Tuesday, March 30, 2010

General Information

"Monthly" beginning June 2006
Hand bound edition of 50/mo.
Edited by Jessica Smith (Contact)

four·square (fôr'skwâr', fōr'-)
adj. 1. Having four equal sides and four right angles; square. 2. Marked by firm, unwavering conviction or expression; forthright

n. A child's game in which each of four players stands in one of four boxes drawn on the ground in a two-by-two grid and must bounce a ball into another player's box without holding the ball or stepping out of bounds.

To provide and distribute a print publication environment where female poets, artists, and fabric artists can play.

FOURSQUARE is available by subscription. Purchase a subscription Etsy. $30/6mos, $60/yr, $5 for single issues when available. Email the Editor for more information or to order, or order from Etsy. Once in awhile there are overruns of an issue. These are put up for sale at Etsy.

Because FOURSQUARE requires a lot of resources to produce, and has only one (unpaid) editor, issues come out when the Editor has the time, money, and energy. If you want to get a magazine on time every month, subscribe to a professionally managed magazine like Poetry. This is not that.

Review Copies
Review copies are sometimes available. Please email the Editor providing your name, address, and the periodical for which you will be reviewing the magazine.

The Poetry Library at SUNY Buffalo and the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Department of Special Collections hold subscriptions to FOURSQUARE. Volumes 1 & 2 of FOURSQUARE are currently archived online here.

FOURSQUARE is a single sheet, 8"x8" square, folded into 4 quarters. Each poem occupies one quarter, or one 4"x4" space. The folded document is housed in a fabric sleeve with the name of the magazine embroidered on the front. Each copy is hand-numbered 1-50, with overruns marked "HC."

Jessica Smith's background in Vispo is apparent in the format she has chosen for the magazine -- an 8x8 card divided into four equal squares, with each square hosting the work of a different poet. Texts of different length, weight, font, and size nestle side by side on a single field. Italics roost across from huge bolded words, spaced so as to appear as though floating over the page. Thick paragraphs lie diagonally from a wafer thin, delicate verse. Because all four poems are simultaneously visible, the poems do not just work as independent 'sense units' -- they work as a unified visual plane on which many different things are happening. The effect on the viewer is similar to that of Futurist and Dadaist texts, which used typography in stunning ways to accomplish the simultaneous ends of conveying a denotative message while opening the viewer to visible connotations -- a wordplay that was physical as well as mental. FOURSQUARE represents a different way of looking at poems, and by extension, reading them.
-- Maureen Thorson

FOURSQUARE [1.1] is printed on 8x8 card folded twice and tucked in a cherry-print cloth bag. Three of the four poets give most of their 4x4 quadrants to words; Up in the top left, Elizabeth Treadwell puts an inch and a half buffer of white space between her seven line lyric and the other three pieces, giving the whole card the look of a pyramid viewed from the southeast. I like very much the sound of Treadwell's closing lines, "my haunted dress / with bitter candy" -- Shanna Compton uses the word dress too ("Her great-grandmother asked the family 'to dress' before entering the living room"). The eye bounces around these four differently organized spaces in a way that exercises the part of the brain that processes newspapers -- it's a different cognitive experience than that offered by most web publications, say, or even close analogies from print poetry publication, such as open field work.
-- Jordan Davis

This monthly handmade journal contains four poems by four women that are printed on a single eight-by-eight inch sheet, folded to a four-by-four inch square, and housed in a fabric sleeve with the magazine's name embroidered on the front. Unfold each issue and the work of all four poets is visible simultaneously to create a unified poetic space.
-- Poets & Writers

Reviews of Maureen Thorson's and Jess Rowan's Special Editions at Galatea Resurrects

FOURSQUARE considers unsolicited submissions skeptically; almost all of FOURSQUARE's content is solicited. If you're eager to submit work, please familiarize yourself with the magazine and its goals and then contact the editor. Keep in mind that the magazine only accepts work from those identifying themselves as female, and that the allowed page space is 4"x4". If the poem is wider or longer than 4", it will not fit and will be rejected without a response. Please ensure that your poem will fit before submitting it.

