Leif Milliken, one of the prime movers at Forge, recent informed me that they were taking my poem “Spider.” Forge is an amazing journal, with a wonderful tripartite personality (explained below). I’m very honored and thrilled.
In fact, I feel as lucky as Rice Boy in the presence of T.O.E. (also explained below).
They’ve been in business since 2006, and have kept the journal vivid and bravely diverse. You can get a hint by looking at the covers of some past issues, including the original number one, conveniently provided at their blog:
The splendid range of Forge is due in part to rotating shifts at the anvil of authority. There are three General Editors who each take a turn hammering the raw material of submissions into the latest greatest issue.
Behind the General Editors is a large staff of helpful folks. It’s not easy to make a literary team work, and the Forge founders, Milliken and Mike Moore, deserve molten praise for building up, in just four years, such a remarkable foundry.
A simple truth: The lit zine world is volunteer, and if the leadership isn’t good, followers disperse. Here is a description of the current team excerpted from the “About” section of the website:
Created in 2006 by Leif Milliken and Mike Moore, Forge has been published twice yearly since Winter 2007. Melissa Wolfe was brought in as a third General Editor, and Sarai Douglas became our Poetry Editor, with Jordan Milliken and Aaron Chambers taking on reviews. The rest of the editorial staff is indispensable, and the contribution of Ella Kurtz, Patricia Livermore, and Rebecca J McPherson – not to mention our numerous Readers – cannot go without due thanks. So thank you! Forge would not be what it is without a solid team behind it.
As you can see, the journal is supported by many people, each of whom serves as a strut, bracket, i-beam, aileron, or joist in the overall formidable structure.
My use of construction and blacksmith metaphors has been fun but I need to stop because Forge is far more varied and complex. There’s a jarring dose of surreal and a pinch of gleesome wonderland.
On their Link page you will find a listing for illustrator Jill Pratzon. Check out her marvelous animal-insect calligraphy to get a hint at another side of Forge:
Forge’s whimsy also extends to comic book sci-fi. We are told on the blog to check out the adventures of Rice Boy, who, living up to his eponymous existence, looks very much like a grain of rice. He is chosen by two mysterious agents of God-- Calabash and The One Electronic--to be a prophet.
The poetry in the latest issue (4.1) reflects the fantastical nature of Forge. You get great stuff like “Ugly Organ Crows” by Kevin Del Principe and “The Very Last Moments of Lao Tzu” by a “well-known antiquarian bookseller” who now calls himself “satnrose.”
Really, you can’t beat the originality of this line-up. The poetry astounds as rapidly as it explores new mindzones. Do not miss a chance to ride on the back of this chimera of a journal as it zooms through psychological space to magnify elusive frontiers.
I give Forge my highest recommendation for fancy, frisson and bellwether gusto. Be sure to visit them, and email some feedback to Editor Milliken!