Monday, November 14, 2011

F Magazine: A Guest Post by Bruce Farnsworth


Bruce Farnsworth is Poetry Editor and F Magazine Editorial Board member. F Magazine is an independent monthly focusing on local coverage of art, music and culture in South-Central Alaska.  We are committed to publishing vivid images as well as excellent original works of poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, criticism and journalism that explore all art disciplines. We will also generate and publish penetrating commentary on and analysis of relevant art and culture issues. All subject matter and styles are welcome as long as attention to craft is high, the images and writings are provocative, grammatically strong, syntactically unique, and illuminate the human experience.

F Magazine is at an important turning point. Founded three years ago, it was first a two then a one-woman show. Publisher Teeka Ballas remains at the helm but now she steers a nine-member editorial board that has begun to map out and navigate the magazine’s artistic and journalistic terrain. What is this thing that at one point called itself F-Zine and now goes by the more grown-up sounding ‘F’ Magazine? Is it a gussied up old school fan-zine as the earlier name implied? Or has it already sold out and become mainstream as the name change suggests? What does the letter ‘F’ stand for? I can’t answer those questions. I will tell you, as one member of the editorial board, what my hopes are and then its up to you, our readers, to judge when and if we are fulfilling them.

In case I wasn’t clear, I don’t speak for all the editors. The rest of the members of the board might join this discussion about aspirations by submitting their own contributions or they might not. I hope some of them will.

·         I hope we can present some terrific poetry, prose, photography and visual art in these pages. To do this we will have to start paying our contributors. That is a top priority and will begin to happen soon. Stay tuned.

·         I hope that in some not too distant future edition of the “Best American Poetry” anthology there is a poem that first appeared here.

·         A community ignores or marginalizes art and the artists that make it at its peril. I hope we can stir up an active interest in where the nodes of creative energy are in our city. To get everyone asking, ‘who is special and why?’

·         At F Magazine we don’t want people to like us, we want them to be interested in us, in what we have to say, the artists and events and issues on which we shine our collective spotlight. I hope we can raise the level of discourse about what’s right and what’s not right in the world of arts and culture. I hope we annihilate some old myths and give birth to some new ones.

·         Without honest, unblinking internal criticism an artist community can get lazy and self-satisfied. I hope we manage to foster a lively debate about what is art and what is not art. About quality and process, criteria and product. Sharpen your senses and the tips of your number two pencils and let’s begin a genuine dialogue.

·         I hope you are okay with paying for this experience and that you will be okay when we raise the price sometime down the road. This is an important project that must not be allowed to fail for lack of financial support. We’re not primarily a marketing vehicle for local events and companies as are our city’s many free publications. We solicit advertising from businesses and individuals so that we can make the magazine affordable to you.

·         I hope you will look forward to each month’s issue of ‘F’ with excitement and curiosity. If you are a writer, photographer, or visual artist, I hope you start submitting your best work to us on a regular basis. 

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