A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense — including the short story, poetry and essay — and also literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews, letters and gossip. From a position at the start of the nineteenth century where there were a small number of such publications in English, not necessarily entirely literary in content, the literary magazine by the end of that century had become an important feature of intellectual life. Many titles were started; short lifespans were common.
In parallel with the rise of the small press, the small magazine was seen. The term, which can also be little magazine (without the press association, but not generally pejorative), may imply something esoteric or produced by a coterie; in general small magazines publish new work by authors who are not yet established, so are literary nurseries. By their nature they are very hard to track. Literary magazines may have been at their most prominent in the 1920s, when for example T. S. Eliot's Criterion for some years gave itself a high profile in relation to modernism and its reception; but it is said that there were 2000 poetry publications in English, in the 1960s.
Features of this site include a history, archives of each edition of the magazine with some of the content online, as well as info on the staff and where they are now.
That first issue set in motion a project that would go on to publish art and articles by over one thousand people throughout the world — many of whom had never had their ideas and work seen by a mass audience.
Over the years we’ve heard from readers near and far that this littlemagazine we've created helped folks feel connected to a global community of individuals and groups working to make this world a little better.
Littlemagazines differ from the large commercial periodicals and major scholarly reviews by their emphasis on experimentation in writing, their perilous nonprofit operation, and their comparatively small audience of intellectuals.
Prototypes of the 20th-century littlemagazine were The Dial (Boston, 184044), a transcendentalist review edited by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, and the English Savoy (1896), a manifesto in revolt against Victorian materialism.
Notable among the literary magazines were transition (Paris, 192738), established by Eugene Jolas; New Verse (London, 193339); and Criterion (London, 192239), edited by T. Eliot.
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