Welcome back: Long time readers of this weblog will know I’m happy to point to news that the current incarnation of the National Magazine Award multi-winner Oxford American is off the press and on its way to a newsstand near you.
Once a for-profit publication, The Oxford American was adopted by the University of Central Arkansas earlier this year. The campus and its resources breathed life into the magazine after it neared extinction in July 2003 because of a dearth of ad sales. Once bimonthly, the nonprofit — a blend of fiction, poetry, art and journalism — will now print quarterly. A new business plan should transform the magazine’s stability, said editor and publisher Marc Smirnoff. Though the magazine has shut down three times in 10 years, this will be its last rebirth, he promised. “We’re not going away anymore,” Smirnoff said after an event for the magazine’s debut. “I’ve learned some valuable lessons. I was exhausted after the Little Rock crash, but our readers are over-the-top passionate. It’s hard not to take that personally.”
I once said each issue of Oxford American was a gift, so I’m treating this news as an early package under the tree. I’ve never been to Conway, Ark., nor am I familiar with the University of Central Arkansas, but I’d like to thank those fine folks. Congratulations, Marc.