By Victor D. Infante
Pick a place to start. Call it Mass MoCA, or the Laguna Beach Public Library, or the National Theatre of London. Draw a line to the next point. Maybe Beyond Baroque in Venice, California, or the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, or the Dirty Gerund Poetry Show in Worcester, Massachusetts. The line still extends outward from there, infinitely into space. Maybe it will take you to a newspaper, or a radio station, or a discount cleaners. You never know. That’s what makes the geometry of life exciting.
On February 26, 2011, Radius burst onto the scene with an essay by myself, and a demonstration of our “signature feature,” featuring poems by myself, Patricia Smith and Mckendy Fils-Aime. The next day, we ran a poem by Tony Brown. Shortly thereafter, two poems by Antoinette Brim. Then, it was a flood of brilliance: Pam Ward, Hugh Fox, Brendan Constantine, Monica Hand, Kazim Ali, Daphne Gottlieb, Hanif Abdurraqib, Tammy Ho Lai Ming, Danez Smith, Franny Choi, Ilya Kaminsky and too many others to name. Writers from India, the Middle East and Africa. In the end, they’ve been what’s made this journal the amazing and unique experience it’s been.
And what will it be from here on out? That’s no longer up to me. Effective immediately, the extraordinary Karen Garrabrant will be running this show, and frankly, I don’t think it could be in more capable hands. Karen is the host and co-founder of the Art Amok Poetry Slam and Cliterati, a monthly series in partnership with Charis Books & More in Georgia. She works at Emory University’s main library, and has been a force of nature in the poetry community nationwide, and I’m terribly, terribly excited to see what she brings to the table.
The hiatus we’ve been on will continue for a short spell while she gets acclimated, and if all goes well, things will be back up and running later in the winter.
In the meantime, before I go, a couple last thank yous, because there are some people whose work and support have made these past near-decade possible. First off, our amazing poetry editors, Sam Cha and Rachel McKibbens, whose commitment to quality and impeccable taste has kept us honest, even when the editor was politely reminding them that we can’t reject everything and still put out a journal. Their brilliance and uncompromising standards made us raise the bar and work harder, and it was totally worthwhile. Thank you. This has been your journey as much as mine, and I’m eternally grateful.
Secondly, to my incredible wife, Lea Deschenes, who talked me into starting another literary journal, because she knew I wanted to do it, who designed and built the dang thing, and who put up with all my Luddite tendencies. Without you there wouldn’t have been a Radius. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Lastly, to all of you reading: Thank you for coming on this adventure with me. I know you’re going to enjoy the next leg of the trip with Karen. Thank you for your support, and your belief.
It’s been a hell of a ride, but now it’s time to turn the wheel over to someone with fresh eyes.
Trust me. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Victor D. Infante
Radius: Poetry From the Center to the Edge