There are some literary magazines you don’t see for a while, and when you do you are grateful they are still going. This is the case with Crab Creek Review, a magazine I aspired to be published in for years and finally was in the Spring/Summer issue of 2006.
In 2004-2005, when I lived in Manhattan and taught high school in the Bronx and took poetry classes at City College New York, Kelli Russell Agodon was a secret inspiration for me, though in a somewhat twisted way. I met her in a class in 2003 at Richard Hugo House in Seattle taught by Marvin Bell. She was one of the few in the class who already had a book that was about to be released, so I wanted to find out more about her. She had a website and a blog and was about my age.
I would turn to her blog, not to bask in her insights, though that happened against my awful judgment. I turned to her blog in those days to give myself a kick in the pants. I’d read her thoughts on writing and process and be reminded that those who live a life devoted to writing are writers. I was jealous of Agodon’s success (and maybe of her beautiful last name). My jealousy helped motivate me to get some of my own writing done.
Recently I visited Agodon’s blog and found out she is now on the editorial staff for Crab Creek Review and that she has a new book, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room. But I also realized that I’m not jealous of her anymore. My motivation to write these days comes from a different source, a joy in accessing a spring from which she and many others I admire are also drinking.
I also found that her blog is now useful to me in a new way: It is downright inspiring how generous, modest, and open she is. She has sponsored several book give-aways and is regularly sharing the successes and projects of other writers, especially poets. Every Tuesday is Confession Tuesday at Agodon’s blog. Today’s is about what she wants and doesn’t want from Facebook and FB friends, which is funny because I sent her the kind of FB request this morning that she doesn’t like: from a stranger and not accompanied by a personal message.
I’m celebrating Agodon today, celebrating the inspiration she has offered me throughout the past seven years in a multitude of ways. I’m celebrating the fact that Crab Creek Review is still a strong literary voice of the Pacific Northwest and that Agodon and Crab Creek are united in literary endeavors.
Which journals are on your mind these days? Any old favorites we should be aware of? Which writers have kept you going?