At the start of recent global economic turmoil, "economy" became the word of the moment. It was a natural choice for a theme issue - in June 2009, the qarrtsiluni guest editors Anna Dickie and Pamela Hart put a call for submissions up for an online issue. Included was a line that asked contributors to go beyond the obvious:
"We urge you to think broadly, associatively and imaginatively about this touchstone word. Consider economy of movement, expression or effort. Think fuel, cash or gift economy. In your investigation, remember the epigram and the epitaph, both concerned with the economics of composition. Think about how the subject might inform style, as well as content."
The result was one of the most consistently high-quality and creative collections qarrtsiluni has ever published. It includes work that explores not only the negative but the positive sides of "economy," and does so in surprising ways. The issue is now available as a printed edition, and as a timely commentary on the current state of both our outer and inner worlds.
Anna Dickie is a photographer and poet based in East Lothian, Scotland. In the last three years she's won or been short-listed in a number of competitions, including having a shot hung in the Scottish Parliament as part of a touring exhibition on the theme of coastal erosion.
Pamela Hart is a former journalist. Her chapbook, The End of the Body, was recently published by toadlily press. She is writer-in-residence at the Katonah Museum of Art and teaches writing at Long Island University's Graduate School of Education.
As online literary magazines go, qarrtsiluni, at five-and-a-half years old, is positively venerable -- but retains the edginess, openness, vitality and editorial responsiveness that have set it apart from the beginning. The current issue at qarrtsiluni is "New Classics," edited by Ann E. Michael and Jessamyn Smyth. In August, the journal will publish poems from all eleven finalists in its annual poetry chapbook contest, and the winning manuscript in its entirety: Watermark, by Clayton T. Michaels, which will also be published as a printed book available from Phoenicia Publishing. That will be followed by the fall issue on the theme, "The Crowd," edited by Dave Bonta and Beth Adams, the managing editors of qarrtsiluni.
print edition of the online issue "economy"
96 pages, $13.96
related links: the world these days, mixed formats