“Little magazines are the pollinators of works of art: literary movements and eventually literature itself could not exist without them.” Cyril Connolly wasn’t thinking of Spot Literary Magazine when he said that – he was writing about 43 years before Susan Hansell started editing the journal – but he might as well have been.
After years of association with the journal, I was finally able to meet some of the artists whose work it fosters when issue 4.2 was released on November 21. A reading was held at a Borders bookstore in Long Beach with participants including Laurel Ann Bogen, Luisa Peña, Joan Jobe Smith, Bill Mohr, Eric Morago, Fred Voss, Jeffrey C. Alfier, John F. Buckley, Tobi Cogswell and me. Publisher Gerald Uyeno estimated that more than 100 people attended the standing-room-only event, which I enjoyed immensely.
In an additional act of literature pollination, the SLM team arranged another reading the night before featuring Cogswell, who read from Poste Restante, and Voss, who read from Hammers and Hearts of the Gods. I read from Fighters & Writers, and Smith acted as emcee. (One of the essays in Fighters & Writers first appeared in SLM.) Essayist don’t usually read with poets; I did it on two consecutive evenings.
SLM is something special, and I’m honored to be a part of it.