It’s not really a literary magazine, as it turns out, but I had hopes for The New Dominion. And I suppose it’s too soon to judge, since there’s only been one issue of the print quarterly so far. Before the debut number appeared I emailed the editors and asked about fiction and they did say that fiction would eventually be part of the magazine, but after seeing Volume 1, Issue 1, I’m skeptical.
The magazine is a spinoff of a regularly updated website that was until January 1, 2007 known as the Augusta Free Press. Written almost entirely by the magazine’s editor, it includes stories about local transportation controversies, the ambitions of Virginia’s popular former governor, Mark Warner, and an interesting (and reasonably balanced) discussion of immigration matters. Touching on the arts, there are articles about the Virginia film industry (informative, I must say, after having seen numerous film crews around here in recent years) and a local screenwriter. The closest we come to literature is an interview (by the editor) with Earl Hamner (who grew up just on the other side of the Blue Ridge) and an excerpt from Hamner’s non-fiction book about his aunts: Generous Women. (I must confess that there is also a page containing what might be called poetry, again, by the editor; I wouldn’t swear that was his intention, though.)
I’m not sure there is much of an appetite for a local quarterly news magazine, so I’m also not optimistic about The New Dominion’s survival. If it wants to shift to a literary and arts magazine, which I think would be a valuable addition to the region, I’d be all for that and would even subscribe. Otherwise, probably not.
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