12th Street

12th Street Website:

Online Editor-in-Chief: Liz Axelrod
Online Literary Editor: Philip Anderson
Assistant Online Editor: Jennifer Giglio
Assistant Online Editor: Jeff Vasishta
Online Edit God: Patrick Hipp

12th Street Journal:
Editor-in-Chief: Mario A. Zambrano
Managing Editor: Liz Axelrod
Interview Editor: Patrick Hipp
Fiction Editor: Eric Marsh
Nonfiction Editor: Tony Grassi
Poetry Editor: Rebecca Melnyk
Readers: Jennifer Sky Band, Noah Beigelmacher, Myriam-Skye Holly, Rachel McAlpine, Adam Hansen
Editor-at-Large: Luke Sirinides
Faculty Advisor: Rene Steinke

MFA Teaching Assistants:
Print: Addie Morfoot
Online: Alex Wilson


Business first:

Tuesday, May 18, 7pm
12th Street Magazine Issue # 3 Launch
33 East 17th Street, Barnes and Noble Union Square
Celebrate the launch of the third issue of 12th Street, the literary magazine edited and published by the students of the Riggio Honors Program: Writing and Democracy. Robert Polito, director of the New School Writing Program, will host an evening of readings by students and novelists Mary Gaitskill and David Gates.

This could arguably be the most festive Riggio event of the year, so I encourage all who can attend to do so.

Now, a personal note: as another academic school year comes to an end, so must the majority of activities we – students, professors, scholastic community members – have come to embrace over the last nine months. For some, this time represents only a break in the pursuit of an extensive educational goal. For others, it is the culmination of years of hard work and academic devotion. I implore you all to be proud of what you have achieved.

That said, another year has come and gone for the staff of 12th Street magazine. As on-line editor, this was my first. The group of individuals who produced 12th Street, Issue #3 is bigger than the sum of its parts and will, unfortunately, exist only in the record of this year’s journal. There are those of us who will graduate next week. Many of us will return next year, perhaps in different capacities, and there will, of course, be new contributors to 12th Street, who will bring fresh and exciting perspectives to the magazine. But, the team that produced this year’s journal, like all things, must evolve. For myself, I am grateful and proud to say I was a part of this team, be it in my small (and yes, somewhat removed) position as on-line editor. Like many aspects of the journal, the 12th Street website is still in its infancy, and only time will mold it into the comprehensive media outlet I and the remaining staff wish it to be.
As on-line editor, I had a generous amount of unexplored territory to navigate. At times, I may have stumbled, to which I acknowledge my shortcomings. For all that I accomplished, I have to give credit to those who helped, particularly Pat Hipp, Liz Axelrod, and Julie Carl. Their assistance was invaluable this past year, and they have my sincere gratitude.

I don’t wish to make this a long-winded affair, so I’ll leave with this final request: contribute. Not just to the journal itself, but to the website, as well. No one appreciates print more than I, but this is the new media and it’s important that talented and authoritative voices be heard here. Bear this in mind next year when you’re developing your work for 12th Street. Whether it’s myself or someone new, 12th Street Online looks forward to your contributions.

Have a great summer.


Don’t forget to come by the Lang Center this Friday, May 7, for the finale in the Riggio Reading Series. Graduating seniors will be reading excerpts from their thesis projects. It’s an event not to be missed. Formal attire is expected.

12th Street Celebrates the Release of Issue Number 3!

The literary journal of The New School’s Riggio Honors Program, Writing
and Democracy, will celebrate the launch of its third issue at Barnes &
Noble in Union Square at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 18th. The reading will
feature New School undergraduate student contributors, Robert Polito,
Director of The New School Writing Program, and special readings by two
writers interviewed in this issue – David Gates and Mary Gaitskill. 12th
Street is edited and published by students in the Riggio Honors Program:
Writing and Democracy at The New School.

The Riggio Honors Program: Writing and Democracy is an innovative
sequence of writing workshops and close-reading seminars designed to
offer gifted undergraduate writers in the New School Bachelors Program a
balanced and substantial literary education. As one part of the Leonard
and Louise Riggio Writing and Democracy Initiative at The New School,
the honors program accents “the writer in the world,” and extends to
undergraduates the mission and accomplishments of the New School’s
well-known graduate program in Creative Writing.

Monday, Monday, Monday!

April 26th is the New School’s 12 Street Magazine launch party. Contributors will be reading excerpts from this year’s journal. Refreshments will be served.

