The following is the text of our original About page (minus some of the links), preserved for archival purposes.

Qarrtsiluni offers electronic delivery of original poetry, prose, and art, organized into regular, themed issues, with a new post every weekday. The title comes from an Iñupiaq word that means “sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst.”

Qarrtsiluni began publishing on September 20, 2005. Originally conceived of as a group blog with editors, to which contributors would send only their best work, it gradually took on a few more trappings of a regular literary and artistic e-zine, such as permanent managing editors and open submissions. However, we continue to strive for the freshness and continual publication pattern of a blog. Our issues are notional, with a new item going up almost every day, usually accompanied by an audio version in podcast form. We have a full-content RSS feed, also available via email, and the podcast is available for free through the iTunes store.

The themed issue-periods fluctuate in length, but began to lengthen to three months apiece in the second half of 2008. Themes are chosen by the issue editors, who have sole discretion in deciding what to include. If you would like to keep abreast of calls for submission and other major announcements, please sign up for our email newsletter (via MailChimp). We also have a news feed on Twitter and Identi.ca>, and even (God help us) a Facebook page.

What we’re up to

We believe that encouraging a diversity of styles and tastes is more important than conformity to a single artistic vision. Therefore, issue editors have complete control over what appears in their issues.

Our primary mission is to build an online literary community that remains open to inspired amateurs as well as to seasoned, full-time writers. We are proud to have published a number of original works by well-established artists and writers, but we are equally pleased to showcase the works of beginners and of part-time writers for whom the demands of work or family have precluded a single-minded focus on creative work. Many of our contributors are active bloggers, and we conceive it as part of our mission to help foster the appreciation of blogs as a medium for literary expression. We feel that personal weblogs constitute a new literary genre in their own right (albeit one with ties to traditional forms of hupomnemata), and we think their authors should be encouraged to challenge blogging’s ephemeral reputation and write as if every word counted. We link prominently to the blogs or websites of all contributors who have them, both in the index and in the author bios.

We encourage contributors to submit work to every issue, if they want — regular contributors give qarrtsiluni a more homey, welcoming feel, we think. We’re especially interested in fostering dialogue between artists and writers (see the Ekphrasis issue for some explicit examples) and creative collaboration generally (see our mammoth Mutating the Signature issue). The multiple opportunities for interaction among authors and between author and audience are really what distinguish literary publication on the web from all previous genres. The name of the magazine is no joke. Ideas might come to individuals, but they are born of communion.

Who we are

Managing Editor

Dave BontaDave Bonta (website, blog) is an underachieving poet and an overachieving web publisher. Other sites include Moving Poems, a collection of the best poetry videos on the web, and The Morning Porch, a daily microblog. Born in 1966. No phone, no pool, no pets.

Advisory Editor and Head of the Print Division

Beth Adams photo by Jonathan Sa'adahBeth Adams is a writer, editor graphic designer and artist living in Montréal where she runs a small literary press, Phoenicia Publishing. The author of a biography of Bishop Gene Robinson (Soft Skull Press, 2006), her prose and poetry have appeared in journals from The Witness to Tikkun, and she’s blogged at The Cassandra Pages for nine years.

Contributing Editors
The editors of an issue come up with its theme and decide what goes in it. (Dave and Beth have also done a number of stints as issue editors themselves.)

Katherine Abbott, Nick Admussen, Ivy Alvarez, Rachel Barenblat, Maria Benet, Nathalie Boisard-Beudin, Kurt Brobeck, David Cazden, Sherry Chandler, Alex Cigale, Teju Cole, Anna Dickie, Lorianne DiSabato, Olivia Dresher, Catherine Ednie, Susan Elbe, Kelly Madigan Erlandson, Dale Favier, Brent Goodman, Pamela Hart, Lucy Kempton, Alison Kent, Ken Lamberton, Rob Mackenzie, Dana Guthrie Martin, Kasturi Mattern, Ann E. Michael, Tom Montag, Katherine Durham Oldmixon, Allan Peterson, Rachel Rawlins, Whiskey River, Fiona Robyn, Ayesha Saldanha, Jessamyn Smyth, Peter Stephens, Kaspalita Thompson, Siona van Dijk, Carey Wallace, Lori Witzel, Marly Youmans.


This is a really fresh and lively ezine in blog format, with a high quality of contributions and a sense of a collective life in it. —Great Works

I had great fun being published in qarrtsiluni — from the swift turnaround on submissions, to the gracious communications from you and the guest editors en route, to the comments and emails I received from your diverse, enthusiastic readers. I find it wonderful that you have managed to create a community around a journal, a generous and open community. You’ve got your doors and windows open and you let all the breezes circulate. —Rosemary Starace (via email)

Dave and Beth – I just wanted to pass on a thanks for the fact that Qaartsiluni and both of you have opened up for me a whole network of reflective and earnest bloggers, inquirers, writers, and photographers who value and are as entranced by the natural world as I am. I just didn’t know they were there. —Allan Peterson (via email)

%d bloggers like this: