Possibly the most original (and somewhat strange) news to come from the lit mag world in a while: the museum guards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art began a literary magazine, Sw!pe. From NPR’s piece on the magazine: “On Sw!pe‘s back cover is a copy of a letter written to The New York Times in 1915, talking about the “unnecessary cruelty” of making museum guards stand for hours during the day.”
Creative Nonfiction has a new look, is quarterly, but most importantly their new issue hosts an essay by outgoing TriQuarterly editor Ian Morris on the future of the literary magazine. As one might expect, Morris has good and bad things to say about the industry in its current state. The essay isn’t available online, but here’s a bit from the ending:
It may be that the print/online model is simply the technology bridge between the book and some as of yet unknown medium, in the same way that hybrid cars will be made obsolete by cars propelled by a reliable, affordable power source that has yet to be perfected. But I suspect that the future, when it does arrive, will look unstartlingly familiar, more “Flintstones” than “Jetsons,” in that we are more likely to be bickering with our can openers than owning robot maids. Ultimately, the little magazine continues to outlive its obituary not because of the medium or the editor, but because of the most confounding mechanism in any model of literary production, the writer, its perpetual engine of invention.
Dying to read American Short Fiction‘s new issue: Matt Bell, Marie-Helene Bertino (from One Story), Jamey Hecht, Jeff Parker, Susan Steinberg, Laura van den Berg, and Mike Young. Here’s what ASF production manager had to say about Bertino’s story from the issue: “I love it so much I want to have it tattooed all over my body.”
I hope the New Yorker Book Bench keeps this up: “Little Review: A weekly look at the world of little magazines.” The first post looks at new issues from The Believer, Granta, and The American Scholar—not so “little” certainly, but a good start. Maybe next week will be Open City, Birkensnake, and Gulf Coast?
The Guardian is also shouting the praises of little magazines, specifically in this nice homage by Pankaj Mishra on the American literary mag:
And on every visit to St Mark’s Bookshop in New York I am still drawn moth-like to the shelves where the literary and intellectual quarterlies – Raritan, Agni, VQR, the American Scholar, Tin House, Salmagundi, and the more infrequent but always stimulating n+1 – stand splendidly arrayed.
Finally, for Twitter fans: The Electric Literature/Colson Whitehead #Stuffmymusesays Twitter Contest. Think the title probably says enough.
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.