In the beginning there was an unrelenting trickle of correspondence from readers of U.S. 1 newspaper, the business and entertainment journal based in Princeton, New Jersey, hoping that the weekly paper could make some room for their creative effort — a piece of poetry, perhaps, a wartime reminiscence, an appreciation of a mother or a father.
Hidebound as U.S. 1 was (and still is) to make everything relevant in terms of the day-by-day calendar that brings all of us together, the editors often deferred their attention to some intriguing story by asking the simple question: Why now? A scientist, for example, might have just written a definitive book on how microbes have played a critical role in the survival of the human species and it’s been issued by a major publishing house. Surely that’s a story, a publicist might suggest. Interesting subject, the U.S. 1 editors would say, but does he have a book signing coming up, or a public lecture? That would give the paper a reason to do the story, and a helpful deadline to work against.
Beyond that blind spot in the U.S. 1 editorial approach, there was another nagging frustration caused by the need to send a reporter out to interview this creative person. The least experienced reporters would return with gee whiz accounts that sounded as if they were sportscasters doing a post-game interview with the star of the game: How did it feel when you realized you had just made a scientific breakthrough? How did it feel?
The veteran reporters were more probing with their questions, but still there came certain times when the reader wished the reporter would just stand aside and let the subject have the stage all to herself. Even veteran reporters, it became apparent, were not necessarily good at making artful introductions, giving the audience (or the readers) just enough information to make the message of the speaker (or the subject) accessible, and then turning over the podium to the real star of the show.
On top of all that, there was the frustration of seeing eloquent treatises, interviews, book excerpts, and even entire books posted online for everyone in the world to enjoy, but no one in particular in the nearby circle of friends doing it contemporaneously.
So the U.S. 1 and Community News Service editors started to think. There was the idea of turning one of the monthly publications into a literary journal. Then the editors realized that "literary" subjects would be too narrow a focus. Moreover, the monthly publications each focussed on a narrow geographical area. Surely the interest in creative people and their ideas did not stop at a particular town, county, or even line.
Then came, well, a revelation. Why not create a freestanding publication, one that broadly hopes to illuminate and celebrate the entire creative community — New Brunswick to New Hope, Princeton to Trenton — no matter what field or pursuit is followed? The result is still a work in progress. This first issue is basically a collection of “found art,” pieces of writing, art, and even mathematical musings that happened to come to our attention as we planned this new publication. That book on microbes is mentioned on page 12 of this issue. A slice of fascinating World War II history appears as a book excerpt on page 13.
We are hopeful that readers will put more artful pieces in our path, and not be shy about calling our attention to them (correspondence should be sent to editor Richard K. Rein — firstname.lastname@example.org). And we are hopeful people will not jump to any conclusions about what we will or will not publish. Please realize instead that we at Genesis are open to ideas.
This is, after all, just the beginning.