Five Points – New Georgia Encyclopedia
Founded in 1996, Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art reached an international audience and attracted some of today’s most distinguished poets and fiction writers.
Published three times a year by the Department of English at Georgia State University in Atlanta, the magazine has earned a reputation for the diversity and quality of the writers, artists, essayists, and interviewers it publishes.
Founded by poet and novelist David Bottoms and novelist Pam Durban, Five Points offers artists and writers a forum, according to its editors, for “the convergence of ideas and genres, photography and text, north and south, east and west, young and less young”. According to co-editor Megan Sexton, such convergence creates a sense of each genre’s potential, often through juxtaposition as much as variety. “One of the main impacts a literary magazine can have,” she says, “is how it sheds light on the genre. When a story follows a poem and an essay follows a story,…questions of form arise – how form can provide different language challenges and diverse experiences for the reader. The journal‘s convergence philosophy is reflected in its name, which is taken from a neighborhood in downtown Atlanta that marks the traditional center of the city.
At its start, Five Points was only available in print editions. However, since 1998 an online edition has made selections from the print edition available and provides information about the magazine. The online presence also underscores the journal’s commitment to being more than a regional publication, an aspiration reflected in the diversity of authors it publishes.
In 1998 Five Points received the Council of Literary Magazines Best New Journal Award. The journal celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006 with the publication of High 5ive (2007), an anthology of nineteen of the best short stories published in the magazine since its inception. In 2010, the journal published its first international issue, Belfast imaginedand in 2016 Five Points celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a special issue of flash fiction.
Works first published in Five Points reappeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, Harper’s magazine, The O’Henry Prize Stories, Pushcart Award: Best of Small Pressesand Reader Utne, and on Poetry Daily. Major contributors include Richard Bausch, Ann Beattie, Barbara Hamby, Edward Hirsch, Ha Jin, Philip Levine, WS Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Christine Stewart, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Martin Walls and Charles Wright.
Each year, the journal awards the James Dickey Prize for Poetry, named in honor of Georgian poet James Dickey.