These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Friday, January 20, 2006

FIELD: Of Poetry and Poetics

Today the newsstand welcomes Field, a twice-a-year journal of poetry and poetics from the Oberlin College Press in Oberlin, OH. Contemporary poetry is what you get with Field―no fiction and no graphics (except the cover). You also get "poetics," which I surmise is writing about poetry. The way the magazine is organized, the Fall issue each year includes a symposium about the work of a major contemporary poet. I have in hand the Fall 2005 issue, and the poet under study is Jean Valentine, who won the National Book Award in 2004 and has been a contributor to Field since 1972, just three years after it was founded. The opening (unsigned) editorial says of Jean Valentine, "No poet has examined so fully the landscape of dream, but it's the space where dream meets waking life that her poems so hauntingly inhabit." The symposium, in this case, involves presenting nine previous poems by Valentine, each followed by an analysis and commentary by a different scholar and/or poet. This is an interesting and rewarding approach, for each poem tells us something new about the poet and each commentary something newer yet. It's akin to walking around a diamond in a display case and seeing its many facets from new angles and with different lighting. The symposium is followed by a couple of recent poems by Valentine, as well as dozens of other poems from established and emerging poets. As with just about every literary journal I've seen, I have nothing but praise for the clean layout, good-sized type, and perfection of proofreading. An annual subscription to Field (two issues) is $14.00 a year from the publisher; you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59. And do take a look at our many other literary journals―you'll find them on our Literary and Writing shelf.


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