Luna Park contributing writer Nick Ripatrazone has written a great essay on the use of literary magazines in the classroom:
I teach public high-school English full-time. My schedule includes advanced and introductory creative writing courses, as well as a course called Advanced Placement Literature and Composition. I use contemporary literary magazines in all of my courses as often as possible, and—at least based on my perception of student performance and the feedback from alumni—to a fair amount of pedagogical success. Sure, it’s important for students to read Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Flannery O’Connor’s “Parker’s Back,” but it’s also important for them to know that both writers had published work in The Kenyon Review, among other literary magazines. The Pynchons and O’Connors of the present are doing the same—and it would be a short-sighted injustice to avoid the good work accumulating in these “little magazines” and instead pining for and discussing in classrooms the latest novel release.
On that note, CLMP’s Literary Magazine Adoption Program for Creative Writing Students is now live. Go sign up.
One of the more interesting literary magazine discussions to come about in recent months has happened via email, twitter feeds, and blogs about Andrew Whitacre’s post titled “The End of the Small Print Journal. Please.” on the identity theory editors’ blog. Among other things, Whitacre argues for greater cognizance among small literary magazines regarding the potential of electronic publishing. In other words, no more websites “created around 1999 when editors thought ‘Maybe we should have a website?’, then made one, and still oddly maintain them within their ten-year-old frames.” Fair enough.
Justin Taylor experiments with anonymous reviewing in the recent issue of The Believer.
The newest issue of Lapham’s Quarterly focuses on religion, which editor Lewis Lapham finds in the most unlikely—and most perfect—of places:
A religion still hidden, like the yeast in the three measures of meal, in the secular disguise of environmentalism. The foundational metaphysics already have been incorporated into rituals of devout observance. The worshipful recyclings of eggshells and orange rinds celebrate the resurrection of the disembodied spirit; the eating of free-range chickens and organic heirloom tomatoes signifies the partaking in a feast of communion. Like the Councils of Nicaea and Trent, international conferences addressed to the problem of climate change seek to certify the existence of the Holy Ghost. The miracle is the rabbit, not the pulling of the rabbit out of a hat.
Electric Literature editor Andy Hunter looks back on “Lessons from the Rick Moody Twitter Project” for the website Publishing Perspectives. Moody himself adds to the conversation recently for NPR, explaining that it is a part of the writer’s job to explore the possibilities of fitting content to form, whether that form is a 140-character twitter feed or a haiku.
This week is Panorama week on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, so if you didn’t fork out the $5 or $16 bucks for the issue, you can now read some of the content free on the website all week. (Just in time, too: We finally got our own Panorama late last week and will be doing a week-long section-by-section look at the issue beginning on Monday, 1/11 at the Luna Park site.)
“Friends & Neighbors: The Asian American Literary Review.”
Poetry Magazine philanthropist-maximus Ruth Lily, who donated $175 million to the magazine, has died.
Finally, Five Dials is offering up their upcoming special issue on David Foster Wallace for free, just send them an email:
As we like to overload our friends with gifts for New Year’s, you will also be receiving an email in the next few days to let you know where you can download our special issue on David Foster Wallace, featuring writing by Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen, Zadie Smith and others. Don’t worry, you won’t have to sign in, or give us your mobile number, or type in a code word. If you know any David Foster Wallace fans who would like to receive a link to the issue please tell them to subscribe to the magazine. It’s free. Get in touch using this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.