robertisenberg

The New Yorker Mention

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Autumn Foliage 038

Fifteen years ago, I picked up my first New Yorker in an optomotrist’s office, shortly before the doctor dilated my eyes and I had to wear sunglasses for two days. My Dad was the one who introduced me. “This might be right up your alley,” he said. “It caters to the literary crowd.”

Indeed, it was love at first sight. The challenging language. The gentle sense of humor. And so many cartoons!

Last year I cancelled my subscription, because there is no way to keep up with a weekly magazine that boasts 10,000-word articles. Also, the stacks of old volumes were moldering in my basement. So I sadly donated them to my local library’s “free” bin and began reading the magazine online. Sigh.

I have two major goals in life: To be interviewed by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air,” and to somehow contribute to The New Yorker.

Yesterday, my friend Seàn called me and said to check the New Yorker‘s online edition, specifically the “Book Bench” blog. A year-and-a-half ago, Seàn and I started an online literary magazine called Ophelia Street. From co-editing this journal, we discovered that (a) I’m a really lousy editor, and (b) it’s hard to get people interested in cool literature (as opposed to, say, stuff on cats, or hot chicks with douche-bags, or awkward family photos). Few people seemed interested, and our journal turned anemic. As we lost steam, we also lost interest. Today, Ophelia Street is a monument to a happy year-long experiment.

But when I took Seàn’s advice, my jaw dropped: There, in my precious New Yorker, was a mention of Ophelia Street, along with a dozen other established Pittsburgh journals (most of which I considered far, far out of our league). You can read the blog here.

So now I’m just waiting for a call from Terry Gross.

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