Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Literary magazines--who reads 'em?

Apart from assuming that the folks at Tin House and Poetry aren't terribly pleased with me or at least my work, I'm rather intrigued by the idea of literary journals.

Here's a lovely list of "The Top 50"

from "Every Writer's Resource" which totally sounds legit, right?

Anyway, it's not a bad list of the big, bad boys in literary magazineing.


Who reads that stuff? I mean, a lot of folks read The New Yorker or The Atlantic Monthly but do they read the poems? The short stories?

How many of the 80,000 people with a subscription to Poetry AREN'T poets? I tried to read and review it cover to cover for a few months but it was terribly tedious.

Which probably says more about me than the magazine but as a critic I shouldn't admit that, right?

Do you read literary mags? I do--at least the four that are on the links bar.

But what's the purpose? There's a real question to be asked about what the presentation of and access to literature is doing here in these United States. I suppose the ideal situation would be to convince Disney/Pixar that there should be poems at the start of each film. Anyone have John Lasseter's email handy?

James Franco is supposed to be the modern savior of poetry, right? USC student? Actor-Poet-Heartthrob? Do more people read poetry because of him?

Where are people reading these days? Maybe we can stick poems at the beginning of Fifty Shades of Grey or buy them as Amazon's "Special Offers" for the Kindle. That, of course, would take money--where's the money in poetry?

Was it ever there?

Anyway, the idea of Litmags is/ought (Hume, please) to be to shepherd poetry (and prose) to a wider than the average coffee house audience. If that's true, why don't we call them "reading mags"?

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