robertisenberg

The New Yorker Mention

In Pittsburgh on August 28, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Autumn Foliage 038

Fifteen years ago, I read my first New Yorker. My Dad introduced my to it, at an optometrist’s office, shortly before the doctor dilated my eyes and I had to wear sunglasses for two days. It was love at first sight: The erudite language. The gentle sense of humor.

Since then, I’ve had two goals: To be interviewed by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air,” and to somehow contribute to the pages of The New Yorker.

This is part of the reason I co-founded Ophelia Street, an online journal I edited with my friend Seàn. I wanted Pittsburgh to have a literary magazine that was updated daily, offered quality writing and multi-media, and had a good sense of humor to boot.

What I learned was twofold:

(1) I am not a very good editor.

(2) Nobody actually likes lit journals, except people who want to be published in them, and most of those people are too unmotivated to actually submit.

So after a year, Seàn and I decided to take a permanent hiatus (this affected him more, since he was a much more responsible editor).

Yesterday, Seàn called me and said to check out The New Yorker website. He didn’t explain why, and I sensed a surprise. And then, under “Book Bench,” I found it: Ophelia Street had been mentioned, along with a dozen other Pittsburgh journals. Somehow, we had attracted the attention of Macy Halford, a New Yorker writer. My dream had come true. You can read it here.

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

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