Our library contains 1,300 publications—a feast of magazines, journals, alt weeklies, newsletters, and zines—and every year we honor the stars in our Utne Independent Press Awards. We’ll announce this year’s winners on Sunday, April 25, at the MPA’s Independent Magazine Group conference in Washington, D.C., and post them online the following Monday. We’re crazy about these publications, and we’d love it for all of our readers to get to know them better, too. So, every weekday until the conference, we’ll be posting mini-introductions to our complete list of 2010 nominees.
The following eight magazines are our 2010 nominees in the category of arts coverage.
A celebration of handmade objects and the people who create them, American Craft brings to life the work of glassblowers, woodworkers, jewelry makers, and artisans of all stripes. Published by the American Craft Council, it covers its inspiring subjects from workbench to gallery. www.americancraftmag.org
An arts magazine with a decidedly literary bent, The Believer covers books, film, music, and pop culture with barely contained intellectual glee. Part of the McSweeney’s empire founded by author Dave Eggers, it constantly finds new ways to showcase the creative impulse. www.believermag.com
The arts, culture, and fashion of the Middle Eastern region are fertile ground for the writers and artists of Bidoun, who traverse their territory with wit and irreverence. Whether they’re living in the region or are part of the diaspora, their dispatches are crucial intelligence. www.bidoun.com
Each issue of Creative Review is eye-popping, showing some of the best work from worldwide advertising, design, and visual culture. Its articles add depth to this dazzle, profiling scenes, people, and creative work that you wouldn’t hear about any other way. www.creativereview.co.uk
Esopus is a visual feast, showcasing the work of contemporary artists alongside critical writing, fiction, poetry, interviews, and even a themed CD. The very definition of “labor of love,” it comes out only twice a year, but it’s always worth the wait. www.esopusmag.com
Forget box-office battles and vapid celebrity chatter: Film Comment focuses its lens on cinema’s substance. Drawing on a deep, experienced pool of critics and feature writers, the magazine gets off the red carpet to explore the wonderfully diverse film omniverse. www.filmlinc.com/fcm/fcm.htm
Published in Ireland but covering the entire world of music, The Journal of Music uses actual musicians as writers. The resulting coverage, which runs the gamut from folk to classical to pop, is arresting reading for both casual fans and aficionados. www.journalofmusic.com
Poets & Writers is targeted at wordsmiths, yet appeals to anyone who loves to get lost in a bookstore. And if you’re yet another hopeful unpublished author—come on, admit it—you’ll find good advice on finding an agent and a deal. www.pw.org