Files should be sent as attachments in .doc or .jpg format and accompanied by a brief biography. Visual and color poems are welcome; we are biased in favor of experimental poetry. Again, poets are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with this uniquely formatted, narrowly distributed, women-only magazine before sending work.

Each author and artist will receive a contributor's copy of the issue in which her work appears. Copies of rare issues have sold for as much as $25.

Special Editions
When time and materials permit, a woman previously published in 4SQ may be asked to write multiple small poems for a special edition FOURSQUARE devoted entirely to her work. These issues are first distributed to subscribers, and when there are overruns they are available at Etsy and trade shows.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


FOURSQUARE 3.5 Love, history, heritage. Poems by Dianne Timblin, Kate Schapira, Tessa Joseph Nicholas and Phoebe Wayne; cover art by Tasha Goldblum. Sold only as part of a subscription.

Foursquare 3.4 plumbs the depths, rides the waves. Cover art by Kara Daving. Poems by Lindsay Tipping, Judith Askew, Farrah Field and Julie Strand. A few extra copies are available.

Foursquare 3.3 is insatiable. Poems by Rebecca Loudon, Marie Buck, Amy Berkowitz and Jessica Barrett with a book review by Ivy Alvarez. Cover Art by Terri Saul. Sold only as part of a subscription.

Foursquare 3.2 : Kundiman Edition was guest edited by Jennifer Chang. Cover art by Katie Sehr. Poetry by Cynthia Arrieu-King, Hossannah Asuncion, Rona Luo, and Soham Patel. A few extra copies are available.

Foursquare 3.1, An Homage to Virginia Woolf, features cover art by Judy Chicago. Inside, poetry by Jessea Perry, Diana Hamilton, Ana Božičević-Bowling, and Michelle Naka Pierce with Sue Hammond West. Subscriptions and individual copies are available at Etsy. Sold only as part of a subscription.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


FOURSQUARE 2.12 was guest edited by Hanna Andrews of Switchback Books, and it features Andrews, Brandi Homan, Melissa Severin, and Becca Klaver. Cover art is by Ozlem Haluk. Overruns are for sale at Etsy. This is the last issue of Volume 2, so if you want to keep receiving issues make sure you're subscribed to Vol. 3.

FOURSQUARE 2.11 features poetry by Laura Elrick, Cathy Eisenhower, Katie Kemple and Nichole Zdeb, with cover art by Katrina Rodabaugh. For sale at Etsy.

Verdant FOURSQUARE 2.10 gathers together poems by Lee Ann Brown & Miranda Lee Torn, Kristen Orser, Mischa Erikson, and Jessica Bozek. Cover photo by Maggie Stein. For sale at Etsy.

FOURSQUARE 2.9 features love-ly cover art from Bettina Conquist and poetry by Deborah Poe, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Julia Drescher, and Shannon Smith. For sale at Etsy.

FOURSQUARE 2.8 re-spins old yarns with cover art by Jo Cook and poetry by Ada Limon, Jennifer Chang, Kate Middleton and Evie Shockley. For sale at Etsy.

FOURSQUARE 2.7 plays with light, color, and issues of gender and identity. Poems by Ivy Alvarez, Wanda Phipps, Pattie McCarthy and Jo Cook. Cover illustration by Claire Whitehead. Overruns available at Etsy.

FOURSQUARE 2.6: Mysteries both complex and ephemeral spun by Megan Kaminski, Jenn McCreary, Michaela Gabriel and Bonnie Roy. Cover art: a photograph found in the possession of Kristianne Meal. Sold out.

FOURSQUARE 2.5: Dressed with a photo by Kristen Taylor; stuffed with poems by Aya Karpinska, Dorothea Lasky, Ellen Baxt and Angela Szczepaniak. Sold out.

FOURSQUARE 2.4 (Animals) contains poems by Michelle Morgan, Claire Hero, Suzanne Frischkorn, and Gillian Devereux. Cover art by Anna Bell. Sold out.

FOURSQUARE 2.3 (California Girls) Poems by Suzanne Stein, Bronwen Tate, Lauren Shufran and Esther Lee; cover gocco collage by Heather Toupin. Sold out.

