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					The Rise of the Literary Magazine Publishing

A literary magazine, in its original sense, is a magazine that caters to
literature. However, modern literary magazines also now feature graphic
art. It is an alternative outlet to the more rigid and serious scholarly
journals of the academe. Thanks to the rise of the small magazine
publishing companies during the 1970s, literary magazines have found
their way into the general public.

The first literary magazines started to appear in the 19th century. A lot
of which originated in England and Russia and a handful in the United
States. The North American Review is known to be the oldest American
literary magazine until it ceased publication during World War II.

The Yale Review had its first publication four years later of The North
American Review. It is initially referred to as the “The Christian
Spectator,” and deals with theological contents. It was Henry Walcott
Farnam who changed its name into the “The Yale Review” and has broadened
its contents. However, it is in 1911, when Wilbur Cross became the editor
of the publication, which has totally revolutionized The Yale Review. It
has then been transformed into the nation’s leading university
publication. It is the oldest and one of the most respected literary
magazines that is still being run today.

Two of the most distinguished literary magazines that are also still up
today began in the early part of the 20th century: the Southern Review
and The Times Literary Supplement. The Southern Review accepts literary
works such as short stories, novel in progress, poetry and critical
essays that focuses on the Southern culture and history. It specially
caters to contemporary literature and is open for experimental writing.

However, it does not want to dwell on literature that relies on extremism
and sensationalism. The Times Literary Supplement was originally
intended to be a supplement to The Times but later on became an entirely
separate publication in 1914. Literary reviews by T.S. Eliot and Virginia
Wolf had appeared on their issues.

The later part of the century saw the rise of the two influential and
controversial literary magazines there is: The Kenyon Review and The
Partisan Review. The two publications not only have literature and
criticism in its content but also politics. The Partisan Review used to
be associated with the American Communist Party but broke off its ties
after Stalin’s regime. Some of the significant names that appeared on
its issues are Saul Bellow, George Orwell and Susan Sontag. Its final
issue was on April 2003.

The rise of the small presses in the 1970s made literary magazines more
prolific. Due to the establishment of the Committee of Small Magazine
Editors and Publishers or COSMEP, the small magazine publishing companies
has been assembled and formalized. Artists can then choose which
publications suit the style of their works.

Also around this time is when AGNI was formed. AGNI is a leading literary
publication in providing an outlet for talented and aspiring writers. The
publication believes that its contents are aimed in creating social and
cultural dialogues. Jhumpa Lahiri, Susanna Keysen and Ha Jin have been
featured in the magazine before becoming well-known writers in the
academic and mainstream literature. They accept works from artists
coming from different countries, culture, gender and genre. The
publication has been running for thirty-six years, producing at least
sixty issues.

During the late 1990s, Francis Ford Coppola launched Zoetrope: All-Story.
The publication dedicates itself in featuring fiction and one-act plays.
It publishes works from promising, aspiring writers alongside the
prominent ones like David Mamet, Salman Rushdie and Yoko Ogawa. Other
than these, it also features reprints of classic works and contemporary
artworks.

It is also during this time that e-zines or online literary magazines
began to appear. This marked the changing face of literary magazine
publishing. Some of the well-acclaimed e-zines are The Barcelona Review,
Ecletica Magazine and Spike Magazine. Nevertheless, it is still a
relatively young alternative to literary magazine publishing.

With the abundance of e-zines emerging, the quality of literary content
and technique has yet to be evaluated before it they could fully become a
valid literary output.