Monday, January 10, 2005

35 Hotel Amerika

Hotel Amerika, with a cover price of $9.00, was picked up for a quarter at a local library book sale. According to some pre-pub publicity the title, which is published by the Creative Writing Program at Ohio University in Athens, fills the hole left by The Ohio Review which ceased publication in 2001 after 30 years. The premier issue of Hotel Amerika, appeared in the Fall of 2002 with a cover photo of David Wojnarowicz who died of AIDS in 1992, and the cover is the only mention of him in the issue.

Ohio University offers a Ph.D. in Creative Writing, as well as an M.A. The Creative Writing Program is small providing an alternative to larger M.F.A. programs. M.A. candidates complete two years of study and write a thesis of creative work in their genre. The Creative Writing Program also hosts the annual Spring Literary Festival.

This year, two writers whose work appeared in Hotel Amerika were selected for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize Annual 2004 and two poems from Hotel Amerika are included in 'Best American Poetry 2004.' So in just two years, the young journal has made its mark.

In an interview with OU‘s Outlook Lazar says, "Our aesthetic philosophy is very catholic. We publish work that is extremely formal, conservative, avant-garde and experimental, as long as we think it's the most challenging, interesting work we can find. Dull language is the original sin." Possibly, but after reading one essay about an abortion that happened 40 years ago (in a first marriage), an essay that seemed to go nowhere and have a lot of dull language, I sort of lost interest. Definitely not my type, but I’m glad the people who have worked so hard on it have been successful.

And no, I don’t know why they spell it that way.

Hotel Amerika
Fall 2002, Premier Issue, Volume 1 Number 1
ISBN 0-9724052-08
ISSN 1541-2261
Subject: literary magazine
Publication schedule: two issues/year
Department of English
360 Ellis Hall, Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
$9.00 single; $18.00 subscription
Senior Editor: David Lazar
Editor: Erin Belieu

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