The May 2012 issue of Open Letters Monthly went live yesterday. As usual, it is about as eclectic and, we fondly believe, substantial as any literary review you’ll find on the internet. Now, if only we could find the magic button to make it one of the most widely read literary reviews on the internet … so please, tell two friends about it, and if they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on and so on, well, that would be nice! And also, if you are interested in writing for us, email us (openlettersmonthly at gmail dot com) with your interests and ideas. I speak from experience when I say that our editorial process is at once rigorous, passionate, and unfailingly constructive.
So! What’s in this latest issue? You should click on over and take a look for yourself at the whole table of contents. Highlights for me this time include a thoughtful and thought-provoking essay on the provocative poetry of Sylvia Plath; an in-depth commentary on Derek Walcott’s Omeros; my fellow-editor Greg Waldmann’s take-down of Rachel Maddow’s Drift; and the one-two punch of my own essay on a life-long infatuation with Richard III and Steve Donoghue’s brilliant review of a new biography of the man who stole his crown, Henry VII. I had fun with the Richard III essay because I got to work in so many different interests of mine, including detective fiction (via Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time), historical romance, and historiography, even including a bit of obscure 19th-century material. The essay as a whole is underwritten by ideas arising from my academic research first for my thesis and then for my book: like my Gone with the Wind essay, which put to use the time I’d spent working on ethical criticism, this one is an experiment in loosening up what expertise I have and trying to make it interesting and useful for more people than will ever work their way through Gender, Genre, and Victorian Historical Writing. Unlike the Gone with the Wind essay, however, this new one includes a rare archival photograph of me in full geeky 1980s splendor, complete with big glasses and embarrassing (but very practical) rubber boots–so get on over and check it out before I have second thoughts about that!