Alaska Quarterly Review the most “liked” UAA organization

UAA’s literary journal has too many friends.
Published by UAA, the Alaska Quarterly Review (AQR) reached the 5,000 friends limit long ago. It actually has 516 people still waiting for their friend request to be accepted. With its profile, fan page, and would-be friends added together, AQR has 8,116 people who have expressed their affinity for the journal through the “add” or “like” buttons.
AQR has more friends on Facebook than any other UAA organization, including Seawolf Athletics, the Student Information Desk, and (alas) The Northern Light.
The information desk is a distant second with 1,140 friends.
“(AQR) is really well known way out of Alaska, and it’s a point of pride for us. Well-known authors from across the nation have submitted their work for publication. This doesn’t surprise me because so many people respect that magazine,” Kristen DeSmith, Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Relations, said.
Yet AQR does not advertise itself via Facebook.
“You can see that I’m not the most tech savvy person. It’s not like I can make Facebook work—I still have a brick phone,” the editor of the AQR and Dean of the Honors College, Ron Spatz, said.
AQR also does not solicit submissions for the magazine. They get about 10,000 poems a year and 4,000 prose pieces. Like many journals, they only accept mailed in submissions.
“Our submissions would quadruple if we accepted electronic submissions, and there’s no way we could keep up,” Spatz said.
AQR has quite a bit of weight in the literary community, and is a valuable asset of UAA.
“It demonstrates that we can produce research and creative works that can compete with the best of anything, whether that’s in the nation or even in the world,” Spatz said.
The New York Times has called it a “Fresh treasure,” and the Washington Post has praised the magazine for a number of years.
“That one of the nation’s best literary magazines comes out of Alaska may be surprising, but so it is,” wrote The Washington Post .
AQR will appear in bookstores around town Oct. 6, with a reading the following day at Jitters Café in Eagle River.
The 2011 fall/winter issue has three Alaskans present: Mary Beth Holleman, David Singyke, and Peggy Shumaker.
The magazine tends to publish up and coming writers, though it does support more experimental work from established writers.
“AQR has consistently been among the scarce platforms that publish works that are too short or too long to be published in mainstream magazines—it provides a forum for writers whose work challenges accepted forms and modes of expression,” Spatz said.
And this week, for the first time in its 29 years, the magazine will be available in e-book format.