New River Journal – Spring 2008

Announcing the Spring 2008 issue of New River Journal

The spring 2008 issue <> of the New River Journal has recently been published. The Journal, the oldest literary journal devoted to digital writing, was last year selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its Internet Archive, a recognition both of the journal’s lasting value and a guarantee that all issues will be available for as long, at least, as the Library of Congress is in existence.

The New River Journal has for the last three semesters been student-edited under the guidance of Ed Falco, the journal’s founding editor (and recent NEA fellow). This semester marked the first time three students have been involved, with editing duties split between Carrie Meadows, Lauren Jensen, and Weston Cutter, each of whom are MFA students in the English Department at Virginia Tech.

“The New River is one of only a few journals in which the boundaries of digital writing are consistently pushed,” said Carrie Meadows. “Digital writing offers some of the most interesting and unique pieces of literary art—fiction and nonfiction, poetry and work that’s basically genre-less—available, and we’re really proud to be part of the still-developing tradition.”

With five works of digital writing, the latest issue of the New River Journal features work by digital writers both well-established and new to the field. Caren Beilin and Jennifer Smith’s “Animals Are Placebos,” is a collaborative work pairing an explosive new talent in fiction and a sure-handed digital manipulator. Sara Bailey’s “Factography,” is a rich, narrative-driven piece that harkens back to classically linked hypertext stories.

Aya Karpinska’s “fps” is a haunting text experience, allowing the user some measure of control while simultaneously forcing certain aspects of the piece on the reader. The examination of that split in agency—between reader and ‘author,’ or even the piece itself—offers an intriguing view of one of the fundamental aspects of digital writing.

Travis Alber’s “Dandelion Chance” presents itself as something of a mix between digital writing and a more mixed-media, video-based art. Pushing the boundaries of what digital writing might be, Alber’s work presents the reader a cohesive experience of a fractured and fracturing media experience.

Daniel Howe and Feliz Molina’s “Roulette” is a digital work of daring potential, allowing the reader both to ‘create’ the text but also to erase and recreate the text with each mouse click. The establishment and disappearance of the text speaks to the malleable nature of both narrative and the reading experience itself.

“We’ve been really lucky to receive so many interesting, great pieces for the journal,” Lauren Jensen said. “Despite hypertext’s decade-and-a-half past, digital writing is still sort of whatever the writers and artists decide it is.”

New River Journal:

Weston Cutter (wlcutter [at]
Carrie Meadows (carriemeadows [at]
Lauren Jensen (lauryn33 [at]