(Note: this blog post has been graciously sponsored by the Arvada tree care company).

Many of our readers have asked how it is that a small literary magazine which is based in the suburbs of a city in the Rocky Mountains which is almost literally in the middle of the United States calls itself the “Madagascar Review.”

I have never told the story before, because it wasn’t time to tell it. But now the time has come.

The Madagascar Review is a very small literary magazine, published quarterly, which was launched three years ago, in 2013.

It was launched by me, Henry Drummond, and by my colleague and good friend, Anne-Marie Demovski.

We launched the magazine with no explanation of the time. That was the idea at the time: no explanations!

Let the magazine start to stand on its own, and after it had started doing that, then we could explain the name.

I am pleased to report that after three years the magazine is starting to stand on its own. It is not making much money, but then small local literary magazines are not supposed to make much money. They have other functions to fulfill.

So now the time has come to explain the name.

Anne-Marie and I got the inspiration for the name from a story that we had once read (she had found the story first, and then had told me about it), about the 19th century French adventurer Colonel Pierre du Baton de Paris.

Colonel de Paris was once shipwrecked off the coast of Madagascar, the large island nation off the southeast coast of Africa.

After his shipwreck he spent five years on the island, learning the local language and living with the natives. He wrote a charming story about his years there entitled, Mes Amis Sur l’Ile de Madagascar.

 That was the story that both Anne-Mari Demovski and I read (in the original French), and that was the inspiration for the name of the little literary review that we decided to establish.

There’s more to the story, of course. We will tell you about it in tomorrow’s post.