Brooklyn, NY — Brooklyn is famous for many things: Barbra Streisand, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Leonard Bernstein, and, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge, to name just a few. Now, a new star-studded institution is in the making in the borough — a literary arts journal titled 2 Bridges Review, which recently debuted at New York City College of Technology (City Tech).
2 Bridges Review distinguishes itself from other college of technology literary arts journals in several ways. One is its roster of high-profile contributors, which includes former U. S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and poets Lorna Goodison, Colette Inez, Sandra M. Gilbert, Kwame Dawes, Mervyn Taylor, and Willie Perdomo.
“Our journal aims to be international in scope, to expand our concept of community outside City Tech’s and CUNY’s borders,” explains Editor-in-Chief Kate Falvey, assistant professor of English at the College, who co-founded the journal with her City Tech colleague, associate professor and poet, Monique Ferrell.
According to Professor Falvey, the City Tech journal’s focus also dovetails with the College’s mission. “Our approach reflects and enhances part of City Tech’s stated mission: educational goals ‘designed to foster intellectual curiosity, an appreciation for the aesthetic dimension of life and work and a respect for cultural diversity,’” she says.
Another distinctive factor is that 2 Bridges Review is substantial — volume one is 191 pages in print, 98 pages online. Electronically, it is available at http://2bridgesreview.org or at www.citytech.cuny.edu/academics/deptsites/english/writers/2bridges/2bridges-vol1no1.pdf.
Eventually, the journal will be available to the public by subscription; a limited number of the print version of the first issue are available from Professor Falvey (firstname.lastname@example.org), one copy per request. A second issue is planned and already underway for Fall 2012, pending continued funding.
Aaron Barlow, an associate professor of English at City Tech, named the journal for the College’s location between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. And since art itself is always a kind of bridge between disparate minds and cultures, using “bridge” seemed doubly apt, according to Professor Falvey.
In explaining the journal’s editorial approach, Professor Falvey says, “There are many journals conceived around a kind of ethos or theme, whether it be political, generic, or aesthetic — but I don’t think in terms of niches. I probably edit the way I write: let’s see what happens as I poke around with this word, image, attitude. I tend not to begin with ideas, but with language. A journal is always going to reflect the idiosyncratic taste of the editors, and though all editors will say that they want the ‘best’ work, ‘best’ is a malleable and sketchy qualifier.
“I don’t know that 2 Bridges is ‘different’ — there are a number of beautifully conceived and produced magazines in the world — but I can say that we bring our own verve and quirkiness to the mix and that our contribution is already being noticed and appreciated,” she adds. “I am obsessively insistent on good design — and am happy to have brought award-winning artist and book designer, Michael Kellner in to do our cover.” The editors plan to continue the focus on artwork in future issues.
The journal’s editorial staff possesses sterling credentials. For 13 years, Falvey, who lives in Long Beach on Long Island, was at the helm of Icarus, New York University’s literary journal, and currently serves on the editorial board of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Bellevue Literary Review. Her published work includes poetry and scholarly articles on women writers.
Poetry editor George Guida, associate professor of English at the College, worked on the editorial staffs of both The Paris Review, under George Plimpton, and The Hudson Review. He is the author of not only poetry but also stories and plays, with four books to his credit. Guida currently hosts readings and poetry slams at Smalls Jazz Club and the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.
Fiction and non-fiction editor Rita Ciresi, director of creative writing at the University of South Florida, is the author of three novels and two short-story collections, and winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Prize for the Novel.
In the spirit of eclecticism, 2 Bridges Review intends to include in its next issue more work by unknown and emerging talent, as well as that of established writers and artists. The journal is open to submissions via its website.
“We are grateful that we have had initial administrative support for this venture,” says Falvey, “yet we need a secure a reliable source of funding and are given the concrete support we need to grow into a respected, impressive arts journal. It’s tough to make plans while scrounging for funds – so money is crucial. However, we are a hard-working bunch with a real sense of mission and we aim to have the magazine expand and succeed.”
New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York State. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the College enrolls more than 16,000 students in 62 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificates programs.