The University of Central Arkansas, already home to the great Oxford American magazine, has added Andrei Condrescu's Exquisite Corpse to its roster of publications. UCA will transition the Corpse from its current online-only format with a 150-page annual to hit bookstores in 2009. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette chatted with Condrescu about this decision:
Q. How and why did the University of Central Arkansas become the center of earnest literary enterprise in this country ? Have you seen the place yet ? Did Warwick Sabin promise you a nice office ?
A. Mark Spitzer, one of the Corpse’s most formidable assistant editors at Louisiana State University, is now a professor at UCA. He suggested bringing the publication there because they already had the Oxford American, and having the Corpse too would simply propel the school into the big leagues. At least the literary publishing ones. I met with some well-meaning people there, English professors, deans, some administrators, and they all seemed keen on the idea. They promised me nothing: no money, no office, not even a lifetime supply of barbecue, but on the other hand we get to stay completely independent, publish whatever we like, keep ownership of the journal, and stop the relationship anytime we want. They get credit for their association with “the New Yorker of the avant garde,” as a mean critic once called us, and we get to be in a physical body again.