There's sad news in the world of poetry: the twice-a-year magazine Free Lunch: A Poetry Miscellany has printed its last issue.
Free Lunch, published in Glenview by the nonprofit Free Lunch Arts Alliance, had two great ideas. One was that it attempted to give all serious poets in the United States a free subscription (at last count that number had passed 1,200). The other was that the editor, Ron Offen - a poet who knows how discouraging an unexplained rejection can be - tried to comment on all submitted poems, even if he didn't have space to run them.
Among the many poets who had a forum in Free Lunch's pages during its 21 years were Stuart Dybek, David Hernandez, Neal Bowers, Jared Carter, Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Dave Etter, Donald Hall, Lyn Lifshin, Eve Merriam, Robert Peters, David Ray, F. D. Reeve, Cathy Song and Barry Sparks.