During my East Coast traveling earlier this month, I had lunch with Dan Pritchard (pictured above, and the original interviewee on Isak). He works with the Boston Review and tipped me to the magazine's plans to Kickstart an overhaul of their website. Particularly intriguing is that the magazine lined up advance pledges from leading poets to give the campaign a strong start. While The Boston Review is probably best known for its news features, philosophically-tinged forums, global dispatches, and investigative pieces, the magazine is increasingly acclaimed for its fiction and poetry. (Unlike some magazines -- ahem, The Atlantic -- BR hasn't siloed literature and journalism.) Junot Diaz edits fiction for the magazine, which published the story that won NoViolet Bulawayo a Caine Prize last year, and the Discovery poetry contest is a Pretty Big Deal, to say nothing of the solid essays on poetry that BR regularly publishes.
Poets came up big for the Boston Review's next bold move: it has more than half of its $10,000 goal raised with 22 days to go. The campaign caught the eye of the Columbia Journalism Review. Whether you're a poet or not, you might want to pitch in. Here is why, according to the magazine's editorial team:
The decision to provide all of our content on the Web for free is driven by our mission. To improve the tone of public debate, we need to make our content available as widely as possible. Through the Web, we’re able to reach many, many more people than we would in print alone.
In 2010, as part of a major relaunch of the magazine, we decided to fundamentally redesign our Web site. We also moved to a gorgeous new print edition and expanded our editorial staff. The print transition has been a great success; our new Web design is not yet complete.
To achieve our aims, we need to do more than simply make content available on the internet. We need a community. But to build a community online, we need a modern web site that can become a place for our readers to really engage, both with the ideas under scrutiny and with each other.
With this new Web site, we’ll be able to publish more feature essays, reviews, literature, and forums on a regular basis. You’ll be able to navigate the site more easily, find the content that most interests you, and find other readers who share similar concerns. All of this will remain, always, completely free.