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Literary MagNet

The Kenyon Review (www.kenyonreview.org), the triquarterly journal published by Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, was founded by John Crowe Ransom in 1939. Like many other literary magazines that have survived for more than a few decades and want to make some noise about it—the Iowa Review (www.uiowa.edu/~iareview), the Paris Review (www.parisreview.com), Poetry (www.poetrymagazine.org), and Ploughshares (www.pshares.org) immediately come to mind—the Kenyon Review has published an anthology of work that has previously appeared in the magazine. Most of the names on The Best of The Kenyon Review's table of contents need no introduction. Auden, Beckett, Brecht, Calvino, Fitzgerald, Lorca, Lowell, Nabokov, Plath, Pynchon, Stevens, and over 40 others are featured.

Mathematics for creative writers: As reported in the July/August 2003 installment of Literary MagNet, over half of the 1,000 readers who responded to a Poets & Writers Magazine (www.pw.org/mag) opinion poll don't subscribe to any literary magazines. A subsequent poll asked readers how many literary magazines they submit their work to in a typical year. Nearly 25 percent of the 1,000 readers who responded send their work to more than 10 literary magazines annually. A conservative estimate of the cost for each submission is $2 (postage, SASE, photocopying, and so on), which equals an annual expenditure of over $20—the approximate cost of a one-year subscription to a literary magazine.

The full text of spork (www.sporkmag.com), the three-year-old literary magazine based in Tucson, Arizona, is available on the Web site for free. But readers who appreciate the weight of a handmade book may want to check out the section "Notes on Construction," in which Drew Burk explains how he designs and binds the 500 handmade print editions of each issue. Editor Richard Siken says they produce dual versions of spork because "we want our writers to get as much exposure as possible."

Petroglyph, published at Utah State University from 1990 through 2002, was a biannual journal of nature writing named for a prehistoric drawing or carving on rock. It got a little old, so last summer it was replaced by Isotope (websites.usu.edu/isotope), undoubtedly the only literary magazine in the country that bills itself as A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing. Editor Christopher Cokinos says, "We wanted to send a message. We wish to embrace a wide range of writing—moving beyond the tradition of nature writing while including it and challenging it." The second issue of the biannual was published last month.

The editors of Poetry Daily (www.poems.com), the Web site of contemporary poetry that each day offers readers a new poem from books and literary magazines, compiled 366 days' worth of poetry (including Leap Day, February 29) that was recently published in book form by Sourcebooks. Time will tell whether Verse Daily (www.versedaily.org), the Web site that launched in 2002 with a curiously similar objective, will follow suit.

While the cost of a cup of coffee keeps going up (two bucks for a good cup of joe in New York City), the bimonthly literary magazine Literal Latté (www.literal-latte.com) remains free of charge in the Big Apple—35,000 copies are available for free throughout the city—and dirt cheap for readers elsewhere ($11 for six issues). Recently redesigned, Literal Latté enters its 10th year with a dedication to the work of new poets and writers. According to publisher Jenine Bockman, 98 percent of what the magazine publishes is drawn from the slush pile.

Kevin Larimer is the associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Literary MagNet (January/February 2004)
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