Part of my 11-11 reading list includes literary journals and magazines, and because I want to support them as much as I can (I rely on them for publications, after all!), I’ve decided to try to read at least one full issue of a different magazine each month. But it’s fairly difficult to do that with print journals while I’m still living in the UAE: I have plenty of access to some of the mainstream magazines that happen to also publish fiction (like Atlantic or the New Yorker), but I want as much as possible to support smaller and/or newer magazines and journals, which are harder to get over here.
The good news is that the Internet offers plenty of exceptional literary publications online, including online content for magazines that also appear in print.
Last month I subscribed via RSS feed to the online content of Annalemma, a rising (some would say risen, and I won’t argue) star in the literary/arts world. They are only a few years old now, but they started out with a clear vision, a strong sense of dedication, and a LOT of creative talent, and they’re already getting a lot of attention in the literary world, with comparisons to The New Yorker, except it’s all art and fiction with only the occasional feature piece, and it’s aimed at a younger, fresher, hipper generation.
I haven’t read any of the print issues yet (I’m going to look for them in bookstores when I return to the States), but the online content so far has been excellent. The fiction (they don’t do poetry) is fresh and full of energy, much of it formally or thematically experimental without ever feeling flashy or overtly weird (in either the vernacular or the technical senses). Think Kevin Brockmeier or David Maizenberg or China Miéville.
For me, the fiction is the real attraction, but the artwork is always worth a look, and their occasional blog features are pretty cool, too. Of particular note in their online content are the reportage from the various readings and literary/artistic events they attend and the book reviews they sometimes run.
When I say I want to support new(er) literary magazines, I mostly mean financially, but I know times are tight and in fact I can’t really subscribe to print issues right now anyway. But I also want to support these publications vocally, and browsing online and/or subscribing to their RSS feed is free, so do yourself a favor and check out Annalemma.
Some (relatively) recent online stories that rocked my socks:
- “Solitary Zen Pinball,” by Jason Olsen
- “The Testimony of the Dead,” by Cezarija Abartis
- “Head,” by T. L. Crum
- “The Ballad of Busy Hands,” by Salvatore Pane
- “In a Name,” by Erik Smetana
Other features, from the blog, that are awesome:
- The “Reading 120 in 2010” wrap-up, and the ongoing Reading in 2011 reviews
- The very cool feature article on Desert Island Comics bookstore
- Their coverage of AWP
- The photo-review of the Bright Eyes show at Radio City Music Hall
For more on what I’m currently reading, check out my Bookshelf.