Lit Mag on the Runway

Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke writes for The New York Observer about a party for the new lit mag The American Reader, which has strong ties in the fashion world (and which—without having seen an issue—seems to resemble The Paris Review à la book reviews):

“We are young, and when you are young, you have less inhibitions, and you just power through and don’t think about how it doesn’t make sense,” said the magazine’s 32-year-old creative consultant, Shala Monroque, a regular on the international art and fashion circuits who has been romantically linked with the art superdealer Larry Gagosian.

At their party, Ms. Maduka attributed the stylishness of the crowd to Ms. Monroque. Ms. Monroque attributed it to Ms. Maduka’s editorial vision.

“It was immediate, automatic; I was really inspired by what Max was saying about the magazine,” Ms. Monroque said. “I’m often really bored at fashion parties, and it’s nice to get to have intelligent conversations.”

Read the entire piece at The New York Observer.

Raconteurs & Malcontents: Dwight Garner on Oxford American’s History and Future

After receiving the new issue of Oxford American under a new editor, The New York Times’ Dwight Garner reminisces about picking up the magazines first issue in Oxford, Mississippi:

The Oxford American’s first issue, published early in 1992, announced its ambitions. I happened to be traveling in Mississippi that spring. I remember discovering this issue, drawn by its fire-engine-red cover, on the newsstand at Square Books, Oxford’s excellent indie bookstore.

I scanned the table of contents and allowed my road-weary eyes to widen. Here were stories and essays by a rogue’s gallery of the South’s best writers and malcontents: Richard Ford, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, Florence King, Roy Blount Jr.

Blended in were provocations from John Updike, who contributed a poem about a bowel movement; William F. Buckley Jr.; Charles Bukowski; and Bill McKibben, as well as an interview with Pauline Kael. This was The New Yorker with a side of hot sauce, a tub of Duke’s mayonnaise and a bib. This was The New Yorker in muddy boots rather than penny loafers.

I walked to the cash register and asked, “Who puts this out?” The lanky kid behind the counter stuck out a hand and replied, “That would be me.”

Read entire thing at The New York Times.

The Lit Mag Galley

Little Star—the only little magazine I know that sends a printed galley out for review. Bless you, Ann.

The Truth About TriQuarterly?

Gina Frangello’s recent “Lit-Link Round-up” post at The Rumpus is probably the most interesting—and detailed—thing written yet about the 2010 TriQuarterly transition from national print to student-run online publication:

I briefly served as the faculty editor for TriQuarterly Online when the magazine was first transitioning from print.  Christ, that was a hot mess.  Susan Hahn and Ian Morris had been fired.  Everyone from Poets & Writers to the New Yorker was enraged that such a seminal magazine was being altered in such a radical way–not just taken out of print, but turned over, effectively, to MFA students who would run the magazine through classes, which Susan Harris, from the astoundingly good Words Without Borders, and I had been hired to teach prior to actually being told that the “new magazine” we’d be training the students to edit was freaking TriQuarterly.  I thought about leaving when I found out, but I wanted to help the TQlegacy survive–there were cool things like an online archiving project…there was history I cared about…it felt more relevant to try to do something positive than to stand outside and hurl stones.  The thing was, TQ was a financial drain, and Northwestern didn’t feel able to fund it anymore.  Subscriptions were apparently way down and the thing had been bleeding money for a long time.  But no one would at the university include that bald fact in their talking points…

Read the entire thing.

Is The Paris Review Like Rock ‘n’ Roll?—Lorin Stein Talks with Brad Listi for Other People Podcast

The Paris Review editor Lorin Stein talks with Brad Listi for his podcast The Other People. Check it out.

I just love the idea of putting something on the shelf and knowing that it’s going to stay there. That it will outlast you.

All Women, All Pages

The young Brooklyn lit mag Armchair/Shotgun recently released an unintentional all-female issue (mentioned at The Millions and The Atlantic):

Though the all-female-writers issue was a complete surprise to us, we’re pretty delighted about it and thought we should tell you a little bit about how it came about.

