Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dispatches from the Rust Belt: The Best of Belt Year One

I'm clearly the target audience for Belt Magazine, the online ode to all things Rust Belt run out of Cleveland. It's only been around one year, but it has managed to corner the market on intensely reported, heartfelt, and sometimes funny coverage of post-industrial America. It's personal and raises larger issues about the forces shaping the entire country, not just the Midwest. And I'd say that even if I didn't write for it.Here's how founder and Editor Anne Trubek describes it:

When Belt Magazine launched one year ago, we did so for one basic reason: We felt that Cleveland and other cities in the Rust Belt were being defined by outside media that didn’t know us. We wanted to tell our own story ourselves. 
So we assembled writers, engaged citizens, academic experts, history buffs, and all sorts of people who live and work here to write about who we are. Some of our stories are long-form investigative journalism, some are essays about the arts and historic preservation, and many are thoughtful commentaries about economic issues. Quite frankly, we are proud of how we have progressed in the past year, engaging people who are interested in issues that matter. Visitors to our site continue to increase, and the number of people who support us by becoming members keeps growing. People join Belt to be part of a community and to acknowledge our commitment to pay writers, to edit carefully, and to have an independent voice.
Dispatches from the Rust Belt: The Best of Belt Year One is an anthology of Belt's first year. It features the work of Jacqueline Marino, Laura Putre, Jake Austen, Edward McClelland and many more writers. Including me. (Okay, that was awkward.)
Pre-order Dispatches from the Rust Belt here.

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