When it comes to shaping the history behind modern American literature, few institutions have played as essential a role as that of the literary magazine. In this collection of essays and interviews, Travis Kurowski has compiled insights on the difficulty, worthiness and purpose of the ''little'' magazine, from sources ranging from Ezra Pound to T.C. Boyle.
Following its origins with Benjamin Franklin through its latest incarnations on the web, Paper Dreams engages its reader in historical conversations and explores why, despite small readership and astronomical failure rates, lit mags continue to pop up in droves across our literary landscape.
Paper Dreams reveals the idyllic motivations and goals of founding editors and writers of literary journals, who believe in the ethereal power of communication via the printed word and offers an exciting introduction to the individuals whose high ideals and boundless dedication brought to light so many groundbreaking ideas of our time.
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Travis Kurowski teaches creative writing and publishing at York College of Pennsylvania. He is founding editor of Luna Park, soliciting editor for Opium Magazine, and Literary MagNet columnist for Poets & Writers. His writing has recently appeared in Little Star, Armchair/Shotgun, The Lumberyard, Mississippi Review, Hobart and Kill Author. Paper Dreams is his first book.From Publishers Weekly:
Literary magazines may have been dubbed little magazines from the start, but there is nothing small about the ambition and scope of this eclectic volume of essays by scholars, writers, and editors that spans 150 years. After a brief introduction, the book jumps into a meaty section on the rise of modernism and the magazines that fueled the movement by introducing writers such as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce. Readers of contemporary literary magazines will be intrigued by the history that includes the famous (the rise of Poetry, Story) and the forgotten (such as those described in Abby Ann Arthur Johnson's essay on lost African-American voices). The volume then looks at magazines in the post-war period and considers their future today. The section Writers on Literary Magazines proves the most appealing and accessible, speaking directly to the impact of these publications on authors' hopes and dreams. Emergent themes include the role of money; the intrepid spirit of the magazines; the role of women; and, the impact of the Internet. Though the sheer amount of material can be daunting, the book is both a history and a how to that illuminates the influence, delights, problems, and engaging idiosyncrasies of these important magazines in American literary culture. Editor Kurowski teaches creative writing at York College (Pa.), and is founding editor of Luna Park. (Aug.)
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