Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More RCR notes

Not long ago, I posted a chronology of the publishing history of Red Cedar Review, Michigan State University's (undergraduate-run) official literary magazine. I've since (almost) completed an index, and have some notes of interest to add to the chronology.

Notable writers
Steve Almond—vol. 33
Margaret Atwood—vol. 7:1
Tom Bissell—vol. 31:2
Robert Bly—translation of Tomas Transtromer vol. 8:2/3
Jim Cash—vol. 3:1
René Char—vol. 6:4
Jim Daniels—vol. 11:2
Stuart Dybek—vol. 7:2, reprint vol. 38
Carolyn Forché—vol. 9:3
Dan Gerber—vols. 8:2/3, 11:2, 38
Gary Gildner—vols. 6:1, 6:3
Gwendolen Gross—vol. 33
Jim Harrison—vol. 8:2/3, reprint vol. 35:2
Catherine Ryan Hyde—vol. 34:1
Mark Jacobs—vol. 32:1
Lyn Lifshin—vol. 7:1, 15:1, 16:1/2, 17:1/2, 19:1, 25:1, 26, 27, 29:1, 30:1, 30:2, 36:1, 37:1, 39
Judith Minty—vols. 9:3, 38
Pablo Neruda—vol. 7:1
William Stafford—vol. 11:1
Robert Vander Molen—vols. 5:1, 6:2, 6:4
Diane Wakoski—vols. 10:2/3, 11:2, 28:1, 31:1, 33, 38

Charles Baxter—vol. 34:1
Philip Caputo—vol. 33
Katie Davis—vol. 39
Stephen Dunn—vol. 37:1
Allen Ginsberg—vol. 17:1/2
Diane Glancy—vol 38
Jim Harrison—vol. 35:2
Robert Kroetsch—vol. 17:1/2
Elmore Leonard—vol. 36:1
Elinor Lipman—vol. 32:1
Eli Mandel—vol. 17:1/2
A. J. M. Smith—vols. 7:2/3, 14:1
Diane Wakoski—vol. 35:1

Numbering anomalies/errors
  • Vol. 7:1 is printed as “vol. 6:1.” My numbering is based on publication date.
  • 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.
  • In spring 1988 numbering jumps from vol. 19:2 to vol. 25:1.
  • Vol. 26:1 numbering based on publication date and numbering of subsequent volumes. The volume itself contains no printed volume number.
  • Vol. 27:1 numbering based on likely publication date and numbering of subsequent volumes. The volume itself contains no printed volume number or date.
  • Vol. 37:1 is printed as “vol. 37:2.”

    Other notes
  • Walter Lockwood’s essay in vol. 25:1 lists him as RCR’s editor in 1963 and 1964. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 contain no printed staff information.
  • Vol. 7:1 contains sections on Nigerian poets and Black poets.
  • Vol. 8:1—East Lansing poets
  • Vol. 9:1 consists of ten posters in a manila envelope.
  • Billboard issue likely appeared in 1974 following vol. 9:1
  • Vol. 9:3—Women write
  • “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.”
  • Vol. 10:1 is the first perfect-bound issue.
  • The 25th anniversary issue, Vol. 25:1, is fold-and-staple binding and echoes the design used in vols. 1, 2, and 3. Vol. 25:1 contains notes on RCR history by Albert Drake, Jim Cash, Peter Nye, Etta Abrahams, Maury Crane, and Walter Lockwood.
  • Vol. 38 is the first issue published by the MSU Press.

    Anonymous said...

    i believe W. S. Penn is in there too and i consider him to be notable as well. I believe he also teaches at MSU.

    Gavin said...

    I would have to agree that W. S. Penn is noteworthy. "from Killing Time With Strangers" in vol. 31:1 is an early draft of a chapter from his 2000 novel, which won the American Book Award.

    My only possible excuse for not including Dr. Penn on the list is that when I introduced him at a reading in 2001, and cited the piece in RCR, he denied it, saying that he didn't publish works-in-progress. I got to try to convince him afterward that I hadn't imagined the story, and while I had a photocopy, I hadn't carried it with me that evening.

    Dr. Penn does in fact teach at MSU, and if you haven't read Killing Time With Strangers, This Is the World, All My Sins Are Relatives, or Feathering Custer, they would be well worth your time. While you're at it, you could also read my interview with him in The Offbeat: Eschew Obfuscation. I wish I could tell you that either of us would get any royalties from The Offbeat, but they are a small literary magazine, and it's a decent little interview if I do say so myself.

    Anonymous said...

    thanks, I will look for those works

    Gavin said...

    You have me curious, anonymous. What by Penn have you read? You consider him noteworthy, so I must assume you've read something, but I feel that I'd be able to give you a better idea of where to go next in his work if I know where you've been.

    (You can get my e-mail address if you view my Blogger profile. We certainly don't have to have this conversation in the comments section of one of my posts.)

    Anonymous said...

    OK, well, I confess; I am an obscure fan of his and have read everything he's written (The Absence of Angels was another great one) and have also read your Offbeat interview. You did a very nice job, there : ).

    Etta said...

    I'm glad you're doing notes on RCR, of which I was Fiction Editor in the 60s era.

    When Carl Hartman was advisor to RCR in the mid-60s, Jim Cash, who was then the fiction editor, wanted to publish one of my stories. But because it contained homosexuality, Hartman wouldn't let us publish it. We went to see Provost Neville, and he said that we could go ahead and publish it, but that he "wouldn't guarantee further funding [$1200, as I recall] for the magazine." He was very concerned that parents might see it and write to the university. There was a big demonstration about it in front of Berkey; Jim Cash resigned as Fiction Editor (there's a letter in the State News about this--check 1963 or 1964, spring sometime). I was asked to publish the story and hand it out at the demo, but I didn't want to mix politics and art (boy was I naive)!

    Etta said...

    By the way, you might want to add Tom McGuane to your list of notable writers published in

    Gavin said...

    Etta! Send me an e-mail! I've been tracking down former RCR staffers, and I'd love to be able to get more stories from you. (You can get my e-mail address through my Blogger profile.)

    I will dig up that State News letter, thanks for the heads-up. That's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. :-)