Kind words about Sensations Magazine, and Messineo and his staff, have been shared by satisfied customers, each year of our operation.
Here are some thoughts shared in writing by reviewers, supporters, and select past and present subscribers. Originals are in our archives:
1. Richard F. Snow, Editor, American Heritage, on Sensations Magazine Issue 12, "The 100th Anniversary of Coney Island's Amusement Parks," Letter dated February 27, 1998
"Decades after its great days have passed, Coney Island still retains a ghostly hold on the American imagination, and issue No. 12 of Sensations Magazine does much to illuminate the reason why. It is not easy to evoke the combination of grandeur and tawdriness that gives Coney its savor, but Messineo and his fellow editors have assembled a splendid group of archival photographs that do just that. Here are the three turn-of-the-century amusement parks - Luna, Steeplechase, Dreamland - in the full splendor of their inaugural electric blaze, so presented as to make clear just how compelling a spectacle their freshets of electricity were to the citizenry of the new century; and here, too, the eventual death - by fire, by decline - of those parks. But their power as diversion and as portent still crackles over the island's dwindled amusement district, and this presence is captured in the text that accompanies the pictures, some of it drawn from old guidebooks and histories, some of it poems and stories commissioned by Messineo and his editors. Taken all together, the issue retrieves Coney at its hectic, exhilarating peak; it is an impressive exercise of both history and of imagination."
2. Karl Luntta, Barnstable, MA, Letter dated June 12, 1989
"No magazine I've run into yet has taken the time and effort with their writers as you and your staff have."
3. Jean Trapido-Rosenthal, Librarian, St. Augustine Historical Society, St. Augustine, FL, Letter dated February 6, 1991
"Thank you very much for sending us your recently published issue (4) of Sensations Magazine, with the section on early American poetry that you worked so hard on. The issue is very impressive."
4. Marina Cramer, Owner, Cup & Chaucer Bookstore, Montclair, NJ, Letter dated December 1991
"Sensations Magazine offers a timeless lesson in the passion of language. Beginning and established writers are in good hands with this publication."
5. John J. Pirro, Doctor of Optometry, Rockaway, NJ, Letter dated December 1993
"I have to give you the ulimate compliment: every issue of Sensations Magazine, from Issue 1 to Issue 8, has been stolen out of my office! I'm going to have to bolt down the Sixth Anniversary Issue."
6. Dr. Leonardo Alishan, Salt Lake City, UT, Letter dated July 17, 1999
"Today I received my first issue (no. 19). Allow me to add it was wonderfully produced, extremely pleasurable to read, and the damn best $30 I ever spent!"
7. Arnold L. Miller, Ph.D., Champaign, IL, Letter dated November 1, 1999
"I am impressed with what I've read about Sensations Magazine. It must have been extremely difficult to self-publish 19 issues in 13 years without grant funding, and win the American Literary Magazine Awards three times, as well ... few of America's literary magazines still offer fiction writers the opportunity to publish stories up to 35 pages. David, I commend you for investing so much of your personal time to ensure writers such as myself have the opportunity to be published."
8. Blair Ewing, Associate Editor, WordWrights Magazine, Rockville, MD, Letter dated February 28, 2001
"A tribute: I salute you, David Messineo, for all the excellent service you have rendered to the literary community and the community at large. The process of reading, judging, and critiquing poems (especially that many poems) can be exhausting and often thankless. I know, having served as an editor at various mags and as a contest judge from time to time. I can only hope that you will be properly laureled for your efforts AND for your own writing, which no doubt had to be set aside during the reading and production period. Thanks, for everything!"
9. John Graham-Pole, Poet, Gainesville, FL, Letter dated March 7, 2001
"Thank you for your most helpful critiques. I cheerfully acknowledge that you are unusual in your diligence and succinct responses to each poem. I cannot imagine making individual judgments (detailed written critiques) on 400+ poems. My hat is off to you."
10. Governor James McGreevey, State of New Jersey, Office of the Governor, Trenton, NJ, Letter dated January 13, 2003
"Dear Mr. Messineo: Thank you for sending me a copy of your book Restoration ... It is only through the continued concern and commitment of individuals such as yourself that we may hope to provide a better quality of life to all the residents of New Jersey."
11. Diana E. Sheets, Mystic, CT, Letter dated October 30, 2003
"I found the comments by Marilyn Hartl and Paul Nash to be extremely helpful for all of the stories submitted."
12. Daniel Green, Sarasota, FL, on Issue 31, Fall 2003 "America at War," Letter dated December 29, 2003
"Bravo! A massive editorial success. Best ever."
13. Vicki Moss, Yonkers, NY, on the debut reading of Issue 40, "Retro," at Newark Public Library, in an email dated January 15, 2007
"That was a most wonderful poetry event Saturday! Thanks for inviting me! You do so much for poets and poetry here in this area, keeping a community together, introducing new poets all the time, and, of course, performing your own work. Some of the people who read the other day who I never heard before were amazing to me, and it thrilled me to hear again people whose work I've come to treasure. Thanks so much, David, for serving the role you do."
14. Philip T. Carter, Sanibel, FL, Letter dated March 3, 2007
"There's not another lit mag like Sensations (Magazine). You're very exceptional ... Many listed mags depend mainly on contests with fees, with limited general submissions, or give subscribers first priority in reading ... I'm guessing that very soon more mags will be imposing fees, if for no other reason than to deter the huge numbers of writers simultaneously submitting junk. One editor of a leading mag I know said it's getting 200 submissions a week. They're overwhelmed, it's going to get worse, and something's got to give. Your model makes sense, and I'm betting we'll see others following your lead soon."
15. Leeander Scott, New York, NY, on the 30th anniversary of David Messineo's start as a literary magazine poetry editor, letter dated October 2008
"Congratulations on your many devoted years of tireless editing. It really is a remarkable achievement. I am intimidated as to how quickly the years have flown by."
16. From the Jefferson Award for Public Service nomination, printed program, June 9, 2009
"As an unpaid volunteer, David is exploring 600 years of American history during 2008, 2009, and 2010, from a multicultural standpoint, and through footnoted research is creating new insights into American history. For the past 23 years, across 46 magazine issues, he had edited and published works by hundreds of poets and fiction writers, published close to 100 research articles, and initiated and executed more than 600 cultural events, all without one dollar in Federal, state or local government grant funding, university affiliation, salary, or stipend...He is one of fewer than 20 literary publishers to sustain publication for 20+ years and a tireless champion for self-education, literature, and the literary arts in our state. He deserves more recognition for his efforts than he has received."
17. John J. Trause, Wood-Ridge, NJ, April 15, 2012
"What can I say? You really outdid yourselves earlier today with the recreation of the Titanic experience without the actual catastrophe. The dinner was superb, and I got more than a taste of what the best of fine dining was in 1912. For this I am most grateful. Congratulations again on 25 years of Sensations Magazine and on your going out with a bang - without the iceberg."
18. YouTube comment, from leontyne2, 2013
Sensations Magazine always welcomes positive feedback. We especially welcome favorable comments on individual poems and stories, which we like to forward to the writers of the works.
What moved you? What did you learn from our pages or events that you didn't know before?
If you have any kind words to share about our publication, or about our events, or about individual poems you enjoyed in the most recent of our publications, please send comments to: David Messineo, P.O. Box 132, Lafayette, NJ 07848. The best comments may be selected for future publication here.