Sunday, February 27, 2005

Keeping Up

Just when I thought I was getting a handle on things, a new round of literary magazines began to arrive. I have shelves of the things, optimistically collected over the years--partly out of philanthropic support for these worthy publications, partly out of guilty compliance with the universal instruction to read the magazines in which you would like your work to appear. But I'm not as fast a reader as I would like, and I get too many to keep up with. (Not to mention some other, terrific, non-literary magazines that I get and only just barely manage to read: Tricycle, The New Republic, Mother Earth News.)

When I got back from Mexico in January, I resolved to do better. I had a pile (a tottering pile) of the most recent issues of several journals. I would ignore the oppressive backlog and work on keeping current. If I achieved that goal, then I could take the older issues of Ploughshares, say, or Kenyon Review, and go through them systematically and eventually, someday, I'd be caught up.

And I've been doing pretty well. The pile was manageable: just The Paris Review, Timber Creek Review and Granta. On Friday, Glimmer Train arrived. On Saturday, Gettysburg Review. But wait--didn't I only just this week read the Winter issue of Gettysburg? Is it starting again so soon?


katrina said...


We must have the same tottering bookshelves. Mine look the same--filled beyond the brim with novels, collections, journals, and some non-fic. I'm just now making a point after three years of subscribing to at least fifteen journals a year to read them. I'm making a tiny dent.


Clifford Garstang said...

Kat, are you able to discard any? I've tried, on the theory that Story, for example, does me no good since it's not around any more. I have about 9 issues. I took them off the shelf and started browsing through the tables of contents and saw stories by people like Peter Turchi and Erin McGraw and Melanie Rae Thon and realized it was harder than I thought. So now, for the moment, those issues sit ON TOP of the shelf, pending further deliberation.

katrina said...

I pass them on. I hang on to the ones that have pubbed my friends though. And of course the ones with my work in them. But the others I pass on.