When I was graduating from college and moving back home for a bit, I did a fair amount of research into the various Charlottesville outlets to which I might be able to offer my meager services (read: skills) and thus keep my mind sharp and my creativity alive. It was during this initial exploration of the real world that I came across Archipelago and Archipelago’s editor, Katherine McNamara. Sitting at my computer in New Hampshire, I could hardly believe that this website, which boasted the work of everyone from war photographer Peter Turnley to Senator Russell Feingold to novelist Ann Beattie, could be based out of a small home office off Park Street.
Plans changed and I didn’t end up coming home and settling for another year, which is when I first began working at C-VILLE. Having kept up with the website during my post-grad travels (i.e., my detour on the way to Charlottesville), one of the first stories I pitched as a lowly intern was on Archipelago and Katherine McNamara. As I sat in her living room, conducting the interview which consisted of talking to Katherine about poetry, politics, the importance of bringing the art of the literary magazine to the Internet and the meaning of the word “archipelago,” I thought to myself, “If this is what journalism is, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” From that conversation, Katherine became something of a mentor to me for a time, which I truly cherished.
This latest issue of Archipelago—its 10th anniversary edition—will be the last. And like all the issues that came before it, this one is a powerhouse: poems and a poetry manifesto by Kevin McFadden, fiction from Frank McGuinness, Jeffery Matsuura on Thomas Jefferson and Intellectual Property Law. Good stuff…great stuff, all of it. The Archipelago archives and Katherine’s e-mail address will remain in business, so if you haven’t visited them yet, do so. Your world will expand.