The first thing you will notice about Beecher’s is the design and production–clean and elegant. The spine is bound with black thread. The pages are thick, linen, creamy, the grain of it holding the ink to the page.
Introducing a video about the debut issue, the editors said, “Beecher’s One was designed to give the text inside primacy, and as well record the reader’s tactile interaction with the physical magazine. The layout is straight-forward, and the text is presented simply in a black serif font on white paper. The physical object, with a naked spine and rigid, toothy, absorbent paper is meant to show evidence of the reader by literally absorbing and recording the reading experience: the hands holding the book, the fingers on the page, the bending of turned pages, the weakening of the unprotected spine.”
Reading Beecher’s is, indeed, a physical experience that openly acknowledges and engages the reader. This is a magazine that wants to develop a relationship with readers and writers. In this, and other regards, Beecher’s succeeds beautifully. The writing showcased within the magazine’s pages is as engaging as the design and production. Contributors include Rebecca Wadlinger, Alec Niedenthal, Joshua Cohen, Rhoads Stevens, John Dermot Woods, Phil Estes, Creed J. Shepard, Lincoln Michel, John Coletti, Yelena Akthiorskaya, Colin Winnette, Dana Ward & Stephanie Young, James Yeh, Alexis Orgera, Rozalia Jovanovic, Ricky Garni, and Justin Runge as well as interviews with Stephen Elliott and Adam Robinson.
There have been a few conversations as of late about the legitimacy of graduate student run magazines. At Indiana Review, Jennifer Luebbers says, ” I can’t help but take issue with the notion that graduate students are incapable of making informed decisions. I believe our ideas, aesthetics, and opinions matter; I believe we can—and should—play a significant role in shaping the contemporary literary world.”
Beecher’s is only one issue and the idea of another at this point. We don’t know what the magazine will become but there is a whole lot of potential here and the magazine shows, quite ably, what a graduate student run magazine can offer the contemporary literary world.
What are your initial impressions of Beecher’s? What questions do you have for the editorial staff, past and present? What pieces stood out to you in some way?
Beecher’s is selling the issue at a 40% discount for HTMLGIANT readers. Take them up on that bargain–$6.50 for a great literary magazine which is beautifully designed and produced–you can’t pass that up. To take advantage of this discount, go here. Enter the password HTMLGIANT. This will take them to a secure Paypal portal on the Beecher’s website for you to complete your order.
Future club selections:
January 2012: Versal
March 2012: Salt Hill
May 2012: Trnsfr
July 2012: Uncanny Valley
September 2012: J Journal: New Writing on Justice
Stay tuned for special offers and giveaways for these magazines.
If you’re interested in writing a guest post or some other feature related to Beecher’s, get in touch by e-mailing me at roxane at htmlgiant.com. Topics you might consider discussing include the design, content, overall aesthetic, whether the magazine met your expectations, if the debut is promising, what the magazine contributes to the literary scene, etc. You might also do an in-depth analysis of one writer’s work, etc. There are no limits.
There’s also a Google Group with light posting about literary magazines and club announcements. If you want to join the group or want more information about the LMC, if you’re an editor who wants your magazine featured, etc, send me an e-mail. To summarize: however you want to participate please get in touch or watch this space in November when hopefully, we’ll have a great discussion about an interesting new literary magazine.