Colorado Review Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
English | December 23, 2014
Colorado Review, published by the English Department’s Center for Literary Publishing, is one of 919 organizations nationwide to receive an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $15,000 grant will support printing, mailing, and writer payments for the nationally distributed literary journal. Additionally, the grant provides funding for the publication of two new books in the Center’s Mountain West Poetry Series: Utah poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s The Verging Cities and Nevada poet Andrew Nicholson’s A Lamp Brighter than Foxfire, forthcoming in June and November 2015, respectively, with distribution by the University Press of Colorado.
“We are so grateful for the NEA’s support,” says Colorado Review editor and Center director Stephanie G’Schwind. “The funding helps us carry out our mission to publish fine contemporary writing and create opportunities for students to gain professional experience in publishing.”
As a teaching press—the only one of its kind in Colorado—the Center, located in Aylesworth Hall, provides students an environment in which to learn about and participate in small press publishing. Numerous graduates have found jobs in literary, commercial, scholarly, and el-hi publishing; technical editing; university communications; and specialized trade magazines working as editors, writers, designers, publicists, and copywriters. “When I applied for my current position as an editorial assistant at The Sun,” says Derek Askey (MFA 2013), “I was delighted to report that all of the skills they were looking for—proofreading, copyediting, submission reading, and so on—were ones I engaged in regularly while an intern at the Center. Not watched them, but hands-dirty-and-honest-to-god-learning-it did them.” Each year, approximately 25 interns gain deep knowledge of publishing practices by helping run both Colorado Review and the Mountain West Poetry Series.
Founded in 1956, Colorado Review publishes fiction, poetry, and essays by both new and established writers. Throughout the journal’s nearly sixty-year history, such literary figures as E. E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, James Galvin, Galway Kinnell, David Foster Wallace, John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Emily Fox Gordon, Mark Strand, and Kent Haruf have appeared in its pages. Work first appearing in Colorado Review is frequently cited in the Best American series and the Pushcart Prize, as well as reprinted in books and anthologies. Published three times a year, the magazine has a circulation of approximately 1000 subscribers, both print and digital, across the country and is available in more than 3500 libraries throughout the world through Project Muse. Working with editor-in-chief Stephanie G’Schwind, creative writing faculty members Matthew Cooperman and Sasha Steensen serve as the poetry editors (along with Donald Revell of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas); Steven Schwartz, professor emeritus, as the fiction editor; and Dan Beachy-Quick as the book reviews editor. Additionally, the Center’s graduate student interns work as editorial assistants and associate editors, evaluating the nearly nine thousand manuscripts received each year. Interns also perform all editorial and production duties: copyediting and fact-checking, typesetting, proofreading, and design.
The Center also publishes two books in the Mountain West Poetry Series each year. Launched with NEA funding in 2011 and distributed by the University Press of Colorado, the series focuses on poetry by writers in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Students are deeply engaged with the series, working in teams to produce the books; to date, there are ten titles in the series. The most recent, Songs, by Utah poet Derek Henderson, was released in November 2014. Karen Montgomery Moore (MA 2015) served as the proofreader. Of the experience, Moore says, “This was my first opportunity to assist with the production of a full-length book. I was also able to present questions to the author, and gained greater insight into his thoughts as a poet on syntax, form, and presentation. Although everyone on the production team had their primary responsibility, we made many decisions as a group, and thus, I was able to understand the full process of production, from a manuscript first accepted for publication to final queries to the author.” Moore worked closely with Abby Kerstetter (MFA 2016), who says, “Typesetting Songs has been a highlight of my graduate school experience. I hope to work in publishing, and this experience gave me valuable insight into working with an author to meet their expectations and realize their creative vision within the practical constraints of publishing software, deadlines, and budgets. It challenged me to find creative solutions to ensure quality and clarity while respecting the author’s wishes. Additionally it made me, as a poet, look closer at my own work, the journals I submit to, and the formatting decisions I make, and how those decisions affect meaning in and reception of my poetry.”
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to Colorado Review and the Center. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”
Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.