Description and History of Aspect magazine

Aspect magazine (1969-1980) was the creation of Edward J. Hogan, of Somerville, Massachusetts. Hogan was a history major at Northeastern University in March of 1969 when he launched a magazine featuring social and political commentary by a small group of university students. Two years later, in 1971, Aspect joined the Committee of Small Magazine Editors and Publishers (COSMEP) and moved to a bi-monthly publication. By 1973, Hogan expanded the political and social orientation of the magazine with an editorial collective more focused on poetry, fiction and reviews. The quarterly magazine further evolved into a literary publication with an emphasis on visual design, special issues, as well as announcements of local poetry readings and literary news. In 1974 Aspect earned wider recognition with a grant from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM). However, this recognition and support did not compromise, as Hogan puts it in his “An Aspect Memoir,” the magazine’s commitment to “accessibility, directness, lack of pretension, and a belief that these values are not antipathetic to literary excellence” (Ten Year Issue). Then a new group of editors in 1977-98 re-imagined the Second Boston Poetry Issue to include a 5 1/2”high by 8 1/2” wide landscape format to emphasize the graphic interplay of prose, poetry and art. In 1978 the Double Fiction Issue took advantage of the new format by featuring the photographs of Paul McGovern and (Richard) Emmett Russell. Aspect 74/75, the Ten Year Issue followed in 1979, featuring poetry and a series of essays on editors and writers, and what turned out to be the final issue of Aspect magazine, number 76, the Third Boston Poets Issue.

The successor to Aspect was a new small press imprint, Zephyr Press, founded by Hogan and former Aspect editors Meriam Sagan, Ronna Johnson, and Leora Zeitlan. Zephyr focused on poetry chapbooks, literary fiction and nonfiction titles, including An Explorer’s Guide to Russia and From Three Worlds: New Ukrainian Writing. In 1990 Zephyr published Judith Hemschmeyer translation, the Complete Poems of Anna Akhmtaova. Since 2000, under the guidance of Jim Kates, Zephyr has published books of translations, including the work of the Chinese poet Bei Dao. Zephyr also has an imprint, “Adventures in Poetry,” that publishes fiction and poetry in cooperation with a British-based journal, “Modern Poetry in Translation.”

Resources and Context

Zephyr Press: http://www.zephyrpress.org/index.php and http://www.zephyrpress.org/history.php

The Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM) evolved into theCouncil of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). http://www.clmp.org/about/history.html

Committee of Small Magazine Editors and Publishers (COSMEP) was founded by Hugh Fox in the mid-1970s. It was an attempt to organize the energy of the small presses. Len Fulton, editor and founder of Dustbook Publishing, assembled and published the first real list of these small magazines and their editors in the mid-1970s.

List of Literary Magazines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_magazines