Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Can't Touch This

Earlier today I was wondering what I was going to write about in today's blog entry. I had no ideas until the mail was delivered at work and, miracle of miracles, my concern was alleviated.

Included among today's crop of review books was the latest edition of The Georgia Review, one of this country's top literary magazines.

The Review has undergone a redesign fairly recently giving it a more contemporary look. The Review logo has been reconceived (by the talented Rick Fiala, who works at UGA), and the traditional covers have been replaced by more striking layouts. All in all the Review now has more visual appeal on the outside, while of course maintaining its usual appeal on the inside!

The cover of the Summer 2007 edition (pictured above) is a scene from Through the Woods with Mr. M, the "visual novel" by San Francisco artist John Bankston whose characters have a comic book or cartoon-like quality; they are drawn with bold colors and defined outlines almost like coloring book projects. Bankston is the featured artist in this edition of the Review, and there's more of his work inside.

2007 was a banner year for the Review. It won a Governor's Award in the Humanities from the state of Georgia, and it won its second National Magazine Award for Michael Donohue's essay "Russell and Mary" from the Fall/Winter 2006 edition. The NMA is all the more prestigious when you consider that the other finalists in the Essay category were: The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Foreign Policy and New Letters.

The Review also won three 2007 gold awards from the Magazine Association of the South for Best Essay, Best Feature and Best Series.

One of the most astonishing things about this run of deserved success is that the Review is currently without an Editor. Stephen Corey, the longtime Associate Editor, has been Acting Editor (for the second time) since the middle of 2006 when poet T.R. Hummer left the Editor's position open and moved to Arizona State University. Stephen too is a poet, a very fine poet, and his long tenure at the Review under both Stan Lindberg and Terry Hummer makes him ideal to step into the empty shoes. It should be noted that the NMA won this year was for a piece from an edition that Stephen edited.

The current issue features the usual blend of essays, fiction, poetry, art and reviews. Among these are two poems by one of Georgia's pre-eminent contemporary writers, Judson Mitcham, and a fascinating essay-review by Ron Singer of the winners of the Caine Prize for African Writing. (Sir Michael Caine was the chairman of the global food company Booker plc and longtime chairman of the U.K.'s Booker Prize management committee). Also included is "Dizziness," a poem by Roswell, Georgia, resident Caroline Finkelstein.

The Georgia Review is one of this country's outstanding literary magazines and lovers of good writing would be well-advised to subscribe. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that the Review is undoubtedly one of the best things ever to come out of the University of Georgia (and there have been many great things).

The Summer 2007 issue is bound to speak to you at some level, and I recommend you find out for yourself by getting a copy.

To find out more about one of this state's greatest cultural institutions, check out the Review's website,

Happy reading!

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