When literary journal The Economy launched a year ago, editor Anthony Opal did not know what it would become, and it continues to evolve. When building the journal’s structure, Opal opted to limit the number of pieces to three works featured per issue in order to give those pieces more weight. “I find that there’s something pretty great that happens when the right piece is given ample space: it fills it,” Opal says. Other literary journals he read seemed filled with creative work, but lacked focus. Opal took the chance to experiment with The Economy to see if the journal could maintain readership with its smaller scope of published material.
In honor of the anniversary, the journal released its seventh issue as a double issue. Instead of publishing just one poem, prose and art piece, the anniversary issue contains six pieces with work from Brooklyn Copeland, Jeremy T. Wilson, and others.
Also in the anniversary issue, dispatch editor Nate Klug implemented “The Tuning of the Sky: Poets on Music,” a feature in which poets wrote about what music they were currently listening to, which ranged from The xx to Miranda Lambert to Miles Davis. Artists broke apart lyrics from their favorites, creating a playlist of songs that poet Peter Cole described as doing “fabulous things with words, even those that don’t have them.”
Past published work features an array of artists with varying content, yet maintaining a contemplative tone. Many of the pieces seem to meld together elements that seem mutually exclusive, but within these pieces, it’s illogical to see one as ever being without the other. Opal explains this as “…the holiness of the profane, the commitment of absurdity, the ache of joy, et cetera. There’s a complexity inherent to lived experience that I feel can only be accessed through these seeming paradoxes.”
In terms of the journal’s future, The Economy expects to develop further as its readership grows.
“I can’t really say what one year means to me,” Opal says. “Compared to a lot of other journals, one year is nothing. But I also don’t want to downplay it. I think, more than anything, making it through the first year has allowed me to feel like The Economy is a legitimate literary journal, not just something that my friends and I do for fun.” (Kathleen Caplis)
The Economy’s one-year issue and archives are available online at theeconomymagazine.com