This past Sunday I was a part of a literary magazine extravaganza at Greenlight Bookstore, a new bookstore in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. The bookstore hosted readings by Electric Literature, A Public Space, BOMB, and Armchair/Shotgun, who I was there reading for. APS editor Brigid Hughes read a dark new story by Salvatore Scibona from issue 10. Joshua Furst read from a work-in-progress about the similarities between college and role playing games. (You can listen a podcast of Furst reading “Black Ice,” his eerie Carveresque story from the latest BOMB literary supplement.) And Teddy Wayne read a hilarious scene about economics, lust, and marijuana from his novel Kapitoil, a different section of which is excerpted on the Electric Literature blog. Greenlight also has a great and numerous array of new mags right by the door. (I picked up the newest issues of Zoetrope & Threepenny.)
At Luna Park, Mary Miller offers up an “Open Letter to Open City,” a concerned message for one of her favorite magazines:
Open City is one of two literary magazines that I currently subscribe to, and it’s a magazine in which I’ve always dreamed of having my work appear. I have an Open City tote I carry around, feeling a little bit cooler than everyone else in Mississippi. But with each issue I receive, I feel a bit less so.
It was sad news indeed to hear of the death at the age of 73 of Ben Sonnenberg, founding editor of Grand Street—arguably the most important literary magazine of the 1980s and 90s. The first issue of Grand Street included work from Glenway Wescott, Ted Hughes, Alice Munro, James Salter, John Hollander, Northrop Frye, and W.S. Merwin. You can read some of Sonnenberg’s own poetry at London Review of Books and read a tribute to his work at The Paris Review.
Does anyone know anything about Shelf, the upcoming digital magazine that will feature small press, university press, and self-published books?
Is it true that bodies are bomb casings, engines
to surface rich men’s floors with granite,
heaven’s holding pens, and canvases for giddy
torturers who know the special shade
of each part’s cruor, and scythes we rock
until fields are baled in the beds of dusty trucks?
Is it true that we are marrow-filled
and pulse with blood, that our minds
are built to suffer, are tortured on the rack
of government, grief, regret and work
so that our hands may tingle, our pupils dilate
like racing trains rushing toward spectators
Finally, a beautiful new book from McSweeney’s about… McSweeney’s. The elephant-in-the-room of the indie publishing world offers a look at their origins, production, and overall history with The Art of McSweeney’s. (I noticed they have a few copies at Greenlight Bookstore.)
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.