2River View has truly earned the status of legendary. It was in the vanguard of the online journal movement, setting up electronic camp in 1996. Ever since then, it has been going strong and has expanded to include the 2River chapbook series, and Muddy Bank blog, which includes podcasts and literary commentary.
This pillar of internet excellence was constructed by Editor Richard Long, who continues to sculpt the dynamic architecture of this breathtaking site. Visuals and audio (optional) embellish the written fare. This is a poetry only site, which accepts only ten poets per issue out of an average of three hundred submissions.
Given such a teeming pool of hopefuls, plus Long’s credentials as an Associate Professor of English (St. Louis Community College--Meramec), and also his obvious aptitude, the result is almost forgone: brilliant and stunning works by a generous variety of contributors.
I’ve been accepted by over two hundred journals, but only a handful of them have as low an acceptance rate as 2River coupled with such worthy prestige. I almost hate to use the word “prestige” because it sounds a bit hoity-toity, whereas Editor Long assumes a low-key and humble mantle on the website. You have to go from the masthead to his faculty page to start to get details:
There you will find out that he is a marathon runner, a testament to perseverance that mirrors his dedication to 2River. You also find that he teaches, among other classes, Environmental Literature. This attests to a deep relationship with nature, which also manifests in a number of the poems he selects (however, I do not want to imply in any way that his choices for publication are narrowly focused).
You will also find two links to interviews conducted with Dr. Long, where finally you get some detailed information about him and also his journal. There are also links to his poems, well-crafted works that ferret out the sort of emotion so hard to locate during the daily grind, when we stressed chore-oriented citizens are barely able to wonder what we are missing, or why.
My favorite poem of Long’s is “Time in the Garden” but they are all precisely wrought and stingingly good.
Although my time is sadly short, I feel a great need to mention that Long is funding 2River all by himself. This despite the fact that students at SLCC-Meramec get a presence--not in the Issues of 2River--but rather on a special page in the journal devoted to multi-media projects. It is also clear that SLCC-Meramec benefits vicariously from the reputation Long has fostered over fifteen solo years.
In one of his interviews, Long relates that he once approached someone in administration for help with funding; and that person, some pooh-bah Dean, turned him down flat.
From my vantage, looking at the superb beauty of 2River, and the clear benefit to the college, pellucid as a stream, I think it reprehensible that Long pays for it all. This seems one of those all-too-frequent cases where the arts are being hideously undervalued by a spreadsheet-eyed bureaucrat whose mind has been dulled by money’s banal chafe and rub.
This callous treatment by the Dean only magnifies Long’s virtue. There are only a handful of editors in his exemplary category. There are thousands of online journals now, but 2River is among a special few run continuously for over a decade by one amazingly shining soul.
I want to offer a very special Thank You to Richard Long. His is the supernal kind of accomplishment for which one can never be thanked enough.