10th Anniversary Issue

Tenth Anniversary Comments:

The Formalistís unadorned cover speaks for it with an eloquence scarcely any other journal would dare and none could match.  There, side by side, in issue after issue, lie the names of Boileau, Plato, Catullus, Dante, Ronsard and Poliziano alongside of John Frederick Nims, Brad Leithauser, Fred Chappell, Rachel Hadas and a galaxy of other living poets who have published their own poems as well as translating their forebears.  The combination of skills, the respect for and delight in precursors, the fine homogeneity of old and new astonishes, invigorates, and enriches all concerned.  There is nothing like it.  Every issue is full of surprises and fresh discoveries.

 -- Anthony Hecht  

I know of no other magazine which has so steadily and consistently, or as well, renewed the great traditions of American -- and indeed, world -- formal poetry as The Formalist in its first decade of publication.  It is probably the greatest single influence on the revival of formal poetry, and its reading and writing, during the latter half of the 20th century.  

-- Charles Guenther

Has any small magazine had a greater cumulative influence on American poetry over the past decade than The Formalist?  Consistent, intelligent, and independent, it has articulated a dissenting but constructive vision of poetryís possibilities in a time of conflict and confusion.

-- Dana Gioia

The Formalist is the flagship poetry journal of a whole generation of poets now forming.  It has won the support of veteran poets and plays host to new ideas regarding the splendid lyric tradition of the English language.  In these times of literary ferment, the magazine deserves its crucial spot on library shelves, where like a beacon in the dark, it not only sheds light but offers direction.  Serious poets cannot do without it.

  -- Felix Stefanile  

Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of your daringly-named magazine.  My dictionary is very negative about the word formalist, calling it ďrigorous or excessive adherence to recognized forms,Ē but you have proven for a decade that it can be the dance of substance.

 -- Richard Wilbur

From its inception, The Formalist must be regarded as one of the rare, and most significant, magazines of its time.  Consistently publishing superb verse by acknowledged contemporary masters, departed legends, and exciting newcomers, The Formalist takes a stand for formal considerations in our poetry.  In doing so, the magazine fearlessly engages in a fierce contemporary debate, and sets itself apart from its wishy-washy peers.  Long may it instruct, delight, and irritate!

 -- Robert McDowell

For some time now, The Formalist has been one of the best and liveliest literary periodicals in the country.  The contributors include both well known poets and newcomers, and all of them offer the reader real and thoughtfully examined subject matter.  If American poetry is healthier today than it was a generation ago, The Formalist can claim a significant role in its improved condition.

 -- Timothy Steele

The Formalist came along when I had just about given up hope for the English poetic tradition in America.  It has led the fight to revive and sustain formal poetry, and has provided readers with a range of poems from light to profound.  Every issue has been a joy to read.

 -- Gail White

I count on The Formalist to keep, unabashedly, the sometimes flickering flame of the great tradition alive and glowing.  Its mingling of the old and the new is salutary and illuminating.

 -- Donald Justice

In its first ten years The Formalist has made a substantial contribution to the regeneration of American poetry and to the clarification of certain basic technical principles.  Each issue has contained much that is well worth reading.  May it go on for another ten years and then some.

 -- Frederick Morgan

 I look forward to each new issue of The Formalist.  I know I wonít be force-fed more shapeless, toneless, musicless, pseudopoems!

 -- W. D. Snodgrass

Some literary journals are interested in theory.  Others are preoccupied by social issues or fancy themselves as agents of cultural change.  Many journals are obsessed with literary personalities.  All of these are understandable, human concerns, but The Formalist treats and represents the art of poetry and the craft of verse making.  The devotion of its editors to our difficult art shines from every issue.  For this simple reason, The Formalist has become a staple of contemporary poetry, a consistent source of pleasure to readers and of fascination to poets, whatever place formal considerations have in their own work. 

 -- Anthony Lombardy

I always turn to The Formalist in happy anticipation of its salutary mix of old and new talent; its interviews, translations, and apt excerpts.  Well edited and densely packed -- always a feast.

 -- Rachel Hadas

The Formalist has turned out to be indispensable reading, as indispensable as the kind of poetry the magazine so passionately and eloquently supports.  I have eagerly awaited each issue since the journalís inception and canít recall ever having been let down.

 -- Robert Richman

 Over the years Iíve used The Formalist in several prosody classes Iíve taught at Miami University.  No journal seems to me to burn with such a hard gem-like flame as does The Formalist, capturing the spirit of at least three generations of poets intent on preserving whatís liveliest and most innovative in rhyming, metered verse.  Hip hip hooray for Bill and Mona Baer!  Long may The Formalist flourish in the new millennium!

-- James Reiss

 Donít overlook The Formalist, which begins its second decade as a distinguished showcase for the kind of poetry that uses the full range of the artís resources!

 -- Mona Van Duyn

American poetry magazines appear and pass on, and the level of quality in most is so poor that their passing is unlamented.  The Formalist has been going strong for ten years now, and its resiliency is due to its unshakable commitment to aesthetic excellence.  It does not compromise, and it does not pander.  In todayís trendy and hype-ridden literary scene, where most verse is amorphous, self-referential, or bogus, The Formalist is unique -- it publishes real poetry judged by rigorous criteria.

 -- Joseph S. Salemi  

For present and future generations of poets who appreciate the formal elements of poetry, The Formalist is both a welcome and significant forum.  May it continue to thrive.

 -- Maxine Kumin

The Formalist is the premier poetry journal today.  I have read -- and greatly enjoyed -- every page of every issue since its inception a decade ago.

-- Samuel Maio        

The Formalist is the very best journal in which to find out whatís going on in contemporary American metrical verse.  The long list of authors on the front cover reads like a Whoís Who of established poets.  Happily, there are always a few unfamiliar names, and theirs are the poems I turn to first.  The Formalist has grown up to be a place coveted and anticipated by people serious about words and their arrrangement.

-- Charles Rafferty

From its inception in 1990 to the present, The Formalist has featured some of the best metrical poetry of recent years, whether lyrical or narrative.  Every issue has offered finely wrought selections in a rich variety of forms, covering a wide emotional and intellectual range.  On one page you may find a scintillating villanelle, on the next a sonnet in a somber key.  Open to prosodic innovation within the great metrical tradition, this periodical exemplifies the resurgence of structured poetry, rhymed or unrhymed, the most creative movement in current American verse.

 -- Alfred Dorn

 Anyone with an appreciation for formal poetry will find much to enjoy in every issue of The Formalist.  Editor Bill Baer is a first-rate interviewer, and he always publishes an absorbing selection of poems and prose.

 -- Wendy Cope   

The Formalist has become one of the essential little magazines, a shining refuge for poets who play the Grand Old Game of rhyme and meter.  It belongs in every city or college library.

-- X. J. Kennedy

The Formalist is one of the most vital poetry journals in America.  Each issue contains more mind- and ear-pleasing poems than a handful of the other leading literary journals publish in a year.

 -- Paul Lake

I subscribe to several literary periodicals, sometimes shifting year by year from one to another, but The Formalist is the only journal I feel I must always know will be sailing into port with its cargo of fine poetry, insightful essays and apt mementos of the past.  It is the best magazine of its kind being published in America (and perhaps the world).  I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read.

 -- Lewis Turco


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