Hi. We’re Phoebe.
Of course, if you’re reading this, then chances are you’re already familiar with the magazine—perhaps even aware that we’ve been around for quite awhile. We’ve just begun work on our next issue, the first number of our 41st volume. (Yeah, that long). So I write to you not to introduce the magazine itself, but rather, to speak of those continued commitments that the new editors carry over from our respective apprenticeships, and to tell you of the new wrinkles we intend to introduce.
Each of the rising editors has served a year as general staff for Phoebe, followed by a year as the assistant to the editors of the 40th volume. Many of us also counted ourselves as readers of the publication long before our current involvement. My own predecessor, Kathy Goodkin, wrote in her farewell blog post of the formative role this journal played in her early experience with poetry, and I share that with her. For me, Phoebe was the gateway into a literary world that remains permanently under construction—a thing that is still happening, rather than one that had already happened. It was the place where I first encountered the astonishments to be found across the aesthetic spectrum, from Yusef Komunyakaa and Rosmarie Waldrop to Nancy Kuhl and Bruce Andrews.
As editors, it’s our job to mind that gateway and ensure that it remains as inviting as Kathy and I first found it. The goal of Phoebe thus remains fundamentally the same: to publish work that expands the field of possibility for aspiring writers of all stripes, while continuing to edify those more fully initiated members of our readership. What’s changed, of course, is the personnel bringing you such work. But I’m confident that you’ll be pleased with our results, and that we’ll uphold the strong forty-year standard we’ve inherited.
One other thing has changed as well. Beginning this year, the second issue of each volume will be published entirely online. Once we complete work on issue 41.1 in December, we’ll get started on 41.2, to debut in May 2012. The reason is simple: we want to feature more work by more writers, and we want more people to see it. The web is the place to make that happen. We’ll maintain the Phoebe print tradition while continuing to invest in a sustainable publishing model.
The results of our annual contests will form the centerpiece of the first online issue. We’re thrilled about this year’s judges: David Means for the Winter Fiction Contest, Matthea Harvey for the Greg Grummer Poetry Award, and New York Times bestselling author Mary Roach for our second Annual Nonfiction Contest. I don’t even have space to list all the accolades these writers have won, so please check out our contest announcements to see more. And submit now!
The same goes, of course, for the issue currently underway—send us your best work. We look forward to seeing it, and to showing you the product of our own work in a few months. Good luck!
Bryan Koen, Editor-in-Chief