Dear Fictionauters: If you would, please send me notice of your publications, editings, designings, and whatnot in the lit mag world. Would love to include many more of you in future Digest posts. This also goes for great things you have read by other people and the like. Recommendations are most welcome.
Summer is a typically slow time for lit mags (not least because many of them are run from universities or edited by writer/teachers)—but here are some things you might not want to miss.
Hobart has put up their June online issue on the theme of beginnings, which includes a great roundtable discussion with these 12 authors of first books on writing and publishing: Kyle Beachy, Jedediah Berry, Andrew Ervin, Roxane Gay, Rachel B. Glaser, Julia Holmes, Caitlin Horrocks, Holly Goddard Jones, Tom McAllister, Laura van den Berg, Kevin Wilson, and Mike Young. Here’s an interesting bit from Kyle Beachy on self-promotion:
There’s definitely an egotism to the promotional process that has made me uncomfortable at times. I suppose it’s not really all that different from the whatever’s required to believe, hey these words I’ve written are worth your time — so sit down with my book and give me your undivided attention. But the avenues of promotion today are so wide and varied, with blogs and tweetfests and the universe of Facebook, that the task of self-promotion has achieved a new dimension, and it’s constant. I admire the way that Stephen Elliot handled his tour, and I enjoyed his reading here in Chicago, but I frankly can’t imagine the project of travelling the country and looking into all of these people’s eyes and basically asking them to buy my book. Standing in living rooms and kitchens…. My favorite Faulkner bit starts with, “Read if you like or don’t read if you like.”
The new issue of Threepenny Review is to say the least fantastic, with a new story from Sam Ruddick, Philip Gourevitch on the writing of James Salter, poetry from Henri Cole and Dean Young, and the usual bit from Javier Marias. Here’s just the beginning of editor Wendy Lesser’s review of the republished 1955 Isaac Asimov novel The End of Eternity:
The world we inhabit is one in which weekly newsmagazines, printed on paper in columns of type, are considered primitive and profoundly obsolescent; in which an entire bookshelf of bound volumes can be stored in a gadget the size of a fingertip; in which a mechanical device that is only about four inches long and a fraction of an inch thick can record whatever we like, play it back to us through a tiny earpiece, and rest comfortably in a pocket when not in use; in which space flight has been invented but is rarely used by humans, who have lost interest in it after the initial decades of excitement; in which hand-held or easily portable computers are a commonplace item; in which literature can hardly be distinguished from film in the public mind; and in which some members of society long fruitlessly for a past era when all such developments were unknown and almost inconceivable.
You also shouldn’t miss this podcast from the editors of absolutely sensational Paper Radio (really—have you seen their website? Have you listened to their first story, “The Drowning Man”?) about literary podcasts like theirs.
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.