Literary magazines are great for cleansing the palate. In their pages, discover young talent, different directions in formand recent works by favorite writers. For a break from the voice of a particular narrator or author, visit the literary magazine collection at the Iowa City Public Library for a taste of something new and unfamiliar.
One of the most well-known literary journals, The Paris Review, was established in 1953 to provide an outlet for writers at a time when literary journals were publishing more criticism and reviews. Cover to cover, you’ll find stories and poems, with a few pages devoted to visual art. Look for the famous Writers at Work series, which includes interviews with important authors. For more literature, take a look at The Iowa Review, published by our own University of Iowa.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Poetry, publishes about 300 poems a year from both leading poets and those new to verse. The magazine’s charge since 1912 is to “print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written.” The monthly also publishes critical essays and reviews, as well as short pieces by notable people outside of the field about their experiences with poetry. You can also find new poems, as well as prose and criticism, in The American Poetry Review.
The Believer, founded in 2003 by Dave Eggers, publishes everything from fiction and poetry to comics, interviews, reviews and comical advice columns. It dedicates its pages to “writers and books (the editors) like.” In every issue, Nick Hornby contributes a piece called “Stuff I’ve Been Reading,” which does cover books purchased and read. The column is mostly Hornby’s musings, but it is delightful nonetheless. If you would prefer more traditional outlets for literature, check out The American Scholar, Harper’s and The New Yorker.
Find these titles and more in the books and eriting magazine section in the library’s new atrium reading room on the first floor.
Anne Mangano is a librarian at the Iowa City Public Library.