Challenge

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Challenge Issue 3, Winter 1950, cover by Ralph Rayburn Phillips
Challenge Issue 3, Winter 1950, cover by Ralph Rayburn Phillips

Challenge was a small press poetry periodical edited by Lilith Lorraine (Mary M. Wright) and published by Avalon Arts Academy. Associate Editors were Stanton A. Coblentz (Wings) and Evelyn Thorne (Epos: A Quarterly of Poetry).

Lilith Lorraine began publishing in the 1940s with The Raven and Different, a periodical mainly devoted to fantastic fiction and poetry, including science fiction. She began to also publish Challenge in the 1950s in Rogers, Arkansas, U.S.A. The subtitle for the publication was "The Poetry of the Atomic Age", and the focus was entirely on science fiction and weird fantasy poetry. Challenge is often credited as the first poetry periodical devoted to a specific genre, though there were significant precursors.

Challenge ran for only four issues (Summer 1950, Fall 1950, Winter 1950, and Spring 1951). It was then absorbed into Lorraine's existing publication Different, and she went on to also publish Flame.

Poets included Earle Franklin Baker, R. J. Banks (Utopian), Lin Carter, Stanton A. Coblentz, Tom Covington (Bizarre), Michael De Angelis (Gargoyle), Isabelle E. Dinwiddle, Alan Donovan, Dariell Dunay, Vera L. Eckert, W. Paul Ganley (as Toby Duane) (Fan-Fare), Clive Jackson, John W. Jakes, Duverne Konrick, Vera Bishop Konrick, Orma McCormick (Starlanes), Edith Ogutsch, Anton Reeds, Lillian Roberts, Kenneth F. Slater (Vector), Clark Ashton Smith, Emili A. Thompson, Evelyn Thorne, Michael Wolf.

Clark Ashton Smith was featured in three issues. "The City of the Titans" appeared in the Fall 1950 issue, "Shadow of Nightmare" appeared in the Winter 1950 issue, and "Averoigne" appeared in the Spring 1951 issue.

Contributing artists included Ralph Rayburn Phillips, who provided cover art and illustrations.

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