School is back in session for most and so too then are university sponsored literary magazines. Which now we are. Luna Park will be relaunching at its new home at the York College of Pennsylvania campus. Keep checking back.
From the “lack of color” in submission pools, how editors and publishers solicit work from underrepresented communities, women writers, exclusionary practices, the indie lit community, MFA programs, and the ways in which the arts are undervalued in general, associate editor of PANK Roxane Gay‘s post “Awkward Stuff: Race, Women, Writers, Editors” sparked an engaging, informative, and lively discussion. Gay writes, “I am consistently frustrated, frightened, and freaked out by the lack of people of color in the publishing world in 2009(!), and particularly in independent publishing…How are we all okay with this state of affairs?”
In a follow-up post, Gay provides damali ayo’s brialliant manifesto to end racism: “I Can Fix It”—which, judging from the incendiary nature of some of the comments to Gay’s earlier post, should be an essential read.
And, as usual, more lit mag news:
Oscar Villalon will join McSweeney’s as publisher of the literary journal. (I personally hope current publisher Eli Horowitz will continue being involved with the press, as his work there has been wonderful to say the least.)
Oxford American publishes their first Southern Literature issue. I know what you are saying: “Isn’t the magazine always dedicated to Southern lit? Well, no. According to publisher Warwick Sabin, this is their first issue “dedicated solely to Southern Literature.” Inside, founding editor Marc Smirnoff writes about “The Irrelevancy of Southern Literature” and 134 writers & critics are polled for the best Southern novels of all time.
Since 2008, more than half the world’s population has been residing in cities for the first time in history. In each issue, Jewish magazine Habitus: A Diaspora Journal explores a specific city (Budapest, Sarajevo, Buenos Aires), and so enriching our understanding of our increasingly urbanized environment. Their latest issue focuses on New Orleans, with writing on the creole city from Andrei Codrescu, Rodger Kamenetz, and more.
Stumbled across this new Minneapolis-based literary magazine: Paper Darts. Their website is scheduled for a “grand unveiling” sometime today.
In case you need help sorting through all the online literary magazines, Dark Sky continues to offer a round-up Recommended Reading from Online Magazines. This week’s post mentions work from Thieves Jargon, anderbo, Cadillac Cicatrix & etc.
A disturbing article at The Rumpus about corpses, coffins, and the hidden politics of literature by Andrzej Stasiuk: “Poetics and Slaughter.” (On a much, much lighter note, Rumpus founding editor Stephen Elliott has finally posted his “Why I Write” essay online for free.)
New online international lit journal based in the US and France, Cerise Press, has released their inaugural issue, with—among much else—poetry by Natasha Saje, Ray Gonzalez, and Laura Kasischke. The journal hopes to, “build cross-cultural bridges by featuring artists and writers in English and translations, with an emphasis on French and Francophone works.”
When Chimamanda Adichie or Zadie Smith win awards, a conversation stirs around the expansive talents of post-colonial African (and south Asian) writers—specifically, specifically writers whose countries [of origin] won independence in the 1960s. Part of that is exotification, but the same conversations don’t seem to take place when an American of African descent wins an award. There’s no longer an exotic cool for African-American writers. Fashion models and white rappers are the new black literati.
Every Tuesday, Travis Kurowski presents Luna Digest, a selection of news from the world of literary magazines. Travis is the editor of Luna Park, a magazine founded on the idea that journals are as deserving of critical attention as other artistic works.