Wednesday, March 15, 2006

River reveries

Well, uhm, I haven't really had any serious thoughts lately. I have gotten a lot of reading done, strangely enough. I'm at seven books for the year so far, which already beats all of 2005.

I've also been digging through the archives of Red Cedar Review, the undergraduate-run literary magazine of Michigan State University's English department. I've discovered a handful of surprising things, possibly none so surprising as the fact that I was able to construct what I believe to be a near-complete chronology of the magazine's publication. (If anyone has a copy of volumes 1, 2, or 3 that they'd be willing to part with, please, please, please let me know.) For those of you who are interested, that chronology (with a couple of notes) is as follows:

Vol. 1:1—Spring 1963, Walter Lockwood, ed.
Vol. 2:1—Spring 1964, James Cash, ed.
Vol. 3:1—Spring 1965, Fred Piet, ed.
Vol. 4:1—Spring 1966, Peggy Case, ed.
Vol. 5:1—January 1967, Peggy Case, ed.
Vol. 5:2—April 1967, Peggy Case, ed.
Vol. 6:1—January 1968, Peggy Case, ed.
Vol. 6:2—May 1968, Craig Sterry, ed.
Vol. 6:3—September 1968, Peggy Case, ed.
Vol. 6:4—December 1968, Peggy Case, ed.
Vol. 7:1—May 1969, Peggy Case and James Tipton, eds.
Vol. 7:2—July 1970, Richard Jansma and Howard Shapiro, eds.
Vol. 7:3/4—July 1971, Alan VerPlanck, ed.
Vol. 8:1—April 1972, Alan VerPlanck, ed.
Vol. 8:2/3—Fall/winter 1973, Dennis Pace, ed.
Vol. 9:1—Spring 1974, Dennis Pace, ed.
Vol. 9:2—March 1975, Neal Villhauer, ed.
Vol. 9:3—May 1975, Patricia Polach, ed.
Vol. 10:1—1976, The Postcard Mysteries by Albert Drake
Vol. 10:2/3—1976
Vol. 11:1—January 1977, Michael Tanimura, ed.
Vol. 11:2—May 1977, Randall K. Roorda, ed.
Vol. 12:1—1978, Love at the Egyptian Theater, Poems by Barbara Drake.
Vol. 12:2—June 1978, Sam Mills, ed.
Vol. 13:1—Spring 1979
Vol. 13:2—(1980?)
Vol. 14:1—Spring 1981
Vol. 14:2—1982
Vol. 15:1—1982
Vol. 15:2—1983
Vol. 16:1/2—Spring 1984
Vol. 17:1/2—Spring 1985, Kathy Crown, ed.
Vol 18:1—Spring 1986
Vol. 18:2—Winter 1986, Anne Marie Carey, ed.
Vol. 19:1—Summer 1987, Anne Marie Carey, ed.
Vol. 19:2—Winter 1988, Carol Bracewall, ed.
Vol. 25:1—Spring 1988, Carol Bracewall, ed.
Vol. 26:1—Spring 1989
Vol. 27:1—(1990?) Frank Rossman, ed.
Vol. 28:1—Fall 1991, David Bivins, ed.
Vol. 29:1—1992 – 1993, Jackie Justice, ed.
Vol. 29:2—1993, Jackie Justice, ed.
Vol. 30:1—1993, Zachary Chartkoff and Laura L. Klynstra, eds.
Vol. 30:2—May 1994, Laura Klynstra and Erin McCarty, eds.
Vol. 31:1—March 1995, Tom Bissell and Laura L. Klynstra, eds.
Vol. 32:1—1996, Tom Bissell and Laura Klynstra, eds.
Vol. 33:1—1997, Tom Bissell and Laura Klynstra, eds.
Vol. 34:1—Winter/spring 1998, Carrie Preston and David Sheridan, eds.
Vol. 34:2—Fall/winter 1998, Ari Kohen and Carrie Preston, eds.
Vol. 35:1—Summer/fall 1999, Ari Kohen and Carrie Preston, eds.
Vol. 35:2—Winter/spring 2000, Carrie Preston, ed.
Vol. 36:1—Winter 2001, Doug Dowland, ed.
Vol. 37:1—Winter 2002, Meg Sparling, ed.
Vol. 38—2003, Meg Sparling, ed. MSU Press
Vol. 39—2004, Laura Tisdel, ed. MSU Press
Vol. 40—2005, Jennifer Popa, Teal Amthor-Shaffer, Jon Spielburg, eds. MSU Press


