Delivered by Stack, November 2017:Zoetrope

Published by Francis Ford Coppola, Zoetrope features the finest, most innovative short stories and essays on film from writers all over the world. Each issue sees a leading artist take control of design, rendering every edition a unique collector’s item.

Michael Ray

Job title

What is Zoetrope?
Zoetrope: All-Story is a story and art quarterly published by Francis Ford Coppola. Its contributors include Wes Anderson, Ethan Coen, Haruki Murakami, Mary Gaitskill, Sam Shepard, Lena Dunham, Jonathan Lethem, Miranda July, David Byrne and Colum McCann. The magazine won the 2016 National Magazine Award as the best literary magazine in the United States—its third such honor.

What makes it different to the rest?
Each issue of the magazine is designed in its entirety by a leading artist. Among past guest designers are Gus Van Sant, William Eggleston, Lou Reed, Zaha Hadid, PJ Harvey, Ed Ruscha, Agnes Varda, David Bowie, Abbas Kiarostami, Elizabeth Peyton and Tom Waits. The three most recent editions were designed by the conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson, the musician Iggy Pop and the actor Jeff Bridges.

Who makes Zoetrope?
The magazine’s staff is two – managing editor Manjula Martin and I. We also rely on a number of very dedicated volunteers to make things go.

Who reads it?
People who love great stories and innovative art.

Why do you work in magazines?
With magazines – particularly smaller, independent titles – there’s an opportunity to be experimental, to take chances. As well, I appreciate that so much work and thought can be poured into a vessel that’s essentially disposable, transitory.

Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
We’re developing a couple of projects at present to evolve our stories both as films and as audio dramas. Additionally, we teach online workshops and host events.

What would you change about Zoetrope if you could?
I wish we had the resources to realise all of our designers’ ideas for the magazine. Once we gather and edit the stories for a given issue, we send them off to that edition’s guest designer, who returns a magazine that’s beautiful and unexpected. On occasion, a designer might conceive of a technique or material we’re unable to produce, given our limited production budget. However, the products of those periodic shortfalls are often the magazine’s high points, as we’re then compelled to figure some alternative means of realising that designer’s vision. So, like with all artistic pursuits, the restriction of our resources often spawns our most creative work.

Can you pick a favourite issue of Zoetrope?
I can’t. We labor so intensely over each, and in selecting one I face leaving out the others.

Where do you see Zoetrope in five years?
While I don’t imagine the content changing fundamentally – we’re dedicated to our mission of publishing the best short fiction in the world – I do hope to expand the platforms by which we disseminate that content. In a way, I suppose, Stack is part of that.
Published by Francis Ford Coppola, Zoetrope features exceptional short stories and writing from all over the world. Each issue sees a celebrity guest take control of design, changing the tone of the publication and telling their own story via their design choices.

Get your monthly dose
of magazines

Subscribe to Stack today
Back to top