Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cleveland Review of Books to Launch This Year, Founder Envisions Outlet as Region's n+1

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 1:48 PM

crb.jpg
In the Cleveland arts & culture media landscape, there's Scene — hello there — the alternative news and entertainment weekly; there's Cleveland Magazine, the service-oriented monthly glossy; there's CAN Journal, the visual arts quarterly produced by the titular network; there's Belt, the online destination for essays and reporting of a certain regional sheen; and there's the PD's Friday magazine, the print destination for mainstream reviews and arts listings. 

But there's no outlet, says Billy Lennon, founder and editor of the new Cleveland Review of Books, for what he informally calls "upper middle brow" cultural coverage and analysis.

Lennon, a 24-year-old University School alum who studied at both Swarthmore and Oberlin, says he intends to publish an inaugural issue of the journal by year's end, but that there's no rush.



"I'm more concerned with quality than quantity," he says.

Lennon cites both the Brooklyn-based n+1 and the Los Angeles Review of Books as inspirations and says he envisions publishing rolling content online with one or two issues per year, featuring the site's premiere content.

He says he wants the journal to be home to thoughtful criticism of Cleveland-centric art and literature; essays and reflections on culture and politics; and reviews of contemporary fiction and nonfiction from niche or adventurous publishing houses. The first issue, Lennon says, may also include a piece of short fiction or poetry.

"The overall goal of the journal is three-fold," reads the mission statement, "to shed light on the important and interesting work of artists and writers in our city, to encourage people to have an intelligent critical attitude toward culture, and to cultivate community through creating, reading, thinking and writing.

Lennon works by day as a paralegal and will soon begin a Master's program at John Carroll, where he'll serve as a graduate assistant in the fall. He plans to devote a few hours per day shepherding the first issue toward completion and says he's receiving strategic advice from CWRU Philosophy Professor Jeremy Bendik-Keymer. The journal is actively seeking to build a board of advisers.

"To me," Lennon says, "this doesn't feel like work."

He says he recently commissioned an essay on "the weirdness of Pinecrest and Crocker Park," and expects it to be included in the inaugural CRB. He says the funding picture is predictably small-scale, but contributors may expect "a tiny amount of coin" for their efforts.

Lennon describes himself as part an emergent local literary scene engaged with coastal journals and contemporary writers. He says that two other "more explicitly literary" local journals are in their early stages as well: Barnhouse Journal ("sincere"), and the Long Long Journal ("Brooklyncore hip"). 

Cleveland Review of Books is on Twitter @CleReviewBooks. Tonight, alongside Barnhouse, CRB will host an event at Mahall's showcasing local poets and writers. CRB will be officially open to pitches and submissions beginning July 15. 

Tags: , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation