About ten days ago, I put this poll up on the blog here. While not a great number of responses, I am pleased with the number of people who took the minute or so to offer their opinions on the state of contemporary literary magazines.
One of the things I wrote in that original post was
We know that there are more literary magazines than there are readers, but not as many as there are writers,
and this is a problem. Another problem writers come across is that there is little payment available out there for accepted works. That is a discussion outside of this one.
Style, then, involves a meeting between arrangements inside the prose and expectations outside it. You can’t have a strong style without a community of readers able to recognize and appreciate its departures from the common usages they know.
The initial post introducing the ideas here occurred over on Poetry Thesis Musings, a blog about it being self-defining. Go ahead and take a minute to read that; it’s short, I promise.
Now that you’ve read the initial post, walk along this exploration with me. The beginning of this journey is about the act of close attention. As just about any poet will tell you, close attention is one of the primary aspects of writing poetry. Another way to say this is that poems do not unveil themselves without your hard work of paying attention to the world around you.
But what does this have to do with revision?
Good question, you! Where ecstatic creation in the face of the results of close attention (a good example is found among the Beat Poets) may result in much earnest poetry–and even very good poetry–the act of revision asks for close attention to the poem, the poet, and the subject of the poem. Revision forces the poet to decide, to act, to reflect, to unveil, and to question.
Hi Beautiful Readers! As writers, literary hangers-on, and readers, we all know that the esteemed literary magazine is the pillar, the bulwark, of the literary scene. We know that there are more literary magazines than there are readers, but not as many as there are writers. We know that literary magazines have problems and solutions in this day and age of digital accessibility.
I want to run a quick poll about your ideas of the current Lit Mag landscape. I have my own opinions, and I will be posting on that when this poll is over in a week.