The launch will be held at:

66 W. 12th St., Rm. 510
@ 7:00pm.

We look forward to seeing you there.

It is alive!

Don’t forget: Next Monday, April 26, is the New School launch of 12th Street: Spring 2010. More details to follow.


12th Street: Issue 3 is scheduled for release April 15.

This year’s contributors include:

Ben Clague, Vesper T. Woods, Selene Sonrisa, Julie Buntin, Jeff Vashista, Luke Sirinides, Patrick Hipp, Jay Boss Rubin, Buku Sarkar, Paul M. Capobianco, Mario Zambrano, Rachel McAlpine, Finnegan Brantley, Marisa Frasca, Aaron Simon, Zoe Miller, Jeanette Anderson, Liz Axelrod, Rebecca Melnyk, G. Collins, Joey Cannizzaro, and Jesse Stewart

Please note the following dates –
April 26th will be The New School Launch Party for 12th Street; time & location: TBA

May 18th is the Barnes & Noble Launch Event with special guests Mary Gaitskill and David Gates. This will be held at Barnes & Noble’s Union Square location.

Be sure to check back for more updates and a sneak peak at this year’s cover.


Editor-in-Chief: Zoë Miller

Managing Editor: Liz Axelrod

Fiction Editor: Mario A. Zambrano

Poetry Editor: Marisa Frasca

Non-Fiction Editor: Luke Sirinides

Interview Editor: Patrick Hipp

Editors-at-Large: Anna Utevsky & Kathryn Waldron

Faculty Advisor: Rene Steinke

And I am your complaisant On-Line Editor: Tony Grassi

Brief biographies of this year’s staff will follow shortly.

To be considered for 12th Street Magazine, Volume 3, please submit your work to Julie Carl at juliecarl13@yahoo.com by November 15.

Be sure to visit 12thstreetonline.com for more updates coming soon.


The blog has been quiet as of late. The print journal has been shipped back and forth, from New York, to California, to Canada, then back around again. The next time I see it, it will be in its finished form, ready for the shelves of Barnes & Noble, ready to be found on my bookshelf, and this year I am going to work hard to place it on the shelves of other booksellers too. (Should anyone have any suggestions, or advice, it would be greatly appreciated.)

While getting the journal ready to go has been time consuming, I don’t think it is actually the culprit for my lack of blogging. I went back and looked at old blog entries and realized how heavily influenced they were by my restlessness last fall—restlessness that I think stemmed from anticipating the election. Unease at the thought of certain governmental policies being continued, rather than dismantled. And now my mind is a bit calmer. It isn’t that I am writing less; it’s just that I have been less inspired to blog.

We talk a big game about how reactionary and responsive blogging is, but I’m not sure I knew what I was saying until I watched my interest both wax and wane. I don’t think I am any less interested in the world around me, but I may be less worried about it. Does that make sense? I don’t know if I am blind to how the economic problems will effect my future, but I find comfort in the idea that the problems are communal. I think that makes the pain less acute.

Or maybe I am growing complacent and should be worried. Perhaps we all become complacent when we are happy with who is at the helm of our government, and that is why every 4 or 8 years we see major party shifts. While one side sits and fumes for 8 years, it galvanizes them to go and win an election, and the other side gets comfortable and finds itself without enough steam come election time.

I know our readership doesn’t all share the same politics, but do you find your investment in the current climes waning post-election? Was the constant noise of the campaigns just so exhausting that you are taking a bit of a break? Or am I just making up excuses for being lazy?

ludditeWe’re back…from Chicago, that is, and we have lots to recap for you. Zoe went to a great poetry reading featuring Robert Polito, Paul Muldoon, Frank Bidart and others. I attended a panel I want to tell you about called “Who’s Your Daddy?” with Mark Bibbins, Dave Groff, Peter Covino and Brian Teare.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a total luddite and have been mired in making “Poets and Puppets” happen. (The videos will come soon.) We’ve also been busy laying out the print journal, so this blog post is more apologetic than informative. Let’s call it an update on where we are as a collective.

Your support took us to Chicago and back. It keeps us up late at night interviewing, making sock puppets, uploading videos and many other things. For you I endure the embarassment of being a neophyte with iMovie and asking the good people at the Apple store the kinds of questions they expect from a five-year-old. In fact, a guy there named Henry brought me to tears. Enough said. More to come…

Anna, AJ, and I decided to hop on the Blue line and head down to Wicker Park to see Joseph Salvatore read a “Quickie,” at Inner Town Pub’s reading series. The writer’s that participate only have five minutes to read fiction, and the host of this series means business, or else! If you go past the five minutes…they will blow the WHISTLE!

