SENSATIONS MAGAZINE

Our Founder - Expertise

DAVID MESSINEO

Independent Publisher, Starting 1976
Poetry Editor, Starting 1979
Event Coordinator & Host, Starting 1980
Literary Magazine Publisher, Starting 1981
Poetry Book Publisher, Starting 1994

Founder & Publisher, Alternative Motifs, 1981-1983 & 2006
Publisher/Poetry Editor and Historian/Researcher, Sensations Magazine (1987 to present)
Organizer and Host, The Sensations Magazine Creative Events Series (1988 to present)
President, Gold Coast Performing Arts, Inc. (2003-2006)
President, The Six Centuries Club of America, Inc. (2007-2011)

PROLIFIC PUBLISHER

David Messineo is among America's 25 longest-serving poetry editors and independent literary magazine publishers - verified through research published in February 2014, and research updated in 2019.  He aims to be active as an independent Publisher across eight decades, from the 1970s to the 2040s.  On December 31, 2019, he has five decades of publishing activities completed, and three to go.

David began his career as an Independent Publisher in July 1976, putting out 20 issues of The Little Falls Stamp Club Journal (1976-1979); as a Poetry Editor in December 1979 (via Images) and 1980 (via The Monthly); and as an Independent Literary Magazine Publisher in September 1981 (as Founder, Publisher, and a Poetry Editor of Alternative Motifs in 1981-1983, and again for a Silver Anniversary Issue in 2006).  He has published new issues of Sensations Magazine each year from 1987-2012, and recently rebooted the publication with its smaller, thematic Supplement Series, which will continue his literary magazine publishing hobby into the 2030s.

One of David's goals was to independently publish 50 Sensations Magazine issues across 25 years, with neither government grant funding nor university affiliation/funding.   He achieved this goal in April 2012.  Between 1987 and 2014, Mr. Messineo published 62 separately bound literary documents: Sensations Magazine in 50 issues and 5 supplements (56 bound documents, including two-part Issue 49); 3 editions of The Lafayette Township Heritage Research Series; 1 Index; and 1 Ephemera Project.  As of 2014, the only other NJ-based literary magazine to release over 60 separately bound documents was Fairleigh Dickinson University's The Literary Review - which started publishing in 1957.

And, as noted above, David's publishing work is far from over.

AWARDS AND HONORS

David's strong guiding hand and creative vision have led Sensations Magazine to be a rare three-consecutive year winner in the national American Literary Magazine Awards (1994-1996). This included First Place, Design in 1994 (for Issue 9, 1993); Honorable Mention - Editorial Content in 1995 (for Issue 10, "Hope Against Hate"); and First Place - Overall Quality, Tabloid Category in 1996 (for Issue 12, the sensational theme issue celebrating "The 100th Anniversary of Coney Island's Amusement Parks," featuring poetry, fiction, research, and the largest collection of Coney Island photography ever put into print).

David's history research capabilities have earned him additional awards as well, starting with a 1994 Author Award from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (home of the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame) for the Sensations Magazine Rediscovering America in Poetry Research Series, the first multicultural collection of American poetry covering the years 1565-1700, published serially in ten Sensations Magazine issues published between 1990 to 1999.  Even with the wide publication and dissemination of poetry on the Internet in years since, the Rediscovering America in Poetry Research Series remains, in 2019, the most comprehensive collection of pre-colonial poetry written on America's shores ever to be published, including over 600 extant poems from the time period, and newly commissioned translations from Latin into English, some for the first time in 350 years. 

In 2009, David was one of 26 individuals statewide to receive a New Jersey State Jefferson Award for Public Service, for his then 20+-years of unpaid volunteer public service to poets, writers, photographers, dancers and audiences for Sensations Magazine and its associated Creative Events Series.

In 2011, David received the 2011 Dwyer Award for Journalism in New Jersey History, from the Advocates of New Jersey History, for his microfilm research efforts of Lafayette Township history, published in the three-part Lafayette Township Heritage Research Series, and distributed for free to attendees of free public concerts and other events he initiated through The Six Centuries Club of America, Inc., during the years 2007-2011.

MULTITASKING ALL ASPECTS OF THE ENTERPRISE

Since 1987, David Messineo has developed a wide range of skills needed to successfully run and sustain an independent literary magazine for over three decades.  In alphabetical order, these include:

  • CEO of Two Former Corporations
  • Contest Organization & Coordination
  • Copy Editing
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Distribution
  • Event Hosting
  • Event Organization & Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Magazine Editing
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Poetry Critiquing, Editing and Judging
  • Print Production
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Sales
  • Staff Supervision
  • Team Building

COORDINATOR/ORGANIZER/HOST OF OVER 700 DIVERSE EVENTS  

The Sensations Magazine Creative Events Series is now the third-longest ongoing poetry reading series in New Jersey and among the 25 longest continually operating poetry reading series in America.  Its full history of events since 1988 was documented in 366-page Sensations Magazine Issue 42.  A continuation of that history (covering the years 2007-2011) was published in the Summer 2011 Sensations Magazine Supplement No. 4, "The Six Centuries Club Supplement."  A history addendum, covering the years 2012-2014, was published in the Sensations Magazine "Ephemera" project.  Supplement No. 20, a few years from now, will document the missing years prior to that Supplement's publication.

The Sensations Magazine Creative Events Series has included events held in a wide diversity of kinds of spaces and venue sizes.  David has coordinated, organized, and/or hosted events in all 50 states, in venues including bars, bed & breakfasts, bookstores, the fluorescent room of an underground mine, historical societies, hotels, libraries, museums, restaurants, and the multi-thousand-seat Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  He has managed performances that have included a diverse assortment of performers, including dancers, musicians, poets, singers, and ventriloquists.  He has coordinated events ranging in time from 20 minutes to 5-hour thematic marathons that have featured blends of live dancers, musicians, and poets, juxtaposed with sound and video clips.

