To visit DIAGRAM
by Ander Monson
There are lots of literary mags online, but none with the exact aesthetic vision and look of DIAGRAM. It's pretty obvious from the first visit to the site that this is a magazine unlike any other: Where else are you going to see a DIAGRAM of The Structure of Guilt? of the BM-1447 Self-Rescuer? of Clothing Insulation Units?
Started at the beginning of 2001, and housed on the venerable Web Del Sol from the get-go, DIAGRAM is interested primarily in publishing writing (and image) that demonstrates an interest in process, in laying open the insides of things to the world; in writing that blurs the boundaries of genre in one way or another, or is formally or structurally unusual and compelling. Of course we like schematics. DIAGRAM is sort of obsessed and is not popular with the other kids.
The germination of the magazine came in the editor's obsession with old, odd DIAGRAMs that he collects. Especially DIAGRAMs of things that don't seem DIAGRAMmable.
Each issue is designed around a central DIAGRAM or image, which serves as an index page and table of contents, and dictates the look of the issue. The DIAGRAM splash page www.theDIAGRAM.com is always updated a week or two in front of a new issue's release, and is designed as a teaser enigmatic, grotesque, math-obsessed, or plain strange.
Along with the New Michigan Press, DIAGRAM co-sponsors a yearly chapbook contest with a deadline at the end of February (the winner of which has a chapbook come out from NMP in the summer; often other manuscripts are chosen from the contest pool for publication). 2002 will see the publication of two manuscripts: the 2002 winner, Ron Mohring's The David Museum, and Matt Mason's Mistranslating Neruda, a finalist. DIAGRAM artists are also invited to sell copies of books/chapbooks/projects through NMP.
Now seven issues deep, the response to DIAGRAM has been wide, deep, and excited. Issue 2.2 will be up by the middle of June, featuring work culled from the chapbook competition and some other surprises.
The biographies of the DIAGRAM staff:
STEVE FRANKLIN [fiction editor] still has all his teeth. He graduated from knox college with a degree in writing, and took a job immediately afterward in manual labor. He currently writes movie reviews and interview for Solpix, and is editor of the soon to premier online journal The Weight of Bones. Steve resides in the Chicago area.
HEIDI GOTZ [poetry editor] is a hypochondriac currently battling prostate cancer and hysterical pregnancy. She graduated from Knox College with a degree in English Writing and is now the Rights and Permissions Editor for a leading educational textbook publisher in Illinois. Heidi enjoys water sports if, by water sports, you mean petty theft.
ANDER MONSON [editor and designer] is from Upper Michigan and has spent
of his life in the Midwest and the Middle East. He teaches at the
of Alabama. Find his chapbook at Web Del Sol
DIAGRAM/ New Michigan Press