Friday, November 10, 2006

On the newstands

In this week's New Yorker Janet Malcom provides more evidence of Gertrude Stein's bad behaviour and Rachel Cohen reviews a new book about Leonard Woolf. Is everyone still loving the Believer? I haven't found a magazine to be excited about in years...and I'm not a believer Believer, not yet. But this piece on a newspaper that featured a column in rhyming couplets caught my attention. And what about Tin House? Here's another one I'm supposed to like, but don't quite for lit journals. What on earth? Am I just getting crusty? What is anyone reading these days? What is exciting out there? Poetry Magazine just gets worse and worse (and what does that tell you about giving poets money???). Fence, well, it's a good idea, and sometimes Court Green works, but these journals...I find them fat and unfocused, filled with too much half considered work. God, just give us a slice of well-considered work...all this mish just dilutes the conversation if you ask me. Not that anyone is... But I guess what I'm asking for is a well considered publication and I just don't see that out there. Well, not often. The Virginia Quarterly Review is a wonderful production--though I haven't been excited about the poetry I find in there in general. The following often get my pulse going: Cabinet, Geist, Jubilat, Bordercrossings, Open Letter, Chicago Review, Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, Chain (which we have no more), W, Matrix.
As for fiction, that's another area of great disappointment. The new online Narrative Magazine? Snore. Noon, the annual publication edited by Diane Williams, yes, yes, yes!

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