The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Pannell as the new Editor of The Oxfordian. Chris holds an English Honors BA from the University of Western Ontario and an MA in English from the University of Toronto.
Chris is a freelance writer, editor, and poet. He has published five books of poetry, edited two anthologies, and has led writing workshops and provided editorial help to writers in both the technical writing and literary spheres. He has served on the boards of arts groups such as the gritLIT Literary Festival and Hamilton Artists Inc. He is the host and director of the monthly Lit Live reading series in Hamilton, Ontario, which presents authors who have published new books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
One of his poetry books, Drive, won a Canadian award, the Acorn-Plantos Peoples Poetry Prize, in 2010. He is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. He has a book of poetry forthcoming in 2016, another poetry book in progress, and he is working on a novel and a collection of short stories.
Chris was introduced to the Oxfordian theory in 1985 when a friend said he’d been reading a massive book called The Mysterious William Shakespeare by Charlton Ogburn, Jr. and was quite puzzled by it. He couldn’t understand how the argument of the book (re: Stratford unlikely and Oxford likely) had not been refuted yet. He asked: “Don’t all the English professors in all the great universities in England and America know about this? What is their response?” He was afraid that he was missing something. He said, somewhat in jest, “Chris you’re a university man. Can you refute this for me? I need someone to point out where this book is going wrong.” Chris agreed to do this for him.
Chris borrowed the book and began reading, but his skepticism of the book was in tatters by about page 225. The notion of William of Stratford having written so many plays in such a short time span (by conventional dating) struck him as one of the most improbable things he’d ever encountered. That the man from Stratford had never written or received a letter was bizarre. That no book had ever been traced back to the Stratford man’s library was implausible. His parents and his children were illiterate? Chris laughed at the way Ogburn took apart the biography of the Stratford man. Since then, he has discovered and acquired many of the key books about the authorship question, by writers such as Mark Anderson, Roger Stritmatter, Richard Roe, Charles Beauclerk, William Farina, Katherine Chiljan, and Diana Price.
When asked now about his approach to editing The Oxfordian, Chris says,
I am always open to discuss a writer’s work. If you have an idea for an article or a finished manuscript, or if you just want to discuss the progress of The Oxfordian, or anything bearing on Shakespeare, please contact me. All decisions affecting a submission will come as a consequence of our talking. A successful writer-editor relationship is mostly about sharing ideas and collaborating on the best possible final draft.
General guidelines for submissions to The Oxfordian are posted on the SOF website.
Chris says that he has a very wide range of interests, where de Vere is concerned. “Submissions that are brief or time-sensitive, will likely be referred to the Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter. Submissions that have a strong focus on a literary-academic discussion of the poems and plays will likely be referred to Brief Chronicles. I would like The Oxfordian to occupy the middle ground between those two types of articles: to position the authorship issue in as wide a context as possible. Some articles in The Oxfordian will be easily accessible to readers who may be curious about but not familiar with de Vere or other Elizabethan writers.”
“Any essay on the plays, theatre, and biography of de Vere will of course be welcome and considered for publication. The Oxfordian, however, will try to devote as much space as possible to the context of de Vere’s era—the history, politics, education, and the Renaissance in general.”
Chris notes that editing is largely a reactive activity. Writers who don’t send something won’t be published. And of course, The Oxfordian needs articles to keep it going.
“Like most writers, I believe that brevity is the soul of wit (de Vere) and I have a tendency to quote a statement attributed to Pliny the Younger and others, namely: I am sorry this letter is so long; I did not have time to make it shorter. If your work is accepted, I will invariably try to shorten and strengthen it. I will also read all submissions with care and patience; we will discuss your work on the phone, and reach agreement on how to proceed with it. I will also present submissions to the journal’s editorial board, as six or seven heads are always better than one. I look forward to talking to all writers interested in sending work to The Oxfordian.”
The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship is assembling an editorial board to advise the editor of The Oxfordian. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being on the board.
If you are interested in submitting an article to The Oxfordian, first see the submission guidelines.
Send inquiries or submissions for the 2015 issue of The Oxfordian to Chris via email. Chris will share his phone number with those who send him an email first.