Little magazines have often showcased the best new writing in America. Historically, these idiosyncratic, small-circulation outlets have served the dual functions of representing the avant-garde of literary expression while also helping many emerging writers become established authors. Although changing technology and the increasingly harsh financial realities of publishing over the past three decades would seem to have pushed little magazines to the brink of extinction, their story is far more complicated.
In this collection, Ian Morris and Joanne Diaz gather the reflections of twenty-three prominent editors whose little magazines have flourished over the past thirty-five years, including such figures as Betsy Sussler of BOMB, Don Share of Poetry, and Dave Eggers of McSweeney’s. Highlighting the creativity and innovation driving this diverse and still vital medium, contributors offer insights into how their publications sometimes succeeded, sometimes reluctantly folded, but mostly how the evolved and persevered. Other topics discussed include the role of little magazines in promoting the work and concerns of minority and women writers, the place of universities in supporting and shaping little magazines, and the online and offline future of these publications.
“Little magazines are crucial to the literary health of our country. Today we are inundated with a bottom-line publishing ideal. In the face of conglomerate money culture, we need our littles more than ever. This book is essential.”
—Bill Henderson, founder and editor of Pushcart Press
“This collection reassures us that the Internet not only affords new modes of reading and writing but also leaves plenty of room for print experiments. Future readers will look back to The Little Magazine in Contemporary America as a key document on the American literary periodicals of our age.”
—Mark Morrisson, Pennsylvania State University
“This fascinating anthology brings to life the literary, cultural and political landscapes intrinsic to avant-garde publications and deepens our understanding of their immense significance.”
—Karen Gisonny, New York Public Library
Published by University of Chicago Press
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