Talk:Literary magazine

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This article presents an overview of literary magazines. It is not a List of literary magazines. While it would be nice to list all literary magazines, both online and in print, in this article, this is not possible. My criteria for selecting the Important Print and Online Literary Magazines section of this article was to give a SMALL sampling of well-known online and print lit mags. While it can be difficult to quantify "well known," each of these magazines has at least 40,000 results when their names are entered into Google. I believe any new additions to this list should have at least a similar result.--Alabamaboy 23:37, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If anyone believes we should change this standard, please raise it here and let's discuss it. Thanks. --Alabamaboy 4 July 2005 11:29 (UTC)

Add More Literary Magazines[edit]

Yes, but certain OBVIOUS literary magazines are missing, whereas others of very small reputation are included. Pindeldyboz, for instance, is a fine magazine, but its reputation among scholars and writers is limited. It's too new to have the kind of august reputation of many journals that don't even make the list. A google search is simply not a reliable tool for measure the influence, importance, or excellence of a magazine. For instance: The Sewanee Review is the oldest literary magazine in continuous publication in the United States and one of the most historically significant. So the young'uns with blogs don't often mention it. It's still vital. Prairie Schooner is a MAJOR player and one of the oldest magazines in the country. Among the new magazines, Fence continues to generate enormous controversy. But how do you do a google search on the word "Fence"? You don't. Another is Pleiades, which has a major reputation, is consistently winning national "Best American" and Pushcart prizes, etc. A google search registers hundreds of thousands of hits; but, then again, Pleiades is also a constellation, no? Boston Review is generally mentioned as the new Partisan Review; it's influence grows every day. All of these magazines are at least as significant as Missouri Review and, really, twice as vital as New Letters, though those are both fine magazines.

I understand that you don't want a comprehensive list, but the one you have here is really not at all helpful. Instead of basing the list on Google searches -- which are impossible in some cases and loaded in others -- why not get someone who really knows about literary magazines to construct a list that is helpful to those who consult Wikipedia? Or delete the entire list, as it's misleading.

Thank you.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:36, July 12, 2005

There is a comprehensive list at List of literary magazines. I will add, though, that this article's list is not totally based on what "scholars and writers" believe are the best magazines. One reason many of the magazines on this list is because they are mentioned in the history section of the article (i.e., New Letters) or in the section on online magazines. I welcome any expansion of the article to include more of the history of literary magazines. Can you add information on the Sewanee Review to the history section? Also, perhaps changing the title of the list is in order to reflect this.
I'm also okay with Pleiades remaining in the list. The major problem with this article is that anonymous users add "promotional" links to marginal sites that really aren't relevant. Pleiades isn't like that. I'd also be okay with adding the Boston Review to the list.
For what it's worth, I hope you will consider registering with Wikipedia and helping edit more of the literary articles on the site. Best, --Alabamaboy 13:22, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for that information, and I will certainly add something about Sewanee Review to the history section. Let me first do a little bit of research. (I'm a big collector of literary magazines and a writer on the history of the small literary press; glad to see the subject is being covered at Wikipedia.) More soon.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:16, July 12, 2005
Many thanks. If you can, please reference the information. If you need any help formatting the references or anything, just let me know. --Alabamaboy 18:38, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Raising standard[edit]

Does anyone object to raising this standard for inclusion in the online journal section listing of notable online journals to 40,000 Google hits? It is currently 10,000? As I've said before, this article presents an overview of literary magazines. It is not a List of literary magazines. While it would be nice to list all literary magazines, both online and in print, in this article, this is not possible. Is everyone ok with this standard?--Alabamaboy 18:51, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi Alabamaboy...Per your new standard, reinsterted failbetter among the online journals. It has well over your 40,000 google hits criteria plus they've received recogbition in Pushcart and Best American collection which few if any other online lit mag has done). Hope you'll agree?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:53, August 9, 2006
That's fine with me.--Alabamaboy 22:29, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it's a shame that only five or so in the list are non-American. Kevin Doran 23:07, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
In some cases, the standard is difficult to check, as the names of a few publications that have been added are very generic. In that case, I've checked Google's link search function to see if the number of links to the site of the magazine are comparable to the ones that already have passed the notability test.DaveClapper (talk) 02:17, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I see Perigree has just added themselves again, by virtue of being part of a Top 50 list. By that criterion, we should list 50 online magazines. I don't think so. That said, I thought of another criterion that may be more accurate than Google hits: Alexa ranking. I'm going to sleuth through Alexa rankings for the magazines that are currently listed and narrow the field a bit.DaveClapper (talk) 03:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Somehow, my comment here listing Alexa rankings didn't get saved. Essentially, anything that had a ranking in the top million was kept. Anything outside the top million was taken out. And now I see that two of them have been added in again. Removing.DaveClapper (talk) 18:15, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Needs much more research[edit]

The article doesn't even begin to reflect the role of the small press poetry journals in the last 50 years. You're right in saying that it would be a daunting and ultimately trivial task to list all the journals that have come and gone in the last 5 decades (many of which published poets who have gone on to be come "established" in the larger community).

