I want to devote this entire post to potentially the most exciting thing to happen in lit mag reading since Bill Henderson launched The Pushcart Prize in 1976: The new Literary Magazine Club over at HTMLGIANT—hosted and created by Roxane Gay.
The LMC is just what it sounds like: a book club where the subject will be lit mags instead of novels and the like. Roxane was inspired by the great success of The Rumpus Book Club, which has recently read Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Lan Samantha Chang’s All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. They also host great book club interviews with the writers of the books they are discussing (click the previous two links for examples). And it all happens online, so no one has to sit uncomfortably in a neighbor’s living room, and yet community is still born and reading is made—for a moment—public.
The LMC will discuss one magazine a month and host an interview with the editor of the magazine. The first magazine up is New York Tyrant 8, and discussion has already begun. Next up are future issues of The Collagist (free online) and Ploughshares (LMC members receive a discount).
Personally, there is no question I would be interested in such a thing, as Luna Park was begun for much the same reasons as LMC—because lit mags, like books, movies, and the like, are production points of great writing and art. It would seem to me that all readers and those interested in the direction of writing should consider getting on board.
For more information about LMC (“where to get your leather jacket and tattoo, etc,”) get in touch with Roxane. There is also a Google Group, if you want more info right away, or to keep up with things.
The book club seems a perfect fit for lit mags, as the magazines are already communities of reading/writing. Here is Novalis on this idea:
Journals are already books written with others. The art of writing with others is a strange symptom which foreshadows a great progress of literature. One day we will perhaps write, think, act collectively.
Here is Roxane:
I felt like, in reading the issue [New York Tyrant 8], I was having a conversation with the writers and with all the other people reading the magazine from the middle of a cornfield in rural Illinois. Over the next days and weeks, some of that conversation will take place here, through a series of guest posts about individual pieces in the issue or sentences from a poem, or the issue as a whole. We hope you will join in that conversation. There’s room for everyone.
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.