Saturday, February 26, 2011

Little magazines and an ISU website for the "independent literary community"

Publisher's blurb:
Browse the literary magazines listed in NewPages to find short stories and longer fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, literary criticism, book reviews, author interviews, art and photography. The magazine editor's description for each sponsored literary magazine gives you an overview of editorial styles—what writers they have published and what they are looking for (with contact information, subscription rates, submission guidelines, and more).

(Check out Big Muddy, at Southeast Missouri State.)

Also this directory of Illinois journals, on, a website published by Illinois State:

Litline bills itself as a "website for the Independent Literary Community" ... [from blurb]: contains "regularly updated set of links to all things literary on the web. Find hundreds of presses, journals, organizations, online journals and other recommended sites here." ... also has a kind of prospectus that makes a case for the arts ... excerpts:
The Independent Literary Community consists of noncommercial literary presses and magazines, literary centers, writers conferences and festivals, writers who publish with noncommercial literary presses and magazines, service organizations which support the community, and independent bookstores which are the chief purveyors of noncommercial press books. ...

* * *

Most art lovers know that art museums, symphony orchestras, ballet companies, and many theaters cannot sustain themselves by ticket sales alone. Art lovers understand that the fate of a symphony orchestra, for example, should not be determined by the marketplace, that we should not be denied Bach because U2 can fill up an orchestra hall and make money while Bach is forever a drain on public and private funds. Art lovers recognize that if we want an active, vital theater in this country, we must recognize the difference between a Broadway production of Cats and a nonprofit regional theaterÉs production of Chekhov or Beckett or even Sam Shephard (whose plays are almost never produced on Broadway). One is intended to make money, the other is intended to provide a cultural benefit.

Quality literature is now at that point where it must be sustained by subsidy or it will become less and less available to present and future generations. Art lovers should understand that a collection of poems or a literary translation or an innovative novel is as different from a Hollywood biography or a new diet book or a best-selling novel as Bach is from U2. More generally, art lovers should recognize the difference between a commercial publisher driven by the market and a nonprofit publisher existing to serve a cultural function. While the first is self-supporting and may make large amounts of money, the second is devoted to literary art and requires subsidy to stay in business just like the art museum or the symphony orchestra or the ballet company or serious theater.

As a national center for the literary arts, the Unit for Contemporary Literature at Illinois State University is committed to the advancement of the independent literary community and to the writers, presses, magazines, bookstores, and literary arts organizations that comprise that community. We urge art lovers everywhere to support the best in modern and contemporary literature by doing business with independent literary presses and magazines, literary centers, and bookstores and by giving what you can to make their efforts a success. The health--indeed, the survival--of serious literature in America depends upon it.

No comments: