increments. Consider a quarter hour. Fifteen minutes is enough time to read a poem, or line-edit a couple of pages of prose, or write half a dozen rejection letters, or eat a meal. In itself it isn’t much, but repeated several times a day and added up over a week, and those moments become vital to the success of a venture like ours. But being perpetually fifteen minutes from crashing and burning can be enervating, and inevitably leads to burnout. It is one thing to burn a candle at both ends, and quite another to drop it into the fire.
Thus the changes to the production schedule for The 3288 Review. We have regained our stability and sustainability. And what a strange feeling, to have free time again after two years of 80 to 90 hour weeks. It was absolutely worth the effort, but I wouldn’t want to do it again any time soon.
Over the past few weeks I have been reading up on the state of literary journals, and working with the rest of Caffeinated Press to figure out how best to present our work to the readers and writers of the local and regional literary community.
I recently read an article posted on The Millions, which discussed the future of print literary journals in an era when the majority of the scene is happening online. The main idea of the article was this: Make the physical artifact something people would want to possess. Take advantage of that medium, and do with it things which are difficult or impossible to do electronically. Print design is tangible and tactile and (important point!) collectible.
I grew up in the 1970s and ‘80s, and spent much of the 1990s working in an independent bookstore in the blissfully simple pre-Amazon era. As the internet had not really taken off at that point, visual communication across distances was slow, so there was less standardization of design across the industry than today. Books didn’t look so much like other books, and literary journals had fewer peers from whom to take cues or cadge designs. With fewer points of reference it was permissible (and sometimes necessary) to take chances with novel approaches to design and layout and content. Not all of those design decisions worked, but they were noteworthy and both the success and failures helped pave the way for the modern book design industry.
Two years ago we had the good fortune to work with designer Abbi McClung, a recent graduate from Kendall College of Art and Design here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We sat in the Caffeinated Press office with a big pile of literary journals, and from them drew the ingredients which Abbi assembled into our final design. The typography of McSweeney’s. The clean lines of Lapham’s Quarterly. The recognizable branding of The Paris Review. The cover art of Crazy Horse. The larger form factor of Zoetrope: All-Story, so that carefully crafted poems would have some breathing room, and artwork could be printed large enough to appreciate the fine details.
Most of all we wanted the physical product to appeal to people who love books–people for whom a bookshelf is as indispensable as the kitchen sink. We wanted a full run of our journal to be as aesthetically satisfying sitting on a shelf as the content would be when read for the first (or hundredth!) time. And we wanted something that would appeal to book collectors. There is something satisfying about a complete run of a periodical. 220 issues of The Paris Review, organized and shelved, is a sight to behold. A complete run of McSweeney’s, no two of which are alike in design or form, looks pleasingly like the contents of a used book store.
A complete run of The 3288 Review fills about three inches of shelf space; which is to say, slightly larger than my hardcover copy of The Brothers Karamazov. In that space are eight issues, 133 submissions by 115 contributors, and well over a hundred thousand words of reading material. Arranged spine-out, they present a modernist, minimalist aesthetic. Fanned out on a table they are mostly monochrome, with occasional splashes of brilliant color, like the dazzle camouflage of certain moths which appear in early autumn.
The design is the frame on which we display the talents of our contributors. Beautiful poetry should be presented beautifully. An elegantly executed photograph suffers if displayed in an inferior setting. The medium matters, and the material is part of the medium.