"Everyone spit on it. Did it in Switzerland,
Did it suspended upside-down. Leaned over
The difference between leaning and falling
Wondering where the conversation went."
-Jared White from “Painting”
Issue 9 of Sink Review recently went live and I thought it might be a good time to talk about it, but first it seems necessary to go backwards before forwards, as I was not always involved with the journal, which was first hatched as an idea by Doug Hahn, Dan Magers, and Rich Scheiwe while they were undergrads at Loyola University (Chicago). This was back in fall 2002; however, the first issue did not come out until December 2006.
Since that time Rich has become an editor-at-large for Sink Review allowing him to focus his attention on The Aviary. I came on as an editor for issue 6 back in 2010. Doug is now in role of web editor (& remains the rock & reason the issues look as good as they do!), and for this issue we brought on Stephanie Willis.
Sink Review comes out twice a year. Dan and I set the goal to have issue 9 out prior to AWP, but knew we’d be tight on time. Dan was in the midst of finishing edits on his first book Partyknife (Birds, LLC) and I had agreed to guest-edit the next chapbook for Dan’s chapbook press, Immaculate Disciples Press. To make things even trickier, I fell in love with two collaborative manuscripts from Julia Cohen and Mathias Svalina, which naturally led to the idea of publishing a double-chapbook! In addition to editing and making the chapbooks, I’m also chairing a panel at AWP. Stephanie was able to step right in and read through all the submissions, as well as keep both Dan and me on track. In addition to this, we both feel Stephanie will help keep Sink Review fresh in terms of our aesthetics and growth.
Issue 9 started with a list of solicitations from Dan and me. For some time I curated a reading series, Stain of Poetry, with Christie Ann Reynolds and Erika Moya. For one of the readings we had Heather Christle and Jared White. When they read I swooned and knew I wanted both of them in the upcoming issue. When everything was said and done, the issue wound up being pretty large in terms of poetry content and also contains three substantial reviews (one of them written by me -- yet another thing I had been working on).
For this issue, we tried to balance out the amount of authors who publish a lot with those who haven’t published as much. We do this through both solicitations and what is sent in during our reading period. We consider ourselves lucky to get submissions from people like Brandon Shimoda (who has three books!) and someone like B.C. Edwards (issue 7) who, at the time, hadn’t published much poetry. Now Edwards has two forthcoming books -- one fiction and one poetry, plus a brand new chapbook -- which means everyone else is just finding out what we knew years ago.
We hope to always be current, a little ahead of times (see Paige Taggart’s Michaux translation in issue 9), and also rooted in the respect of a poetic tradition that Dan, Doug, Stephanie and I are just happy to be in conversation with. Many of the poets in issue 9 will be at AWP so go see them read, buy their books, chapbooks, and ephemera. Dan & I will also be sitting in Table Y section J2. Come say hi.