This year marks Alaska Quarterly Review’s 30th anniversary of publication. Since 1982, it has served as a bridge between Alaska and the national and international literary community. It has established itself as distinctly Alaskan – strongly influenced by the place, people and cultural traditions – without being provincial. Alaska Quarterly Review has discovered and nurtured new and emerging writers and poets, and showcased the non-commercial work of established literary artists. The magazine’s body of work is eclectic, spanning literature emerging from the oral tradition to pieces that explore and expand the boundaries of genres and styles. While astonishing advances in technology have turned the entire publishing paradigm on its head, Alaska Quarterly Review has remained a faithful forum for conventional work and for work that challenges accepted forms and modes of expression.
This Spring & Summer 2012 edition is the first of two 30th anniversary issues. In it you will find the compelling new work of 5 fiction writers and 22 poets. You will also find the special feature, “Liberty and Justice (for All): A Global Photo Mosaic,” a tribute to photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who were tragically killed while covering the civil war in Libya. This photo essay project has been a true labor of love. It was guest-edited by my son, Benjamin J. Spatz, and includes the photographs and narrative of 68 world-class photographers from 22 countries. Everything – the rights to use the photographs and the professional time and expertise of all involved – was donated.
Creating art is essentially a moral act. The artist is the mirror, the conscience, the provocateur, the translator, the individual demanding attention to the hard questions. In an increasingly uncertain world, art is what centers us. Thirty years after our first issue hit the stands, Alaska Quarterly Review’s raison d’être is exactly the same as it was on day one: to publish consequential literary art. Against the ever-rising tide of commercialism and the trends du jour, that’s our idea of progress. May it always be.
Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief
Alaska Quarterly Review