The sheer range, scope, and diversity of events held in the Sensations Magazine Creative Events Series since 1988 is staggering, and have included all of the following:

  • Cabaret shows
  • Concerts
  • Dance performances
  • Group luncheons and dinners
  • Group museum visits
  • History lectures
  • Literary walking tours
  • Multidisciplinary marathons
  • Museum visits
  • Poetry lectures
  • Poetry readings
  • "Progressive" events (multiple stops in one day)
  • Thematic events including live performance of dance, music, and poetry
  • Writers retreats
  • Writing workshops
The Sensations Magazine Creative Events Series aims for a 50-year run, 1988 to 2038.
 
HEAD OF TWO CORPORATIONS
 
Gold Coast Performing Arts, Inc. (2003-2006)

David founded Gold Coast Performing Arts, Inc. in January 2003 to bring cabaret shows, dance performances, and poetry readings to the "Gold Coast" of New Jersey - the Jersey Shore towns ranging from Monmouth Beach, NJ in the north, to Brielle in the south.  Partnering with Bistro Ole and the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, David brought a six-show cabaret series to Asbury Park, for the first time in 20 years.  He brought a 3-hour Veterans Day celebration of poetry, music, and dance to the Paramount Theater.  He brought several Coney Island themed shows of poetry, music, and dance to several Jersey Shore towns, including Ocean Grove (at the Manchester Inn), a restaurant in Lake Como, and the Chateau Inn in Spring Lake. 
 
In August 2005, the "Seven Continents of Asbury" progressive event moved the audience through seven venues in Asbury Park over the course of a long afternoon:  art galleries represented Antarctica Australia, and Europe, with associated exhibits and related poetry; songs from the American songbook were at the North American venue; native Amazon tribal dance was offered at the South America stand-in, be green; lunch and readings were offered at the Asia venue, Taka; and the event concluded with African music and dance at El Lobo Negro Art Gallery.
 
With a move out of the Jersey Shore region, and a shift in gears to a different thematic and artistic focus, there was no further need to continue Gold Coast Performing Arts, Inc., as it had accomplished all it set out to do.  Gold Coast Performing Arts, Inc. ceased its activities on December 31, 2006.
 
The Six Centuries Club of America, Inc. (2007-2011)
 
David then founded The Six Centuries Club of America, Inc. in January 2007 - to research and publish documents related to American history, to host thematic multidisciplinary events, and to offer free concerts in Sussex County, New Jersey. 

Its first history-themed event was held September 8-11, 2007:  the four-day "Lafayette Memories:  A Journey Through Time" festival, which coordinated 15 groups offering 24 events, and across the four days brought audiences forward in time from 1757 (the birth of the Marquis de Lafayette) to 2007 (the 250th anniversary of his birth).  The festival included history lectures, poetry readings, and multiple concerts:  bringing a world-class brass band to Lafayette, NJ for the first time in 100 years, for two concerts; a church organist at an outdoor sunset picnic; and a 4-generations band.  Close to 1000 people attended across the four days of events, and the second brass band concert drew 150 - our highest attendance of any event.

Concerts in succeeding years included an acoustic guitarist; a duo specializing in 16th century music; a high school rock band; a harp player; a hammered dulcimer player;  a high-end female Karaoke performer, including vocal and visual impersonation with costuming and wigs; and a Viking-influenced hard rock band; all mounted with no Federal, state, nor local government grant funding.
 
On the publishing end, the three-part Lafayette Township Heritage Research Series was distributed for free to those who attended the events, bringing the history of the town (the first in the United States to be named "Lafayette" after the Marquis de Lafayette) back to its people.
 
Poetry readings featured thematic programs that went forward in time, reading classic poets of the time periods, and blending those with contemporary works about the time period.  These were held in The Six Centuries Club Meeting Room across several years.
 
Once the microfilm research was published, all concerts we wished to host were aired, and the time periods we wished to explore were completed, there was no need to continue The Six Centuries Club of America, Inc.  Its goals completed, The Six Centuries Club of America, Inc. ceased its activity on December 31, 2011.

COMMUNITY BUILDING, AND FUNDRAISING FOR FOOD PANTRIES & OTHERS

Despite all the publishing and event accomplishments above, the one that makes Mr. Messineo most proud is achieving another lifetime goal:  the successful fundraising coordination and distribution of over $10,000 to others in need, including $2,900 to New Jersey based food pantries in 2010-2012.  Over 100 food pantries in New Jersey benefited financially from his efforts via the Poets Helping America's Needy Festival (PHANfest) he organized and managed - at a time when they needed help the most.

CREATING COMMUNITY, AND MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Writing poetry is primarily a solitary profession.  While some poets prefer to write alone and be alone, many do not, and actively seek community.  Like-minded people who share common values support and learn from each other - and gain diversity of perspective, and greater understanding of others, when interacting with those who are of a different mindset or different set of beliefs.

Through its events and publishing activities, Sensations Magazine has created community since 1988.  While the mix of individuals and perspectives in our community has changed with time, our primary motivation - creating mutually supportive community - has not.  Our intention was never to make a financial profit, but to make art, make community - and make a positive difference in the lives of many.  There are more important things in life than money, a view shared by many of our creatives.

That collective generosity of spirit is what Sensations Magazine is, and always has been, about.

David is grateful to those who have been part of this community, and who have joined us, in full or in part, across the past 30+ years.  He looks forward to continuing to be the guiding force of Sensations Magazine, and its publishing and event activities, in the coming years.