THE NOISIEST BOOK REVIEW
IN THE KNOWN WORLD
The Best of RALPH:
The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities
Lolita Lark, EditorVolume One
[ISBN 0 - 917320 - 31 - X]
[ISBN 0 - 917320 - 45 - X]
Boxed Set of Two Volumes,
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012939592
13 January 2013
Distribution: Baker & Taylor,
Ingrahm Books, Borders, Barnes & Noble
Ad campaign in New York Times Book Review, New York
Review of Books, New Yorker, TLS, LRB, PW.
For five glorious years, the upstart Fessenden Review managed to bemuse literary America with its saucy take on books and the publishing industry. Our reviews were the subject of articles by media writers at the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal and on National Public Radio among others.
Writer Herbert Gold said, "I enjoy your quirky take on things, although you don't seem to review my books." The late Max Lerner said, "The reviews break all conventions and are the stuff of life." Other encomiums came in from Writer's Digest, American Libraries, The New England Review/Bread Loaf Quarterly, The Bloomsbury Review and Dædalus.
Despite its critical success, The Review was bludgeoned to death by its many creditors, but, in 1995, made a spectacular return online as The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities, or, more succinctly, RALPH. To date, 230 issues have gone up in hyperspace at
We continue to enjoy 10,000 to 20,000 hits a day.
This elegant boxed set consists of what we believe to be the best of the best drawn from the on-line magazine and its immediate predecessor, the late-lamented Fessenden Review. These are articles, reviews, readings and poems that have consistently garnered the most praise, attracted the most hits --- or, in a few cases, sparked the most noisome complaints.
Lolita Lark has been the editor of RALPH since 2000, and was editor of a book of poetry drawn from the magazine, A Cricket in the Telephone at Sunset. This is what poets and crickets --- I mean critics --- said about that volume:
"Forty years ago I decided never to write comments for publicity. If you have seen me on the back of a book, it is something quoted from a publication. I am sorry to let you down, but I cannot change my policy now."--- Donald Hall
"Sorry, I don't do blurbs though I love the book."---Bob Hass"This quirky volume claims to reprint poems from The Fessenden Review, a short-lived but unrepentantly forthright magazine. The poems are not afraid to work with subjects that many people would avoid but in doing so use language with a freedom and reassurance that turns the most unpromising subject into art. The editors have truly succeeded in their aim to free American verse from the steely grip of the establishment poets. This book is good to look at, pleasant to hold and fun to read. Buy it, enjoy it and be inspired."--- Polly Bird
New Hope International Review OnlineMho & Mho Works
San Diego CA 92176
"Books Beyond All Reason"