key satch(el) was a magazine dedicated, for the most part, to what might be called prose poetry. It was available in print format and electronic format (distributed via e-mail as an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file). key satch(el) started publication in January 1997 and after 12 issues ceased publication in its current form with the October 1999 issue.

key satch(el) is no longer accepting work.


Index 1997

Index 1998

Index 1999

key satch(el)
The English transliteration of Italian dialect idiomatic phrase, Chi saccia?, which translates as "Who knows?"

Pronunciation: as it is spelled: key satch
-- the (el) is optional.

Usage: most frequently used as a reply to rhetorical or unanswerable questions (such as "Will it rain tomorrow?") or as a more fatalistic and sarcastic reply to a question that the person being asked either doesn't know the answer or feels that the answer is all too evident (such as standing under a sign for a bus & asking someone "Is this the bus stop?" or "How do I get to...?")

"Those seeking a new form of expression, a fresh image of human experience, may find something in key satch(el)."
--Small Magazine Review, May-June 1998

"Perhaps the quietest but best magazine devoted to prose poetry, the poems here make all the right noise."
--The End Review, August 1998

"We'll admit to being a little surprised that there was an issue's worth of honest, often intelligent and certainly serious prose poetry out there."
--Literary Magazine Review, Fall 1998

key satch(el) measured 5.5"W x 8.5"H and was saddle-stitched. All issues had 24 pages except for the October 1999 issue, which had 32 pages.

Editor: Gian Lombardo

ISSN: 1091-4374 (print version)

Indexed by the
Index of American Periodical Verse
(Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press)

In 2000, the magazine key satch(el) was transformed into edition key satch(el), a quarterly series of prose poem chapbooks that ceased publishing in 2003.

edition key satch(el) chapbooks:

Aloysius Bertrand's Gaspard de la nuit

Laura Chester's All in All

Brian Johnson's Self-Portrait

Holly Iglesias's Hands-On Saints

When the Time Comes: A Selection of Contemporary Belgian Prose Poetry

Dennis Barone's The Disguise of Events

Liz Waldner's Representation

David Giannini's Side-Ways

Dennis Barone's Walking Backwards

Editor’s Note (Semi-Swan Song)

This issue of key satch(el) is the last one. key satch(el) will be transformed in the year 2000 into edition key satch(el), which will be a quarterly series of prose poetry chapbooks. The reasons for the “demise” of key satch(el) in this form are many. When I first started to publish key satch(el) it was my hope to to testify to a broad spectrum of activity in the prose poem. Easier said than done. For example, it seemed that no sooner than I published what could be thought of as LANGUAGE-oriented pieces, more traditional practitioners of the prose poem stopped sending work. So, it got harder to be as representative as I wanted the magazine to be. Another goal I had for key satch(el) was to be able focus on 4 to 6 writers each issue, showing a range of their work. However, it was exceedingly difficult to get most writers to submit large chunks of work. Most often, I’d get 1 or 2 or 4 pieces — certainly not enough to show a range of work. So, to focus on individual prose poets, I started publishing chapbooks in 1998. Doing both the magazine and chapbooks chews up a large amount of resources (both money and time). While key satch(el) has done well enough in drawing subscribers, the magazine (even with its very modest production values) has never come close to even paying for its production costs (not to mention the time involved in producing it). key satch(el) receives no public funding, so deficits come out of my pocket, which is fine but does have limits since my finances are limited, too. So, because it is easier, in expenditures of time and money, to produce chapbooks, I’ve decided, in effect, to turn the magazine into a periodical series of chapbooks (hoping to come out every season). I’m going to pull out my violin now and say when you try to wear too many hats (publisher, editor, writer, working a full-time job, part-time orchardist and winemaker, plus juggling a personal life in there), something’s got to give, if only to reduce the demands and complexity of wardrobe. For all of you who are active subscribers to key satch(el), your subscriptions will carry over to edition key satch(el) even though a subscription to edition key satch(el) costs more (for example, if you have 2 more issues to come on your subscription, you’ll get the first two chapbooks in the new series). In the end, I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to key satch(el) — those whose work has been published in the magazine, to subscribers, to avid readers and those who support the cause of prose poetry. You are vastly appreciated. And if one or more of you miss key satch(el), I urge you to keep its spirit going and start your own magazine (contact me & I’ll give you all sorts of horrific advice). In the meantime, stick around: you might be pleased with edition key satch(el) and its first chapbook, which will be published just after New Year’s. (Also, please don’t send chapbook manuscripts unless asked.) —G.L.