Armchair/Shotgun has an anonymous submissions process. When a piece of work arrives in our inbox, we strip the author’s name and biography off of it and assign it a number. This number identifies the story or poem throughout the editorial process–from assembling the packet, to assigning volunteer readers to help identify outstanding pieces, to the final editors’ meeting at which we choose the works that will make up the issue. We don’t know who wrote a piece until after the final vote, when we go back to our database and match up numbers and names.

For our first two issues, this process resulted in issues that were made up roughly 50/50 of men and women. When we de-anonymized the pieces we’d accepted for Issue 3, we saw that it had resulted in a set of stories and poems that were all by women. Fifteen pieces by eleven women.

Why is this noteworthy?… [Click to read the rest at the A/S website.]

New Cupboards

The Economist Says Lit Mags Should Be Avoided

Image from 2010 Mark Manalaysay print campaign for The Economist.

But, unless you’re Harold Bloom or something, don’t bring a literary magazine—that would be stupid. Here’s the beginning paragraph from a recent The Economist blog post about the launch of The American Reader comparing lit mags to, well, shit you don’t want to be putting your hands on:

Short literary fiction and critical essays are the publishing world’s equivalent of weapons-grade plutonium. Dense, highly refined, and for all but a professional few, something best avoided. The world’s demand for the stuff is met by a handful of respectable quarterlies, such as the Paris Review and Granta, and countless “little magazines” that publish experimental fiction and serve more as a proving ground for authors than something people actually read. READ MORE >

Subscription = ART

In the mail from Tod Lippy of Esopus—Subscribe. Get art.

Dear Friend of Esopus:

I have incredibly exciting news to share.

In 1992, not long after I moved to New York City, I went to see artist Robert Gober’s site-specific installation at the Dia Art Foundation. I was already a huge fan of Gober’s work, but I wasn’t prepared for how deeply this haunting, intense exhibition would strike me on a personal level. It offered resounding proof of the transformative powers of the very best contemporary art, and it’s no understatement to say that Gober’s exhibition was a major factor in my decision to pursue a career in the arts, which ultimately led to the founding of Esopus.

With all of this in mind, I am thrilled to announce that Robert Gober has just created an extraordinary artwork exclusively for Esopus subscribers. This limited edition will be sent as a complimentary gift to all current subscribers of the magazine next month. (It takes the place of the upcoming fall issue, Esopus 19, whose publication has been postponed until spring 2013 to allow for a redesign of the magazine, as well as the creation of a brand-new Esopus website, which launches in November.)

Part of the impact of Gober’s work comes from its often surprising—and productively disorienting—use and juxtaposition of materials, and for that reason we have decided not to offer a description or image of the piece. A few basic facts: It will arrive in a cardboard mailer very similar to that used to deliver copies of the magazines to subscribers, and the edition size will be determined by the number of subscribers we have in our records the day production on the edition begins. PLEASE NOTE: The work is not for sale, and it will be available only to current subscribers.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a magnificent new work by one of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the world, and I encourage those of you whose subscriptions have lapsed and haven’t renewed—as well as those who haven’t yet subscribed to the magazine—to do so at your earliest convenience.

Tod Lippy

A Triple Canopy Publication in Four Acts—Act One

Art & Language, Hostage: An Incident and a People’s Flag IV, 1988.


Corrected Slogans (A Publication in Four Acts)
Act 1: Poems for America
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, September 15, 2–6 p.m.
$5 for access to all sessions, free for members

On September 15, Triple Canopy will host the first half of Poems for America, a pair of symposia on poetics and conceptual art. Participants for this first symposium include Michael CorrisAaron Kunin,Margaret Lee, K. Silem MohammadKen OkiishiKatie RaissianGretchen Wagner, and Matvei Yankelevich.