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Still seizing the moment


Hadassah Broscova faces the fight of her life in keeping her magazine alive

by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE - Her home is the perfect setting for Hadassah Broscova to read her magazine Carpe Articulum Literary Magazine. After a cosmopolitan life, she settled in Lake Oswego nine years ago.

There is unique. Then there is very unique. Then there is Hadassah Broscova.

Upon meeting her, the adjectives flow thick and fast. There is the pale, pale complexion; the red, red lips; the Theda Bara eyes. She wears gold jewelry, including a golden stud in her nose. Her clothing is scarves and silks. She would cut a figure of romance and adventure in the most sophisticated cities in Europe. Or in Lady Di’s Tea Room in Lake Oswego.

Broscova’s personality more than lives up to her appearance. She says she is 50 percent British, 50 percent Russian, 100 percent Jewish, and she was born in the U.S.

She spent many of her formative years in an area of Texas where anti-Jewish prejudice had never gone away. She laughs when she talks of how she ended up in Lake Oswego, but she says she will probably live in Oregon for the rest of her life.

Broscova is brilliant, exotic, courageous, idealistic, remarkably scrupulous in her journalism, and she has been known to walk around downtown Lake Oswego with a baby sloth cradled in her arms. How often do you meet a sloth lover?

“I’m unusual,” she admits.

At the same time, Broscova is very down home. At a recent outing at a Lake View Village restaurant, she brought along her young son, Ronen, (his full name is Ronen Soren-Aurelius Bentley-Brighton Broscova-Cederlind) a beautiful child who was in a very boisterous mood. He even knocked over two rather expensive drinks onto his mommy and got her all wet. To discipline the little boy for his unseemly behavior, she picked him up, held him up to her face and smothered him in hugs and kisses.

As the founder, editor and publisher of the Carpe Articulum Literary Review, Broscova has crafted a publication that is a reflection of her life, tastes, causes, beliefs and mostly her love of literature and journalism.

“It’s a visual reflection of my and other great writers’ souls,” Broscova said. “I set the parameters and let them do what they want.”

Carpe Articulum means “seize the moment,” and that is the philosophy of Broscova’s life.

“We have to seize the moment,” she said. “In our view once a moment is gone, it’s gone. It’s all we’re promised, isn’t it?”

Broscova has done a good job of seizing the moments in her life. As a kid she was the class clown. She also got some unintentional laughs by reading so intently as she walked along that she would fall off the end of the sidewalk. She grew up in England, where she developed her velvety English accent.

“I was always eccentric,” Broscova said.

She was even eccentric when it came to choosing her college, Houston Baptist University, a school that was as different from her background as possible. But HBU had an outstanding writing program, something Broscova wanted more than anything, and the chairman of the literature department was James Ulmer, who she calls “one of the top 10 writers in the USA.”

Ulmer became her friend, mentor, employer, and, strangely enough, eventually her employee.

“He was responsible for me developing my voice,” Broscova said.

Of course, HBU had a literary magazine, and of course, Broscova became editor-in-chief. But she was somewhat in the mold of being a loose cannon or a square peg in a round hole or a rebel without a cause, and trouble was inevitable. It came about when the school administration refused to allow her to print an article that dealt with some sexual material.

“So I printed my own magazine,” Broscova said. “I have an ethical stance against censorship. I need to say what I damn well please. If I don’t, it claws at me. If I had to step on some toes, that was all right. It was the way journalism ought to be.”

She triumphed because “The sales of my magazine outpaced them four or five to one. I thought I must be quite good at this.”

That was actually the beginning of Carpe Articulum Literary Review, and it was the little magazine that grew. Nine years ago, soon after Broscova moved to Lake Oswego, the publication began reaching an international audience.

The first thing you notice about Carpe Articulum is simply that it is beautiful. It takes a backseat in attractiveness to no other magazine, with its superb layout and photography.

But it is the words that Broscova loves the most, and she has been able to attract an outstanding number of writers to her staff, such as former New York Times reporter Ted Hoffman, “a fantastic journalist.”

One of the most notable things about Carpe Articulum is its celebrity interviews, like Jeff Goldblum and Lord Charles Spencer. What makes this even more unusual is that Broscova does not go looking for celebrities, they go looking for her. In fact, she has turned down some very big names.

“They weren’t our kind of people,” she noted.

The standard of journalistic ethics at Carpe Articulum is the highest. Even though she is a born crusader, Broscova has turned away from pursuing some juicy, hot stories because her investigation showed that the first information about the story was way, way off.

“We’ve never had to make a retraction,” Broscova said. “I’m very proud of that.”

Yet now Broscova faces a crisis with Carpe Articulum. She is going to great effort and expense to establish a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation because of the enormous hit her publication suffered in 2011 when Barnes & Noble filed for bankruptcy protection. Barnes & Noble had handled most of her publication’s distribution.

“When they went under, it caused a catastrophic disruption in our ability to reach our North American readers,” Broscova said. “For the next year and a half, I and a couple of board members personally put money into Carpe to keep it from the abysmal fate that had happened to so many famous journals during this trying time in publishing. We honestly didn’t fully grasp the danger we were in until literary journals like Tri-Quarterly went under.”

Of this catastrophe, Broscova said, “I blame myself. I had no idea Barnes & Noble was in trouble. They had a serious business flaw and I didn’t see it.”

To survive, Broscova needs the help of her readers.

She said, “We realized that the only way to go forward would be to create a pathway for our devoted readers to likewise aid in its recovery and have it be tax exempt as well. It was very humbling to discover that we couldn’t do it alone anymore. We need other lovers of the arts to help. They need to step forward.”

This is a daunting task, and Broscova does not give off any phony bravado that guarantees success. She admits that keeping the Carpe Articulum Literary Review alive will be very difficult. Along with everything else, Broscova suffers from multiple sclerosis.

But she has only one solution: Fight.

“It has been such a breakthrough, cross-genre magazine,” Broscova said, “that to allow it to die silently would mean there wouldn’t be a replacement journal out there anywhere.

“I believe in fighting. Fighting all the way.”

Readers can donate to Broscova’s foundation by going to Paypal and sending contributions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or they can donate via the web site by clicking on the donate button.