When first defining the objectives of South Jersey Review, we saw an opportunity to cultivate and curate regionally influenced poetry and art. But following further consideration, and insight from our peers outside the area, we decided to take a more liberal approach.
For those who have never been to the area, you’d likely be surprised upon arrival. In my many travels and experiences outside of New Jersey, I’ve seen and heard the same over-generalized depictions. No, not everyone from New Jersey is Italian and likes to fist pump to EDM music. And no, New Jersey isn’t just a giant wasteland overrun by the dense stench of exhaust fumes, hypodermic syringes laced like land mines on the shorelines, and echoes of ear-splitting smug accents emphasizing their affinity and attachment to “Noi Joisey“.
One point that is not a generalization about New Jersey, however, is that the State is divided between the North and the South. Do not be misled. There is no threat. The bearing of a secondary civil war in the United States is not upon us. Well—scratch that. Depending on the time of year, and your athletic organization allegiance, civil war may be entirely plausible.
While the name of this journal borrows the onomastics of one locale, we would like to reiterate that it declares no regional preference. In the confides of South Jersey, I know diversity. “I’ll be there in 15,” is a mundane saying. Maybe overused. Certainly exaggerated. But there is a truth to it.
From where I am sitting right now, realistically, in 15-minutes I can drive south to the rolling blueberry fields of Hammonton and put on my farmer’s hat. I could also take I-295 to the Walt Whitman or Ben Franklin bridge and be in Philadelphia; that being only about 30-minutes, give or take. I could take the New Jersey Transit from Trenton and be in the rush of Penn Station in the basement of Madison Square Garden; a tw0-hour trip at best. Another 15-minutes from my door: suburban idyll, commercialized dominoes, outlets like Apple, Chipotle, LL Bean, PF Changs, Banana Republic…
South Jersey is synonymous with variance. Walk outside on any given day and behold contrast, day and night, an interpretation so colorful the Ishihara whimpers for it no longer serves no purpose. This is the premise of our publication(s). To evaluate and eradicate deficiencies. To unearth beauties from one vehicle. To consolidate space with space.