Sometimes a fresh coat of paint and general sprucing up is all that’s needed to reinvigorate a literary journal’s true offering: knockout writing. Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR) has done just that with their website – redesigned as a clean, sleek affair in easy-on-the-eyes serifs and shades of charcoal and leafy green. Check out their new aesthetic here: michiganquarterlyreview.com
Last year Jonathan Freedman assumed the role of Editor, taking over for Larry Goldstein, who ran MQR for more than three decades. In addition to welcoming on several Associate Editors – Michael Byers, who is on sabbatical this year, as well as Keith Taylor and V.V. Ganeshananthan – one of the first orders of business was to create a more dynamic digital home for the journal. Freedman writes:
The first thing I asked when I took over as editor of MQR from the estimable Larry Goldstein was: but what about the website? We’ve had for many years a barely functional website, more or less by intention: the goal was to give people a place to get basic information about subscriptions and the like, then get out of the way. We knew we wanted to do more, but we didn’t know exactly what, where, and how …
So welcome to the results of our collective efforts. We’ve attempted to present you with a website rich in content, with room for yet more. In addition to selections from the journal, our Features section will include work that doesn’t appear in print. We’ll include additional photographs and other visual material in the Gallery section, and we hope much of it will be work that experiments with forms that only web publication will make possible, perhaps even forms yet to be invented.
In addition to these offerings, the site is currently featuring a story by Brenda K. Marshall, entitled “In Which a Coffin is a Bed but an Ox is not a Coffin.” Marshall’s new novel, Dakota, Or What a Heaven Is For, was published this week by the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies. The book takes place during the settling of the Dakota territories in the 1880s, and the transformation of the characters mirrors, in part, the coming of age of the characters themselves. Charles Baxter writes of the novel, “From the smallest details–a cat asleep in a cold frying pan–to the largest ones of geo-political development, this novel is brilliantly inclusive in its understanding of how a region develops, and the breath of life flows all the way through it.”
For more on Marshall’s work or to order a copy of the book, please visit the author’s website.