We are sorry to inform you that our essays editor, Derek Alger, passed away at the end of October. He took over the essays section in 2011 (Issue 28) and has filled it with a variety of compelling stories ever since, including his own that dealt with questions of mortality. We’ll miss his unabashed enthusiasm for writing and, more importantly, writers. Derek was not someone who loved or understood technology, but he didn’t let this stop him from editing our essays twice a year or from founding one of the first literary magazines to exist solely online, Pif. The last email I received from him was typical — he’d gathered his section together and needed just a little more time before sending me the work for posting. He was never able to send that work.
Rather than puzzle together the essays section for this issue we have decided to rerun all of the pieces Derek wrote for us over the years in its place. There were more than even I realized and they show his range, but also his love of people and life. For a fuller tribute to Derek, please click here and read what Derek’s friend, our former essays editor and the current publisher of Greenpoint Press, has to say about him.
I will miss Derek’s passion and I dedicate this issue to him.
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Our best of Ducts.org anthology, The Man Who Ate His Book, has been flying off the shelves, but we have plenty of copies left. For those new to the book, here’s what it says on the back cover:
Ducts.org, one of the first literary magazines on the web, was founded in 1999 and has since grown into a dependable and ambitious resource for readers looking for engaging and thought-provoking essays, memoirs, fiction, poetry, art and humor. In this, our second collection of some of our best, you will spend time with a dangerous SS man in the Warsaw Ghetto, enjoy sensuous cooking, experience a kiss that lasts forever, discover witticisms lost to time and meet The Man Who Ate His Book.
The book is available in the usual places online, but for now please feel free to email Charles Salzberg at Charles@greenpointpress.org to get your copy now!
As many of you know, Ducts.org is part of an umbrella organization called New York Writers Resources, dedicated to helping writers everywhere. Also under that umbrella are our two sister organizations. One of them, Greenpoint Press has continued the tradition of publishing extraordinary books that are too often over-looked by mainstream publishers. Our next book, which will be published the beginning of January, is Out From the Underworld, a wonderfully touching memoir by Heather Siegel who, with her sister, grew up on Long Island while being shuttled back and forth between their father, grandparents and foster homes after their mother disappears from their lives.
Meanwhile, our books Schmuck, by Ross Klavan, which was well reviewed by NPR, and Starfish, by Patty Dann, as well as Hello American Lady Creature, by Lisa Kirchner, You’re Not Leaving, by Dr. Benjamin Luft, Call of the Lark, by Maura Mulligan, Between Heaven and Earth, by Doug Garr, and Fierce Joy, by Ellen Schecter, continue to sell well. But one of the biggest steps for our small publishing company is that we are now beginning to make all of our books available as e-books. By the next issue of Ducts, we hope to have our entire library digitalized and available to read on your Kindle or other e-reader. Already you can find Schmuck, Starfish, Hello American Lady Creature, We’re Not Leaving, Swann’s Last Song in the Kindle store and in the next two or three months look for all our other books there, as well.
We continue to raise money as part of our effort to bring you the best personal stories on the web. If you enjoy the thought-provoking essays and memoirs, if you are captivated by our fiction, poetry and art, I urge you to donate whatever amount you can. Every little bit helps!
Thank you for visiting and please return again and again!
-Jonathan Kravetz, Editor-in-Chief
This issue of Ducts is made possible with a regrant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.