The Detroit-based publisher Rotland Press advertises itself as “a fine publisher of excursions into humor + despair.” It is also the perfect vehicle for a literary and arts journal to help us cope with the overwhelming nature of the Covid-19 epidemic. This week they issued the second installment of The Plague Review, which is a compelling compilation of art, poetry, comics, essays, interviews and more.
Rotland’s publisher and Plague Review editor Ryan Standfest writes in his opening editor’s note, “In keeping with the mission of Rotland Press, The Plague Review presents a collection of responses to this moment that engenders the need to give form to collective trauma. Addressing that which challenges our lives at this time, the voices in this publication swing wildly from hope to grief, from intimate joy to overwhelming outrage. From visual makers and thinkers around the world who have worked toward evoking and representing that which is subjectively felt and not directly observed, strategies of thought contemplation mingle with mordantly humored bursts of enthusiastic despair. Collectively, the work contained herein represents a vital attempt at getting a psychic foothold within a pit where the fissures are often difficult to see.”
The Plague Review is free as a digital read until COVID-19 ends. At that point, the issues will be printed in a limited run. Check it out in full here. Also, consider purchasing some of Rotland’s previous publications to support this excellent small press.