Luke Frostick: Editor
Hello everybody, happy new year to all.
Two years ago I sat down with Thomas Parker and started work on the first edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books. (Two years? Fuck, that can’t be right. It was just yesterday. Wasn’t it?) I don’t know exactly what we were expecting. I don't know if we though we would make it through one edition let alone twelve. So I’m sad to announce that after all this time our partnership is coming to an end. Thomas will still be involved with the magazine (I’m not letting him get away that easily), but he will not be involved with the day to day running of the magazine. I’m eternally grateful for him running the poetry section a column that I could not do myself, the translation work that he has done in numerous editions of the magazines and the articles he wrote himself. I’m also grateful for all the stuff he’s done that the reader never sees, sitting down in Ara cafe for hours formatting the webpage and pointing out my numerous mistakes and generally shaping the magazine into what it is now.
For all that and more thanks.
But the show must go on. So I am very happy to introduce our new poetry editor Liam Murray. He has written a number of poems for the magazine and has long been a member of the Spoken Word Istanbul community. The primeval gunk from which we all have grown. I am excited to see what a new perspective on the poetry section will bring and I hope you all will be too.
We have an excellent edition of the magazine coming out this time with non-fiction by the legendary translator Alexander Dawe, stories by regulars and newcomers interviews and poetry. Its a good one.
Work still continues on the Bosphorus Review anthology, which we are calling The Two Currents. I will keep you all posted on that as it develops.
Thanks to DJ Nio for our fantastic cover art. You can find more of his work here.
Thomas Parker: Departing Poetry Editor.
Both me and Luke have expressed this sentiment on multiple occasions, but neither one of us really expected the Bosphorus Review to become as successful as quickly as it did. We, of course, had ambitions for it to be as such and even discussed as much, but it was always more of a possibility, more of a long-term hypothetical to ponder, then something we thought would happen so soon. I am, honestly thrilled and proud to have been part of this project. I am, of course, not being so sappy without reason. This issue will mark my departure from this endeavor.
I recently re-started my post-graduate education and my to-do list seems to get a little longer every day. Suddenly, the seeds I’ve been sowing for years are just now starting to show fruit. In that context, I would hate to not be able to show the magazine and its contributors and readers the amount of time and effort they deserve. I, furthermore, feel like after two years and its first anthology book coming out that it has now come to a place where it will be able to continue without me relatively unabated.
When me and Luke discussed our goals and ambitions for the magazine there were two that seemed to emerge the most often. We wanted the magazine to be a meeting point for both the Western and Turkish literary traditions. We especially felt like Turkish literature had much to offer and was far too neglected outside of the borders of Turkey. However, we also had a problem with some of the dominant trends in the publishing industry. As ourselves submitters you often to have wait months for a reply to see if an unpaid submission was accepted for a magazine with a consistent readership of a couple hundred. That it to say, we wanted to do something that would have a better balance of high-brow and low-brow. We wanted to make a magazine which was high-quality, but easily accessible to all both in terms of readership and submissions. Though I am ultimately not the judge, I feel like we were quite successful in both regards. I certainly hope so. Given the amount of hours that we volunteered for this, I realize it may not always be the easiest model, but I do think it is worth that effort and hope it will be taken up more readily within the industry.
I’m happy to say I’ll be leaving the poetry section in the very capable hands of Liam, who has sent us several creative submissions in the past. I will still be around to offer advice and help guide its general direction and perhaps even turn in a piece or two from time to time, so think of this much more of a temporary goodbye, than a farewell.
Liam Murray: New Poetry Editor
Welcome friends, and a happy new year. We are delighted you have chosen to spend some of it aboard the good ship Bosphorus Review.
It may indeed be the effect of the season, but as the New Poetry Guy at the Review, I couldn’t help finding that, of the frothy, steaming cup of salep that formed our submissions from the last month, that it was verse that had a sense of movement and journey that marked the cinnamon sprinkle on top.
New beginnings can be filled with anxiety. This feeling, that marks the headshot to countless a good-willed resolution, can only be too close to the hearts and minds of those refugees who mark the subject of both Amirah al-Wassif and Karen Petersen’s works in this edition. Petersen’s work, in particular though, doesn’t forget to represent this fear with its common companion; the sense of foreboding.
When we take the plunge into the unknown, let us do so with our heads held high. Indeed “That sun will come up, that burning sun… Surrender to your fate, and hope that it is good,” are words that deliciously sum up the best way to face the new, the different, the unexpected.
Alongside already-published authors, such as the mighty Tanja Bakić and Özlem Yıldız, whose pieces dwell nostalgically on the states of ourselves which we outgrow and leave behind, we have also featured previously unpublished new talents, such as ex-Istanbulite Joe Vickers and the illusive Uncrowned Danish Prince. For 2019, I pray that the poetry section of the magazine continues to combine the talents of published and unpublished authors – and those from a multiplicity of mother tongues and traditions.
Similarly, I foresee editions united by themes such as the vague one which emerged naturally for this edition, and those set forth with shout-outs on social media, and can’t wait to see the results.
Further to that, fans of the written word that we all are, I am excited by the prospect of seeing these works immortalised in ink, and this year will see the first published compilation of hits from the Bosphorus Review’s previous issues; with poetry, prose, thoughts, and tales weaved by some of the finest minds to ever drop us an email with their innermost workings.
May they continue to stir up our own inner workings for the year to come.
From me, Liam Murray, and everyone else behind the Review,
İyi okumalar dileğiyle,