Literary MagNet

Kevin Larimer
From the March/April 2003 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Rosebud (, the quarterly literary magazine that operates out of a 120-year-old farmhouse in the small town of Rockdale, Wisconsin, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the publication of Issue 26 in April. Founded by John Lehman, who once declared that he wanted Rosebud "in every bathroom in America," the journal has a national circulation of 6,000.

R.M. Kinder recently retired as editor of Pleiades (, the journal published semiannually at Central Missouri State University, and poetry editor Kevin Prufer has moved to the top of the masthead. The current issue features poems written in observation of the 30th anniversary of John Berryman's suicide. Contributors include Maxine Kumin, Kate Marvin, Aliki Barnstone, and David St. John.

Although readers don't need the promotional minidisc that the editors of the Webzine Fizgig ( have been sending around—all of the text and artwork of the first issue is on the Web site—it is a nifty complement to the sleek, 21st-century design of the new "visual literary anthology." According to co-editors Peter Barnes and Courtney Williamson, Fizgig is "our way of printing a broadsheet, or distributing our words from behind the bar on live music night, of hanging our poems and stories like art in a coffee shop."

When a literary magazine appears only once a year, readers can expect a little extra from the editorial offering to sustain their interest until the next issue. American Letters & Commentary (, the annual literary magazine edited by Anna Rabinowitz, has always offered substantial features like "Elliptical Poets: New School or New Spin?" and "Hypertext: Fact, Fiction, and the Brave New Word" for the long year ahead. Weighing in at 200 pages, the current issue is no exception. It includes "Beyond Extremis: Seven Essays on Language and the Imagination" by Craig Dworkin, Ann Lauterbach, Eric Darton, Marjorie Perloff, Rosmarie Waldrop, Ulrich Baer, and Richard Foreman. The symposium offers a variety of responses to the state of creative expression after 9/11. In her editor's note, Rabinowitz asks, "Can our modes of communication, even language itself, respond?"

Taking its cue from New York School poet Kenneth Koch's remark that the purpose of poetry should be to "pleasantly surprise," the Denver-based biennial literary magazine Shiny has published poets who, according to marketing director Dianne Perry, "have turned the normative model for the poem upside down." The current issue, dedicated to Koch, who died last May, includes poems by Bruce Andrews, John Ashbery, Clark Coolidge, Anselm Hollo, Chelsey Minnis, Eileen Myles, and others.

The biannual journal Brevity (, edited by Dinty W. Moore, publishes literary nonfiction of 750 words or less. Enough said.

With his first issue printed, a recent publishing fellowship from Literary Arts, Inc., and a distribution deal with Bernard DeBoer, editor Joshua Edwards is off to a good start with Canary River Review (, the biannual literary magazine he started late last year in Eugene, Oregon. "On one level the review was conceived as a learning tool—a big project founded on free time, no money, my limited knowledge, and lots of curiosity and desire," Edwards says. "It sustained itself with its own energy. Everything fell into place." Everything but the title: Beginning with the second issue, to be published in May, the journal will be called simply The Canary.