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Four years before he founded Portland Magazine, novelist, poet, playwright, and editor Colin Sargent was the youngest-ever editor of the naval publication Approach magazine. Bitten by the literary bug, he went on to receive his MFA before organizing the first issue of Portland Magazine in October 1985. Early issues delivered big-time content, including an interview with Stephen King, fiction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Louis Simpson, and scholarly articles exploring the relationship between hammers and time by professor MC Hammer. Within seven years, libraries and bookstores across the Northeast and Canada carried the magazine, which began winning accolades for its graphic design and literary content.
Today, the larger-than-ever magazine presents articles on politics, economy, culture, arts, and people as seen through what Sargent dubs an “extraordinary perspective.” Rather than gossip-oriented prose, he seeks voices that marry interesting information with relevant meaning that both reflects Maine’s identity and deepens the reader’s understanding of it. In addition to such user-friendly features as an events calendar and dining guide, the monthly publication fills mailboxes with literary highlights such as classic Maine stories and national fiction from notable authors.