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Two bookish Western expats residing in Istanbul have launched a literary journal dedicated to publishing words from the Bosphorus Strait, the body of water that physically and symbolically divides Europe and Asia.
According to the Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah, Luke Frostick (U.K.) and Thomas Parker (U.S.) launched their first issue in January, a second in March, and are gearing up to put out a third in May. “The Bosphorus Review of Books is a predominantly English-language journal,” reads the mission statement on their website, “focused on cross-cultural arts exchange and providing literary works and commentary for Turkey and the world, locals and emigres, but most importantly lovers of literature…We find it essential to raise awareness of the diversity of Istanbul and to locally build a multi-lingual literary community.”
The magazine was launched in response to what the editors saw as a dearth of Turkish writing being made available to a worldwide audience: “[As] a member of the Spoken Word Istanbul community,” Frostick told the paper, “I met loads of talented people there who were in the publishing doldrums…I set up the Bosphorus Review of Books as a place for established and aspiring writers to publish their material and help showcase some of the fantastic talent that is available in Turkey.”
The Bosphorus Review of Books is the latest entrant into international English-language literary and cultural magazines, a tradition popularized by the Paris Review, and now includes Paper Republic (China), Bidoun (the Middle East), Kwani? (Africa) and the Buenos Aires Review (Latin America), to name a few.
Submissions for the Bosphorus Review of Books are open to anyone writing in English, though the editors are also seeking translations of Turkish and Arabic literature in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. You can read more about their submission process here.