 But before we could even hear the whistle we got LOST and depended on the kindness and incorrect directions of many Chicago strangers.  We surmised that absolutely no one lives in Wicker Park and no one, save for our cab driver knows where Thomas Street is.  One local we ran into who lived in the East Village for 12 years tried to explain the confusion away by taking us down dark alleys and saying, ‘yeah, we’re not really on a grid system around here.’ 


 Luckily AJ is all about cab rides so we jumped in one after 40 minutes of walking around the abnormally warm streets of Wicker Park.  Where we ended up was a corner bar full of neon, stained glass, Ms Pacman, a pool table and lots of amazing writers reading.


 We didn’t hear the whistle last night, but Joe did a great job and we ran into Leigh who we think was trying to avoid us. We also didn’t end up having dinner, instead we had a shot of Jack and 3 rounds of PBR, but that was to celebrate the fact that Anna had sent an entire draft of this year’s print journal to the designer right before we left.


 Anyway, if you happen to be in Chicago on the second Tuesday of any month I highly recommend checking out this reading series!  If you can find it…


 Inner Town Pub, 1935 West Thomas Street






 Live Blogging!  Ah!  We’re complete liars!

 Well actually the bigger issue is somehow the AWP Conference is in a hotel that does not have wifi everywhere—I mean, we’d even be willing to pay for it.  So I’m going to try and summarize yesterday for you and hopefully we will figure out a system that can include ‘Erratic But Frequent Blogging from AWP Chicago.’


 We arrived.  Cabbed it over to AWP where we found out that we’d been left off the AWP Map, so if you are trying to find us we are in the Southwest Hall, table 782.  We also didn’t have a sign made for us, but Luis handled it like a pro and made us lots of good-looking handouts advertising our location.


 And our location is great because we are surrounded by some of the nicest people at AWP who helped us draw a great picture of a video camera to advertise ‘Poets and Puppets!’  So far Bernadette is the hit of AWP but I think Ed and Camille will get some reading time today—they are feeling less camera shy this morning.


 4 rooms of bookfair, and 8 floors of panels, readings and discussions…it is a shame we can’t live blog because even after writing the last three paragraphs, I feel like I haven’t even begun.


chicago09s-1This year’s Association of Writers and Writing Program‘s Conference is in Chicago and 12th Street is attending! Not only does AWP have amazing panels and readings planned for us, but we’ve got some ideas of how to share the conference with you!

Live Blogging!  If we’re there, you’re there too. We’ll keep you abreast of what is happening in the world of writing programs.

Video Blogging! We’re attaching some faces to these names and will be introducing you to new writers as well as some of our readers.

Puppets! More info to come…

Interviews and Readings! We’ve got lists of people we want to highlight and share with you, and lots of people we’re excited to meet ourselves.

Chicago is a great town, but it is mid-February, after all, so we’ll be spending much of our time indoors at our 12th Street table and wandering around to other journal’s and writing program’s tables. We’ll also be listening to one panel after another and sharing it all with you.

So, I’m encouraging you, our readers, who are a huge part of why we are going to AWP, to log on to AWP’s website, check out the schedules and let us know if there is something you’d like to know. Is there a panel you’d like to hear about? A person you’d like to hear read? Questions you want asked?  Let us know!  We leave next Thursday…


Zoe Miller’s Monday blog posts?

Missing posts everyday last week?

Well 12th Street is reading.  The submission period has closed and all the editors and readers have taken your work and gone off to read it.  Mix the reading in with the holidays and impending new year and you are left with a pretty quiet blog.  But, we will be back with lots of new exciting stuff to look forward to.

On Monday, January 26: Ten, Chapter 9 will be posted

Tuesday, January 27: Leigh Stein will return to her weekly blog

AJ is currently working on another version of 10 for the Spring!

And in February we are all headed to AWP in Chicago, where we will be blogging live and doing all sorts of fun interviews and stuff.

The Spring will be full of 12th Street events and on April 24, 2009 we hope to see you all at the release party of Issue #2

So, if you are reading this, thanks for all of your support, comments, suggestions and criticisms this Fall as we launched.  We’ll be back in a few weeks and look forward to seeing you then!

Enjoy Your Holidays! Happy New Year!

Anna, Kathryn, Zoe, Leigh, Nick and AJ

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