FOURSQUARE 2.2 (July) includes poetry by Nava Fader, Michalle Gould, Reb Livingston and Sheila E. Murphy. Cover art by Debbie Clapper. Sold out.

Issue 2.1 of FOURSQUARE, a riff on Ulysses, features poetry by Marci Nelligan, Angela Veronica Wong, Jeannine Hall Gailey, and Natalie Zina Walschots. Cover collage by Christina Lyon. Eyelet lace hand-threaded and sewn by Pamela Smith. Featured font by p22 Type Foundry. Sold out.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

FOURSQUARE Special Editions

Special Edition: Ofelia Hunt Six poems by Ofelia Hunt; cover illustration by Mandy Sutcliffe. Sold out.

Special Edition: Jessica Smith One big handwritten poem by yours truly; cover art by Chelsea Groves. Sold out.

Special Edition: Michelle Detorie Seven full-color "die*o*rama" poems by Michelle Detorie. Sleeve fabric design and screening by Julie Hollifield. Sold out.

Special Edition: Jess Rowan. Two site-specific works by Jess Rowan, with cover art by FOURSQUARE veteran Karena Colquhoun. Sold out. **Reviewed at Galatea Resurrects!**

Special Edition: Brenda Iijima. One big, full-color visual poem by Brenda Iijima. Cover art by Tanya Hollis. Sold out.

Special Edition: Maureen Thorson. Maureen Thorson launches five illustrated poems for a drunken sailor, with cover art by the poet. Sold out. **Reviewed at Galatea Resurrects!**

Special Edition: Samar Abulhassan features six prose poems from Abulhassan's forthcoming chapbook, nocturnal temple (Dusie 2008). Sold Out.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

FOURSQUARE Magazine, Volume 1

The last issue of Vol. 1 features cover art by poet Shin Yu Pai and poetry by Jenny Sampirisi, Lisa Forrest, Kerri French, and Mel Nichols.

FOURSQUARE 1.11 Guest Edited by Kristy Bowen of Dancing Girl Press. Cover art by Alaina Burri-Stone. Poetry by Jen Tynes, Christine Hamm, Robyn Art, and Erin M. Bertram.

FOURSQUARE 1.10: poetry by Sandra Simonds, Michelle Taransky, Jenna Cardinale and Wanda O'Connor. Book Review from Linda Russo on Lauren Shufran's Burrow (Hooke Press 2006). Cover art by Angel D'Amico.

FOURSQUARE 1.9 (Love) Love poems by Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney; Sharon Harris et al.; o. hunt; and kathryn l. pringle & Magdalena Zurawski. Cover valentine by Krista Stout.

FOURSQUARE 1.8 Featuring the poetry of Grace Vajda, Amy King, Catherine Daly and a.rawlings, with an illustration by Raquel Salomon.

FOURSQUARE 1.7 (Family) Starring Angelica Paez (cover art), Alixandra Bamford, Eileen Tabios, Sarah Campbell, and Suzanne Zelazo.

FOURSQUARE 1.6 (Politics) Includes work by Jess Rowan, Tina Darragh, Jessica Smith and Jane Sprague. Cover art by Lana Lambert of Pistoles Press.

FOURSQUARE 1.5 Interior cover art by Tami Giordano; poetry by Susana Gardner, Erica Kaufman, Danielle Pafunda, and Sandra Beasley.

FOURSQUARE 1.4 Art: Britta Fahrenbruch (sleeve), Emily Martin (cover) Poetry: Kristy Bowen, Stephanie Young, Kate Greenstreet and Jennifer Scappettone. Jen's poem is part of a series that will be published as a Take-Home Project this winter.

FOURSQUARE 1.3 Featuring sleeve art by Chelsea Warren, cover art by Claire Webb, and interior poetry by Helen White, Michelle Detorie, Anne Boyer and T.A. Noonan.

FOURSQUARE 1.2 features poems by Brenda Iijima, Maureen Thorson, Jenny Boully, and Juliana Spahr; cover art by Karena Colquhoun

FOURSQUARE 1.1 includes work by Elizabeth Treadwell, Shanna Compton, K. Lorraine Graham, and Linda Russo. Cover illustration by Elena Mary Siff