To visit Frigate: The Transverse Review of Books

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By Patricia Eakins, Editor

Frigate: The Transverse Review of Books began as nostalgia. I missed the sense of literary community and the heated oral exchanges that characterized Box 749 Magazine during the seventies-- the heyday of the little-magazine movement. Far into the night we debated the aesthetics of submitted poems and stories. More than thirty years later, I still wish that we had published a poem by John Burnett Payne that gave to tugboats (which are traditionally named for their owners' wives, mothers, and sisters) the names of women poets: “The Amy Lowell….” “The Elinor Wylie….” “The Emily Dickinson….” But that was a battle I lost.

In a certain sense Frigate is “The Emily Dickinson,” for it was Miss Dickinson who said “There is no frigate like a book.” At the same time frigate is the name of a thieving bird that never lands on earth, and it echoes the thumb-your-nose sound of “frig it”—the favorite pseudo-obscenity of the Midwest, where I grew up loving the taste of words in my mouth.

We at Frigate like to think that our cargo is as rich and complex as our multiply signifying name. Apart from our reviews of singular books, we have been publishing some highly revelatory interviews, including Barbara Flug Colin's Conversation with Louise Bourgeois, Bronwyn Mills's Talk with Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, and Gerry Gomez Pearlberg's InterText series of interviews with poets—most recently, Justin Chin.

We have also begun publishing original poetry and fiction. Most notably, in the context of our focus on work in Issue 2, we published Night Shift, a remarkable anthology of poetry, edited by Miriam Goodman and containing, among others, poems by Maxine Kumin, Robin Becker, Dana Gioia, Michael Casey, B.H. Fairchild, Marilyn Krysl and Hong Kong poet Agnes Lam.

Frigate is currently posting Issue 3, which focuses on the hybrid Anglophone literature of the TransPacific (special guest co-editor, Xu Xi). Issue 4 will have twin focuses on translation and the book qua book. Issue 5, a focus on the post-pastoral landscape. These thematic foci are ambitious projects, to be sure. Yet I hope that we will always have room for the special voice, even the outsider voice—for instance, the Zimbabwean poet, Handsen Chikowore.

We at Frigate are especially proud of our recuperative projects, including Eric Darton's series on radical fiction, with features on John Sanford and Tillie Olsen. We have also published excerpts from and an essay on Kenneth Patchen's much maligned pacifist novel Sleepers Awake--perhaps more relevant than ever now that we hover on the brink of a vast and dangerous war. It is safe to say that Frigate is not caught up with the fetish of the new, although we do respect and promote bright emerging voices such as those of Guillermo Castro, Robert Francis Peltier, Ann Rower, Bruce Fleming and Aimee Nezhukumatathil--who is the subject of a Scouting Report by Elaine Terranova in our now-filling third issue.

Among Frigate's great strengths is the excellence of our large group of regular contributors—including novelist and cultural historian Eric Darton; poets Elaine Terranova, J.C. Todd, and Gerry Gomez Pearlberg; poet and cultural historian Elizabeth Brunazzi; political economist Steve Brouwer; and the distinguished painter Dee Shapiro, our art editor. We are equally fortunate in the strength of the associate editors who see the magazine into on-line “print.” All of Frigate benefits from the ministrations of the versatile, deft critic and fiction writer Bronwyn Mills; the tough-minded Katie Kehrig (our regular cookbook reviewer); and the sensitive and insightful Anna Cypra Oliver, who just won a NYFA award for her nonfiction.

We think we publish an excellent magazine, one that rewards our readers with a delicious variety of complex pleasures. Please visit and let us know what you think. We would be delighted to welcome you into our community.

Editor and Publisher Patricia Eakins
(author of The Marvelous Adventures of Pierre Baptiste and The Hungry Girls and Other Stories)


Frigate: The Transverse Review of Books

Frigate's Mission Statement

Barbara Flug Colin's Conversation with Louise Bourgeois

Bronwyn Mills's Talk with Ngugi Wa Thiong'o

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg's Interview with Justin Chin

Night Shift: Poets on Work, Edited by Miriam Goodman

Frigate's Issue 3

Xu Xi's "Light from the South"

"A Plea to Forgive the Debt of Zimbabwe" by Handsen Chikowore

Eric Darton on John Sanford

Eric Darton on Tillie Olsen

Excerpts from Kenneth Patchen's Sleepers Awake with an essay by Patricia Eakins

Guillermo Castro in Frigate

"Playing for the Last Shot" by Robert Francis Peltier

Beth Henson on Ann Rower

Elizabeth Brunazzi on Bruce Fleming

"Working the Rice" by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Eric Darton in Frigate

Elaine Terranova in Frigate

J.C. Todd on Robin Becker

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg in Frigate

Elizabeth Brunazzi in Frigate

Steve Brouwer in Frigate

Dee Shapiro in Frigate

Katie Kehrig in Frigate

Dialogues with Our Readers

Patricia Eakins's Web Site, with Excerpts from Published Work