  1. Vol. 7:1 is printed as "vol. 6:1." My numbering is based on publication date.
  2. Pablo Neruda and Margaret Atwood published in vol. 7:1.
  3. Vol. 7:2 is printed as "vol. 7:1." My numbering is based on publication date and the numbering of the July 1971 issue as "7:3/4," which seems to count May 1969 as 7:1 and July 1970 as 7:2.
  4. Stuart Dybek published in vol. 7:2. Biographical note reads: "STUART DYBEK is unknown to us."
  5. Jim Harrison published in vol. 8:2/3.
  6. Vol. 9:1 consists of ten posters in a manila envelope.
  7. Billboard issue likely appeared in 1974 following vol. 9:1
  8. "The Post Card Mysteries is a special publication of Red Cedar Review and represents Volume 10, Issue #1 of that magazine. It was edited by James Kalmbach, designed by Dennis Pace, and illustrated by Gene Stotts. The book is part of our continuing experimentation with new forms for the small press magazine that has led us in the past to place an issue on a billboard over Grand River Avenue in East Lansing, and a small homage to Al Drake whose energy sustained RCR through many issues and changes in personnel until his resignation as advisor two years ago. Beginning with Volume 10 Issue 2/3 we will return to our regular magazine format."
  9. Vol. 10:2/3 is the first perfect-bound issue.
  10. Jim Daniels published in vol. 11:2.
  11. Vol. 12:1 introduction by Diane Wakoski.
  12. Allen Ginsberg interview in vol. 17:1/2.
  13. In spring 1988 numbering jumps from vol. 19:2 to vol 25:1 to mark 25th anniversary. Vol. 25:1 is fold-and-staple binding, and contains notes on RCR history by Albert Drake, Jim Cash, Peter Nye, Etta Abrahams, Maury Crane, and Walter Lockwood.
  14. Vol. 26:1 numbering based on date and numbering of subsequent volumes. The volume itself contains no printed volume number.
  15. Vol. 27:1 numbering based on likely date and numbering of subsequent volumes. The volume itself contains no printed volume number or date.
  16. Steve Almond published in vol. 33.
  17. Vol. 37:1 is printed as "vol. 37:2."


Robin said...

As an aside: Ari Kohen was, besides being editor of the RCR for a while, also president of MSU's chapter of Amnesty International while I was a member. And he was TOTALLY "that cool senior dude" to my freshman self -- very wry and James Madison-y, and of course involved in all sorts of extracurricular madness. He went on to do a Ph.D. in constitutional law (I think?) at Duke (I think?).

Meg Sparling said...

As a former G.E. of RCR, I offer my sincere thanks to Gavin for caring more about RCR than perhaps even I do.

Laura Klynstra said...

Also of interest... I just had a chat with someone at WW Norton where Tom Bissell (RCR editor vol 31-3) used to work as an editor.

Tom has two books published God Lives in St. Petersburg : and Other Stories and Chasing the Sea : Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia

I was his co-editor but have lost touch... I currently am an art director at HarperCollins in NYC.

Thanks for making a running list of the old RCRs. Are you still in that little office in the basement?

Gavin said...

Laura! You didn't give me any way to contact you! I have questions, and I'm freakishly impressed that you designed the cover for Edward P. Jones' The Known World!

Laura Klynstra said...


Freakishly impressed? Ha!

My e-mail address:

thomas gladysz said...

I just came across this post. My name is thomas gladysz, and I too was an editor of the Red Cedar Review. I was a co-editor of volume 17, to which I contributed interviews with Allen Ginsberg, and the Canadian writers Eli Mandel and Robert Kroetsch. For that issue, I also reviewed Diane Wakoski's "Greed," and edited a piece by the experimental writer Richard Kostelanetz. I have a copy of issue number 17.

I would be happy to help with your projects, in any way I can. Or perhaps answer some questions. I was very intersted in the history of the RCR as well while I was editor back in 1984-1985. Did you know, for example, that before the RCR there was a short-lived journal on campus called "Tarot" which was started by Thomas McGuane and Jim Harrison. Back in 1985, while I was investigating things, I found that the MSU library had copies in their archives.

I know live in San Francisco, where I run the events program at The Booksmith (an independent bookstore located on Haight Street). I came across your post while looking up Tom Bissell, who I will be hosting in March. (In February, we will be hosting Jim Harrison.) And in the past, we have hosted Dan Gerber for an event. The RCR/MSU connection continues....