Synopses & Reviews
was a Michigan-based literary journal founded J in 1968 by poets Dan Gerber and Jim Harrison; novelist Tom McGuane joined the editorial staff in 1969 as the fiction editor. When the inaugural issue appeared, more than 250 American literary magazines were listed in The Directory of Magazines and Small Press; within three years, Sumac rose to the first tier of these publications and was nationally recognized for its eclecticism and editorial quality. The Library Journal called it "one of the best little magazines now being published".
Remaining true to Sumac's energetic catholicity, The Sumac Reader is an anthology that contains poetry, experimental fiction, and works in translation that originally appeared in the magazine. Contributors include four Pulitzer Prize-winning poets — Galway Kinnell, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, and Gary Snyder — along with the likes of Paul Blackburn, Hayden Carruth, Richard Hugo, Denise Levertov, Ezra Pound, Adrienne Rich, and Diane Wakoski. There are early poems by Charles Simic, James Tate, and Michael Waters, as well as a complete section from Galaway Kinnell's classic, The Book of Nightmares. Fiction is represented in Sumac by a first-published Jim Heynen story ("Coyote") and early prose by William Kittredge. Translations from Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian bring to American readers the work of masters such as Tu Fu, Lorca, and Li Po. A variety of poetic forms are represented, including ghazals, narratives, suites, found poems, and the freest of free verse.
"This collection functions as a cultural time capsule... [T]hese selected works, observed in hindsight, suggest that Sumac's contributors captured the pulse of the times with remarkable clarity." Publisher's Weekly
The Sumac Reader is an anthology that contains poetry, experimental fiction, and works in translation that originally appeared in the magazine.
About the Author
Joseph Bednarik is an editor with Story Line Press in Eugene, Oregon.