WMU News

Third Coast celebrates 10th anniversary with spring issue

April 16, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Third Coast, a leading national literary journal published by creative writing graduate students at Western Michigan University, marks its 10th anniversary with the recently released spring 2005 issue.

The magazine has accomplished much in its 10-year history. It debuted in spring 1995 and twice-annual publication began a year later. The journal has enjoyed a large upswing in circulation recently.

"This anniversary is a good time to remind ourselves that Third Coast ultimately helps support the nation's literature, since much of the best new American writing arises in magazines like ours," says Glenn Deutsch, the publication's editor since 2002. "It's also a reminder that many people have helped Third Coast grow and thrive over the course of a decade, including scores of editors, advisors and supporters.

"What everyone has accomplished comes down to helping great writers--emerging ones, mainly--gain traction in their careers while providing terrific entertainment and insights for readers."

One innovation in the new issue is the intermixing of poems, fiction and nonfiction. Third Coast had previously maintained separate sections for the three genres.

"We hope readers who have a chance to read the issue from beginning to end will enjoy the way it flows," Deutsch says.

The issue runs 176 pages and begins with three poems by Major Jackson, a recent WMU Gwen Frostic Reading Series reader. Other poetry highlights include works by Albert Goldbarth and Nance Van Winckel.

Third Coast continues to broaden the range and scope of its nonfiction offerings. In the new issue, "Secret Agent Man," by Margot Singer, explores with childlike awe and adult suspicion the mysterious life of the author's father. When she thinks she's discovered the truth, she is reminded of her own words: "You can poke your finger through a spy. He will scatter, like ash."

Fiction highlights include stories by emerging talents Laura Jean Baker and Donald Ray Pollock. In Baker's "Onaway Island," two sisters and an eccentric aunt try to make sense of the men in their lives, their relationships with each other and the past. The prose is lush and hypnotic, the action strange and timeless. "Discipline" juxtaposes gritty realism and bizarre surrealism in a tale of illegal steroids and a bodybuilding father, who pushes his son to achieve what he never did. "Discipline" is darkly funny and unexpectedly profound.

The issue also includes an interview with the poet Mary Ruefle and substantive reviews of books by new authors, a hallmark of the journal's review section. The lead review, by Dr. William Combs, WMU professor emeritus of English, examines "Where the Long Grass Bends," a debut story collection by Neela Vaswani.

The issue costs $8. Subscriptions are available for $14 a year--two issues; $26 for two years-- four issues; or $38 for three years--six issues.

Readers can subscribe or give gift subscriptions by sending a check along with their name and address to: Third Coast, Attn: Orders, Department of English, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331. Third Coast is sold at local stores, including Athena Book Shop, the Michigan News Agency and Barnes & Noble.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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