With all the literary luminaries who have lived, worked and played in Croton, it’s fitting that the New Croton Review puts the village on the map for visual artists and writers around the world – again.
The revived bi-annual journal is the second iteration of a serial first issued in 1978 that also attracted outsized attention, said Jim Christensen, President of the Croton Council on the Arts, which rebooted the publication last year.
“One of our past presidents, Ruth Lisa Schechter, had a passion for literature and poetry, so she started the original Review and it took off,” he said. “Now, as we try to recover from the pandemic, this seemed like a good fit.”
Through 1985, the Croton Review published in a newspaper format, then switched to a booklet with thick paper. Romare Beardon provided the cover art for a special Spring issue in 1985 that also included a book excerpt from Ted Gioia, who founded Stamford University’s Jazz Studies program.
Croton Free Library holds all of the vintage editions and the historical society also has a sizable, possibly complete, collection. The periodical ceased in 1988 after Schechter became ill. She died the following year.
Along with the prose, colorful photos and visual works, the Fall 2023 edition showcases a replica of the vibrant oil painting “Friendship” by Mohegan Lake resident Inez Andrucyk on the cover, which seems to depict two intertwined, yet discombobulated dancers.
The issue features work from 56 creative minds located in 14 states, including a poem and short essay from Eggie in Alabama. Three contributors hail from the UK, another lives in Tokyo. Ten Croton residents join 23 other New Yorkers
Editor in Chief Jeanne-Noel Mahoney, a former English professor with a law degree, accepts poetry, short fiction/nonfiction and visual art, including photography.
The initiative took off after attendees at a Council for the Arts meeting mused about how great it would be to revive the Review.
“I thought, ‘I could do this,’ ” said Mahoney, who moved to town 18 years ago. “I expected good stuff but was really surprised at the caliber of the work submitted.”
Council member Stephen Jacoby spent countless hours sending submission notices to influencers, likeminded non-profits, college and university English and art departments, and anyone who might be interested, including his nephew, a high school teacher in New Jersey. The three UK contributors just might have gotten the word after his trip to Scotland.
Because the publication is a peer-review journal, gracing its pages can be a resume-booster, especially for academics. There is no pay, though, so no one’s bank account is being lifted.
So far, the revitalized Review publishes around a third of the 175 or so submissions it receives for each issue, said Christensen. The deadline for the Spring 2024 edition is April 15.
Because the endeavor is available online for free or sold at cost as a print-on-demand title, the Council has no clue how many copies are circulating.
“We’re trying to provide the widest coverage and exposure possible to help build a community for artists and writers,” said Christensen. “The last issue is the best one [of the new series], which makes sense because we’re getting more experience.”
Who’s Who at New Croton Review
Editor in Chief
Literary and Art Editors
Bruce Dollar, Stephen M. Jacoby, Valerie Leis, William Mahoney, Loomis Mayer
Stephen M. Jacoby
Sharon Lia Robinson
Other Local Contributors
Jeffrey Cooper, Peekskill
Jeffrey Friedkin, Sleepy Hollow
Shana Covington Goodwin, Ossining
Michael Washburn, Ossining