BOONE - The Cold Mountain Review (CMR), Appalachian State University’s oldest continuous publication, has undergone a major revamp, with a new look at the journal’s original vision, a move towards having a greater online presence with a new website design, and a new poetry prize.
The original Cold Mountain Review was first published in 1974 by founding editor R.T. Smith and his compatriots Donald Secreast, Jo Anne Eskridge, and Charles Frazier. The group, inspired by Gary Snyder’s translations of 9th-century Han-Shan’s Cold Mountain Poems, developed a journal capturing Han-Shan’s hermetic irreverence and exaltation of nature. This original vision for the Cold Mountain Review, one that brings together mountains across international regions, is the template that editor Kathryn Kirkpatrick has chosen to follow for the new CMR.
Dr. Kirkpatrick, who has taught in both English and Sustainable Development, was particularly interested in creating a journal that was both exciting to her, and to readers; a journal that addressed pressing issues of sustainability and the environment through the lens of artistic exploration. “We are in the middle of a cultural paradigm shift,” says Kirkpatrick, “and one thing that writers and artists can do is try to witness to everything that's happening differently when we are not just living in the old model of a world...I hope we can help.”
The Cold Mountain Review has also switched from being a predominantly print publication, to becoming an online publication that includes a newly redesigned website that is streamlined and more reader friendly. Though the journal will still be available through print-on-demand, readers will be able to access the full journal online. On why the CMR switched to an online journal Kirkpatrick says “I think we've all just gradually become more acclimated to the internet, even those of us who didn't grow up with it. As a poet myself, ten years ago you might think twice about publishing in an online journal, but now with online journals you get an enormous reach. I’ve already felt that with the first issue.”
There are other changes coming for the 44 year old journal, as well. Cold Mountain Review will feature a new poetry prize named in honor of the journal’s founding editor, R.T. Smith. The first prize will be awarded in the spring of 2017, and will also be judged by Smith, who is currently editor for the journal Shenandoah. The theme for submissions will be rooted in the vision of the journal, one that is ecologically focused, but also rooted in social/eco-justice.
The current issue of Cold Mountain Review can be found at the new website http://coldmountainreview.org. The journal will be released in the fall and the spring. Each fall issue will be organized by a theme while the spring issues will come together by an organic process coordinated between Kirkpatrick and her staff.
Opportunities for student involvement with the journal will occur around internships and the submission of student work. Kirkpatrick’s final thought on collaboration: “My vision of the journal and the way I think it can function on the campus, and in the (English) Department, is that it's not an isolated entity, it's interwoven within our creative writing concentration. It's also interwoven with our the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series...The students can be involved, and with this website there is a lot of opportunity for the rest of the world to interact with us too. I feel as if the journal is moving into a new phase where it’s more integrated with the department, with the university, and with the larger world.”