From Our Staff | September 12, 2011

 

I have to admit that when I joined the staff here last year and learned that TMR offers subscriptions in digital format (and has for some time) I was a bit skeptical. I love to hold a book in my hands—love the texture and heft of it and the aesthetic pleasure of simply flipping through the pages of a well-laid out journal. Sure, I appreciated the fact that we offered our subscribers the choice of a more environmentally friendly format, but environmental concerns aside, I couldn’t understand why anyone would choose digital over the pleasures of print. I was perplexed, therefore, to learn that over one fourth of the entrants to our contests do go digital when choosing their subscription and that that number climbs a little every year.

Then, about six months ago, a digital subscription to the journal mysteriously appeared in my inbox one day. I don’t actually know where it came from—a gift from the gods of cyberspace, I guess. Or maybe someone here at TMR decided to give all of us on staff free digital access; I never really looked into it. What I did do, though, was open the link and begin to browse TMR in its digital manifestation—or should I say, glory. I’m not kidding. The online version of the journal is gorgeous; the images are crisp, the layout (in which you are able to view two facing pages at once) is no different than in the print version, and if anything, the colors appear deeper and more vibrant on the screen than on paper. What really won me over, however, was the audio component: the clean, articulate vocals and the clear quality of the recording add a new dimension of aesthetic richness. Whether I want to hear a beautiful reading of one of my favorite poems in an issue, or whether I want to experience the entire journal (which I don’t always have time to read) while cleaning my house or walking to work, I can.

So yes, I confess, I’m a believer: a digital journal subscription can be a wonderful thing. While I still prefer to own a book in hard copy than the Kindle version or some other variety of e-book, I think that when it comes to literary journals, digital is actually a nice compromise. I’ll hold onto my favorite books, but eventually, journals, newspapers, and magazines all go.

While many TMR readers may still very well be skeptical about the beauty of a digital subscription, they don’t have to take my word for it. I hereby invoke the gods of cyberspace to grant you free access, if you follow this link, to the digital version of our Spring 2011 issue. Magic. You can browse it, download it to your desktop, and listen to the audio to your heart’s content.

This issue also happens to be the one in which last year’s Editor’s Prize winners appear. If you’re thinking of submitting to our contest this year, you can check out this contest issue to get a sense of the kind of work that has won in the past. Finally, don’t forget that your submission fee to the contest gets you a one-year subscription to TMR at a discounted rate and that that subscription is available in print or digital.

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