To visit Snow Monkey
By Kathryn Rantala
People often ask us how we arrived at the name Snow Monkey for our print and online journal. We never answer.
When we thought of our name, that is, when it occurred to us out of the blue, we immediately knew it was completely right for us—that also sums up our editorial bias. We try to be truly eclectic, looking for craft, engagement, innovation, trim, strong endings and, as one contributor noted, pieces by writers who are paying attention. Beyond that, if we begin to detect a pattern in the work we select, we try to change. And oh, yes, we are always searching for joy; not as subject matter, but springing from the enjoyment of great work. We find it in Hopkins, Rilke, Millay, Housman, Stevens, Plath, Dickinson, Stein, Yeats, Nabokov, Stern, Gluck, the early Merwin, the unfashionable Eliot. And lots of others—Oliver, Piercy, Roethke, Transtromer, Queneau, Perec, Calvino, Carver, Rich, Kinnell, Strand, Lee, Atwood, Liu—lots of others. [The editors have separate lists, which is why eclecticism is a given.] Mostly, we are happiest enjoying the unanticipated.
The magazine is primarily print with an online Table of Contents and selections from each issue. We are most interested in poetry, but people seem to like to send us good fiction so we print some of that, too. We prefer short poetic/experimental prose but like a good story as much as anyone.
Last December, in addition to our planned print schedule, we published our first ebook issue featuring Robert Gibbons and filled with an array of very fine writing. The issue has a progressive, complementary tone, piece to piece, and is a quick download of fewer than 30 pages (from our website, click on Issues to find it.) We had no idea we were going to do the eBook until material presented itself to us in a way that seemed to call for it. We plan to do more of them.
We are finishing 2002 with a double-issue, print and online, with our usual mix of styles and featuring previous contributor David Thornbrugh. Past features at Snow Monkey are Rebecca Loudon, Norman Lock, Aaron Belz, John Sweet and artists Troy Tennard, Daniel C. Boyer, and Robert Dornberg. Upcoming features will showcase John Burgess, Jeanne Lohmann and the fabulous website, Locus Novus.
Our first reading of a submission from John Sweet inspired us do our first feature and, available now, our first book: Human Cathedrals. This is John’s first major collection, and presents his work in the form of an extended meditation. It is available via our website and through a to-be-named small press distributor.
In 2003 we plan to begin a series of chapbooks of poetry and poetic/experimental prose. The first two will feature Norman Lock and frequent contributor, Harold Bowes.
Our wish for the new year is that you will keep surprising us with fine work. We in turn will try to keep surprising you with great ways to make it public.
Kathryn Rantala, Christiel Cottrell, Editors