One of the hallmarks of these small magazines was the fact that the editors were often poets, and that reciprocity was a commonplace. In other words, 'I'll publish yours if you'll publish mine' (rarely stated as baldly as that) was a common attitude and practice. Contrary to the expectations of many purists, academics, mainstream publishers, etc., this didn't produce the publication of as much bad poetry as one might expect. It was not/ is not a kind of glorified vanity press (the history of vanity press is often maligned unfairly -- Consider Whitman).

It was an extremely open, democratic, and fertile field for poets. The article doesn't mention any of the important organizations involved in the distribution and dissemination of the small presses. The Committee Of Small Magazine Editors and Publishers (COSMEP) was founded by Hugh Fox. It was an attempt to organize the energy of the small presses. Len Fulton, editor and founder of Dustbook publishing, gathered together the first real list of these small magazines and their editors. This made it possible for poets to pick and choose the publications most amenable to their work. The National Endowment of the Arts created a committee to distribute support money for this burgeoning group of publishers, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CCLM), and this is just a small part of what this article is missing.

I'm just giving you the tip of the iceberg here so that you might realize how woefully inadequate this article is. It fails to communicate even a small part of the energy out there in the small mag scene. I think it should be scrapped as it currently exists because it only names a few of the bigger better known or University associated presses. And the whole notion of counting google hits makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Most of us small publishers are already aware that our audience is small. But I think it reflects a total lack of sophistication and awareness of the phenomenon to judge any of the small mags by numbers. Good god, if you applied that to poetry, you'd have to assume that Rod McKuen is a great poet, and the Readers Digest is great literature. Stephen 19:15, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Unverified statement with no citation[edit]

The following statement:

Those who are critical of this phenomenon say that the completely democratic nature of the medium allows anyone to publish a web based literary journal and too often these publications are symptomatic, the critics say, of the prevailing attitude that poetry is personal; anyone can write it, and no one can judge it.

contains a lot of assumptions: That online literary magazines are completely democratic (at least as "democratic" is used here, not meaning open to all writers based only on merit, but willing to publish all writers, regardless of merit); that the prevailing attitude is that poetry is personal, anyone can write it and no one can judge it; that web-based publications support that attitude. I have to say that in my own experience those are not true statements. Online literary magazines have an editorial process, whereby many submissions are received, judged and only those which the editors view as having literary merit are published. As with print publications, depending on the size and style of the publication, and the number of submissions it receives, the criteria for publication may differ from publication to publication. However, there is certainly an editorial process--not a free-for-all of anything submitted is published--and the process is one of judging which works are deserving of publication.

I didn't remove the statement in the article yet, as I don't have an external reference handy to support my own position as stated here on the discussion page. However, I would say the statement needs to be verified. If it can't be verified, it should be removed. If it can be verified, the citation of the specific critics making this claim needs to be given. Noneuclid 05:17, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


I note that there is an edit war going on about whether or not to include Brick Magazine. A quick perusal of their website shows that one of their editors is Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, that their contributors include National Book Award winner Russell Banks, Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall), Joyce Carol Oates (perennial Nobel candidate), Margaret Atwood (Canada's leading novelist), Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain), etc. I'm not sure how that fails any test of notability. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Seems pretty notable to me. Unless someone can give a valid reason why it shouldn't be here, I say let it stay.--SouthernNights (talk) 00:02, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm good with that. I hadn't intended an edit war--was just trying to maintain the standard that all others publications listed were meeting: that they were all in the body of the article. That standard was established primarily as an easy reference when determining what was/was not spam in the list. The article itself has been edited to include it now.DaveClapper (talk) 21:44, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Literary Review[edit]

When I came to this page, I was trying to find information about a London based magazine which is actually called the Literary Review. I can't seem to find anything on it on this site - is there anything? If so, could someone do something to clarify it? I haven't really the time to start an article if there isn't one already. Indy4ever (talk) 11:17, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you can't find it, but I've linked to it in the header above. Cheers! Katr67 (talk) 17:10, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that this article is aimed at an American public since there is not mention of 'Horizon' edited by Cyril Connolly or 'The Penguin New Writing' edited by John Lehman, both magazines extremely popular during WW2.--Hunnyargus (talk) 17:27, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you meant The English Review which was a literary magazine published in Londen.Smallman12q (talk) 13:18, 10 August 2010 (UTC)