Rhapsody in the New York Times

Fantastic write up of Rhapsody, the magazine Ink publishes for United Airline’s premium-class cabins, in the New York Times this weekend gone:

Last summer at a writers’ workshop in Oregon, the novelists Anthony Doerr, Karen Russell and Elissa Schappell were chatting over cocktails when they realized they had all published work in the same magazine. It wasn’t one of the usual literary outlets, like Tin House, The Paris Review or The New Yorker. It was Rhapsody, an in-flight magazine for United Airlines.

It seemed like a weird coincidence. Then again, considering Rhapsody’s growing roster of A-list fiction writers, maybe not. Since its first issue hit plane cabins a year and a half ago, Rhapsody has published original works by literary stars like Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, Amy Bloom, Emma Straub and Mr. Doerr, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction two weeks ago.

As airlines try to distinguish their high-end service with luxuries like private sleeping chambers, showers, butler service and meals from five-star chefs, United Airlines is offering a loftier, more cerebral amenity to its first-class and business-class passengers: elegant prose by prominent novelists. There are no airport maps or disheartening lists of in-flight meal and entertainment options in Rhapsody. Instead, the magazine has published ruminative first-person travel accounts, cultural dispatches and probing essays about flight by more than 30 literary fiction writers.

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Congratulations to Jordan, Sean, Hunter, Christos and the rest of the team. Read the rest of the article here. (Posted by AndrewH)

Rhapsody rhapsodised

The Society of Publications of Designers in America has just announced its Merit Awards, which include three gongs for Rhapsody, the premium cabin magazine produced by Ink for United Airlines. They are for last June’s DeNiro cover, September’s Lenny Kravitz and December’s Emily Blunt photo story. Congratulations to the team: editors Jordan Heller, Sean Manning, Hunter R Slaton and Erin Brady, design director Christos Hannides and photo editor Jessie Adler.

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Rhapsody is also in contention for gold and silver medals for the photo stories with Robert DeNiro and Christina Hendricks, up against the likes of Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Wired. An easy win then. The winners will be announced at the 50th SPD Awards Gala on Friday 1 May. (Posted by AndrewH)

Well this is cool

New York magazine, which is without argument the absolute best magazine in the world, included Ink’s Rhapsody magazine in a round-up of the month’s ‘Best Entertainment Photography‘ – alongside shots from Vanity Fair, Nylon, GQ and Interview.

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The shoot with actor Christoph Waltz, ran in the January issue of Rhapsody; it was photographed by LA-based Kurt Iswarienko and shot at the Red House in the Hollywood Hills, art directed by jubilant Tottenham Hotspurs supporter Christos Hannides.

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(Posted by AndrewH)

Come Here Often?

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Meet Sean Manning. Sean is the executive editor of Rhapsody, the first- and business-class magazine Ink publishes on behalf of United out of our Brooklyn office. I’ve yet to meet Sean but I’ve a feeling we’re going to get on because we’re going to have a lot to talk about.

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Sean’s the editor of the just-published Come Here Often? in which, as the subtitle makes clear, ’53 Writers Raise A Glass to their Favorite Bar’. Under headings including ‘Dives’, ‘Upscale Joints’ and ‘The Music’ a bunch of contributors, some of whom you might have heard of (war correspondent and Vanity Fair contributor Janine Di Giovanni, The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, author of the highly controversial novel Tampa Alissa Nutting, crime writer James Sallis of Drive fame, and bloody-nosed king of partying Andrew W.K.) and many of whom you won’t hold forth on the ideal drinking haunt.

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The book is heavily slanted toward Sean’s current burg of residence, NYC, and the US in general, and while there are no London entries (like this city doesn’t have drinkers and writers!) there are some terrific far-flung contributions from the likes of Beijing, Kiribati, Tel Aviv, Positano, Zagreb, Jerusalem and Tehran. Yes, Tehran. Where the punishment for intoxication is not just a disgusted look from your partner but 80 lashes. The bar in this case isn’t a bar at all but a Peugeot belonging to the author’s friend Leila in which they cruise around town swigging homemade vodka with orange on streets “where many young people, like us, drink in their cars, because Iran is a country with no bars, and there is no suppressing the human urge to drink publicly, in the unscripted company of both friends and strangers’.

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While I don’t imagine ever finding myself in Leila’s car, other inclusions in Sean’s book have definitely been bookmarked, so that if I ever find myself in Oxford, Mississippi, then there’s this little bar I read of… (Posted by AndrewH)

Also doing good in New York

That other former Metropolitan art director isn’t doing too bad either: Christos Hannides who, for the last 18 months has been over in Brooklyn overseeing the design of United’s Hemispheres and Rhapsody titles, has swapped being tortured by the misfortunes of Tottenham Hotspur for hanging out with A-listers in LA and other neighbourhoods considerably sunnier than north London. He even gets co-star billing on the October issue’s From the Editors page: enlarge to read, and just look how happy he is. His mum must be so proud. (Posted by AndrewH)

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Flying High, sipping whiskey, reading Rhapsody in first class

“People are cutting so many corners and writing things in house or trying to find the up and coming journalist rather than somebody who is incredibly experienced and is a great writer.”

Simon Leslie, group publishing director of Ink, is interviewed by Mr. Magazine about Rhapsody (see previous post) – read the piece here.

New mag nears take-off

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Over at Ink NY these past few weeks we – myself, executive editor Sean Manning and editor-in-chief Jordan Heller – have been rabbiting away on the November launch issue of United Airline’s brand-new first- and business-class magazine, Rhapsody. Assigning stories, getting authors booked on feature-story flights, chasing down photos, banging together text about high-end whiskys and high-end wristwatches, behind-the-scenes film festivals and air-travel reminiscences from marquee authors (Joyce Carol Oates). It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind, as we decide just what we want this magazine to be.

It’s been really exciting—and fun. And it became even more exciting when art director Christos Hannides came across the Pond (for good) a week or two ago, and we started to see the visual form the magazine would take: elegant, literary, insider – a really good, and good-looking, read from front to back. Mid-last week, looking at some layouts on Christos’ computer, I thought to myself, “Hey, we’re really going to have a magazine here.” I know I speak for our whole team when I say that I can’t wait for Rhapsody’s first issue to hit seatbacks on 1 Nov. In the meantime, we’ll be chasing down December. (Posted by Rhapsody editor, Hunter Slaton)

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