Perched near the Genesee River across from the Rundel Memorial Building, the Spanish-American War Memorial Eagle reads Rundelania. [Photo: David Kramer 10/31/20, see The 118th Otis Day, June 15th, and the War Memorial Eagle]
Today we celebrate the eighth issue of RUNDELANIA the digital literary journal of the Arts and Literature Division; part of the Central Branch of the Rochester Public Library.
Contributors include poets, creative writers, cartoonists, artists, photographers, journalists, educators and students, librarians and patrons, and a retired attorney and a retired scientist.
RUNDELANIA‘s editor Andrew Coyle, Literature and Arts Librarian at the Central Branch, kindly used my essay When Washington Square Park felt like Tiananmen Square. (See articles on Rundel Library at end.)I caught up with Andrew who provided an overview of the first four years of the journal:
The idea of Rundelania came from talking with library patrons who wanted to publish their poetry and short stories. Some of them had already been published or were on their way to publishing in magazines or with national publishers, but most were just beginning to search for publication. Library management has been very supportive from the beginning.
Things are online now. We do not need to pay printing costs. We use WordPress. WordPress is inexpensive, fun to do and helps promote our local writers.
This is the fourth year; it comes out twice a year. We have recurring writers but there are always new contributors as well. And we are grateful to local writers like yourself that have promoted the journal and the library over the years.
Stories have won selection in national publications after premiering on our site — that is gratifying. In this issue, one of the poets is an Academy of American Poets Award recipient, originally from Rochester, and we are grateful for his contribution. Published authors next to new authors, young and old, that is kind of what we have, a big mix. Some of the authors have been published by major publishing houses but have been gracious to contribute original pieces. We always want more and more quality submissions but we are really kind of an art brut outfit at heart. We like the underdog, we like that we are publishing you first. You don’t need a degree or special pedigree, different writing is welcomed, and strange writing, writing that is a little outsider is sometimes the best.
In the future, we want the online layout to improve as well and may look for a digital book style format in the future, where you are able to virtually turn the page etc. and with more involved graphics. But simple is good too. The big thing is to be consistent, to be there twice a year for the authors, to keep it going and let it take on a life of its own.