Heavy Bear Magazine 6
Heavy Bear Magazine 7
Owl Who Laughs in Heavy Bear
The long anticipated release of the latest issues of Heavy Bear Magazine has arrived. Many fine poets will now be able to read their contributions with delight and a sense of pride; for Heavy Bear is a very special venue.
Jane Crown, impresario and editor, puts a mountain of work into this zine. When I think of the meaning of “heavy bear,” what comes to my mind is the strength of this assiduous woman, who offers the online community a great volume of well-wrought voices. She carries many poets on her shoulders with durable skill and grace.
Issue 6 presents 29 poets and Issue 7 contains 28. Both are dated December 2010, which means they are twins who together compose a formidable opus.
I like how Crown has chosen the format, presenting almost 60 writers in two books instead of just one. Each has a fantastic work of art up front, and each in itself is a masterful mélange. It was noble of Crown, and no doubt onerous, to avoid the throng that results from squeezing dozens of poets into a single presentation.
A little more on the artwork that embellishes the covers: it reverberates with a beautiful psychic depth. This affinity applies to all the covers of HB going back to the beginning. You can view them all here:
Heavy Bear Cover Art
As you can see, the paintings diverge yet also collect around a bright gestalt of spirit, which is vigorous, primordial and shaman-touched. Crown has gone into the Id of a wild pristine Gaea and snatched out bits of lucent phantasmagoria.
HB honestly has some of my favorite cover art, and I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of poetry magazines.
Keep in mind that, on average, each poet has three poems included. This means that Crown has given us approximately 180 works, a mighty act of editorship indeed!
Both well-known and fresh voices are included, and so HB provides a magnificent compendium, one that lavishly samples from the range of creatures that wander the forests of etherspace.
Although Crown has a prodigious will, not to mention vast virtue for carrying so many bards along, she is not immune to exhaustion. Surely there are many hurdles and moments of frustration in dealing with snafus of writers, who can be a whiny and demanding lot.
I bring this up because her last email to all contributors ended with the insinuation that she might be understandably tired and rethinking her role. I am going to quote from that email, so you can draw your own conclusions:
These are the corrected versions of both issues 6 and 7 of Heavy Bear online magazine. Do not hesitate to send Jane Crown any further needed corrections; otherwise, enjoy.
Both issues represent a prolonged halt in publication of Heavy Bear online magazine. Much soul-searching and revamping is required before any further publication.
Being an editor is tremendously hard, and we who are not editors tend to overlook and even minimize the importance of the job. The truth is, editors are the lifeblood of the poetry world. They are more important than almost any single poet, collecting the best and magnifying it.
Jane Crown, on top of being an editor, is good at it. I hope anyone who finds this blog entry will take the time to read HB and send a comment. Moreover, if you are a contributor, please thank Jane Crown for all the effort and time she has put in:
Let us not live up to the prickly stereotype: that artists are so self-absorbed they neglect those who passionately support them.