Winners of the 2007 Utne Independent Press Awards
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Think of the Sun as an intimate forum where some of the finest contemporary writers share their most polished, provocative prose, and then everyone else is invited to join in. The magazine’s founder, Sy Safransky, has made it a priority to create an open environment for storytelling and exchanging ideas. “We’re all in the same boat—mysterious flesh-and-blood creatures, radiant and broken—and of course the boat is sinking, but there’s still time to share a story or two as the night comes on,” he writes in the January 2007 issue. The modestly-sized editorial staff consistently honors the art of writing while dabbling in interviews, memoirs, essays, fiction, and poetry. In “Reader’s Write,” one of our favorite sections of the magazine, readers are invited to contribute short pieces on a broad range of topics, such as “Airports” or “Nine to Five,” resulting in a lively, nationwide dialogue. http://tinyurl.com/27a2b9
Smartly occupying a spot somewhere between vapid Hollywood celeb mags and austere film-scholar journals, Film Comment is for people who love movies and crave intelligent writing about them, without footnotes. Published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Film Comment regularly publishes some of the best film writers in the world, and they probe and parse cinema in ways that deepen our experience of it and provide far more satisfaction than the average thumbs-up-thumbs-down review. In recent issues, Stuart Klawans of the Nation analyzed Michael Moore’s calculatedly polemic style, Barcelona-based film critic Manuel Yanez Murillo heralded Spanish director Carlos Saura, and Jonathan Romney plumbed the meaning of the dystopian Children of Men. Generously sized photos and a clean look make Film Comment a feast for the eyes, much like the movies it covers. After the lights come up, crack it open and enjoy.
In a time when media reflection on the country’s race issues comes down to parsing the latest celebrity gaffe, Intelligence Report reminds us that organized, violent racism—often written-off as a troubling relic of a bygone era—endures. Published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the venerable Montgomery, Alabama-based civil rights organization, the magazine tracks extremist movements and their ideological ripples throughout society. In the Spring 2007 issue, for instance, it was reported that the number of hate groups in the United States has swelled along with the nation’s rising tide of populist anti-immigration sentiments, climbing 40 percent to 844 in a six-year period (2000 to 2006). The Winter 2006 cover story took aim at Latino gangs targeting African Americans in Los Angeles. In Fall 2007, the magazine exposed the “Watchmen on the Walls,” a virulent anti-gay group fomenting hatred among fellow Slavic immigrants in Sacramento. Managing their wide-ranging mission by carrying on the fine but increasingly rare tradition of old-school investigative journalism, the writers and editors weed through mountains of paper, work the phones, hit the pavement, and connect the dots.
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