Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do Writers Read?

Fungible Convictions has a discussion about writers who do not subscribe the lit mags they hope will publish them. Obviously, we can't subscribe to all the magazines we hope will publish us. But do we subscribe at all?

I think we must. As a poet, when I decided to get back into the game after nearly seven years away, the first thing I did was subscribe to a few of the top journals. Reading the best writing being published is crucial to working writers. We need to have some context for our own work within the realm of our peers.

From an old post by Jade Park:

One of my writing peers in my MFA program once said in workshop, “I try to read those literary journals but I just can’t get into them. Why would I subscribe to one of them? I mean, I know I want to get published in them, but why would I subscribe?”

Ahem. It was a very honest statement on her part, altogether too revealing of the plight of literary journals. I was horrified to hear what she said, and as an avid reader and subscriber of literary journals I raised my hand to respond. But our professor beat us to the punch.

Our professor went onto say that as writers we really should subscribe to and support literary journals. They do a great service to the writing community–they discover new writers, for one. And how would they survive to do such things without our support?

I agree.

So I subscribe to American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, and soon I will add Poetry Northwest and Gettysburg Review to that list.

Which mags do you subscribe to? Which ones do you read?

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