So: on Sept. 21, the (former) co-editors of Quarto sent out an email blast announcing two things: (a) Quarto was”currently on hold”, and (b) a new magazine called 4×4, “a literary project from the editors of Quarto,” was starting.

Curious, Bwog met with Aliza Polkes and Sarina Bhandari, former Quarto co-editors and current 4×4 co-editors.

Here’s what’s the same: the new magazine will have the same editors and the same staff. It will seek the same sort of writing, and judge it with the same blind selection process.

Here’s what’s not: the new magazine is not affiliated with the Creative Writing department, meaning it has no official recognition and no money.

So what happened? Aliza and Sarina said that, basically, the CW admin thought Quarto was getting too undergrad-y and not CW-y enough. So the dept. took back what always belonged to it; Quarto would now only be for CW majors (and GS). This meant that Sarina and Aliza, non-majors themselves, were out in the cold. And the whole staff went with them.

Quarto will still exist; but submissions will not be judged blindly by students. Rather, they’ll be reviewed by students picked for a class by professors and departmental personages, such as Dorla McIntosh (who did not reply to an email for comment). Quarto will probably be a class.

Apparently, Quarto-that-was was totally student run. And the last board had a bad relationship/very little communication with the holders of the purse-strings. So last semester, Dorla vaguely told Sarina and Aliza that Quarto was “on hold.” Two days ago, Dorla told them how the magazine would work from now on (without them).

“We’re miffed,” said Sarina. “To be honest, it hurt,” said Aliza.

Not that the two seemed bitter, like old Bwog would be. Rather, they explained to Bwog, with aequo animo, how they were going to start a magazine from scratch (despite last semester making a new website, and jumping through all the hoops to ABC recognition—only to have the department make them turn it down).

They’re going to be hitting three sources for money: some sort of Kickstarters, a Gatsby Grant, and parents. Their budget won’t be as flush as it was before: their magazine probably won’t have a dust jacket or be printed on the quality paper Quarto-that-was readers know. But it’ll “still look nice”—they have the same design team. And 4×4 will do what Quarto-that-was did: host a lot of readings &c., so as to keep together the community they say grew around Quarto-that-was.

So it’s weird! You’ve got something old, which needs a 100% new staff. And you’ve got something new, with a 100% old staff!

4×4‘s first open mic will be this Saturday, from 8-10 pm, in 501 Dodge Hall. Also: note that, since Dorla has yet to get back to Bwog, this is all from the jilted co-editors.

4×4 logo from their email blast