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.