Christopher Frizzelle just published an opinion piece in The Stranger about Seattles lack of a great literary magazine like McSweeneys. The gist of his piece, as I could make it out, was that McSweeneys is not published in Seattle. An odd assertion, actually, since McSweeneys is published where McSweeneys is published and in fact their web page coder, Ed Paige, lives in Seattle. There are other magazines besides McSweeneys and N + 1.
However, I actually agree with the gist of the opinion that a zeitgeist-type literary magazine has never been nor is currently being published in Seattle (except McSweeneys). Close contenders have existed: Skyviews from the 1980s for local lit and in the late 80s/early 90s Zero Hour. Even the mid-1990s The Stranger might fit the bill. The Stranger once published a spread of Willie Smith stories. I doubt Frizzelle appreciates Willie Smith (an amazing spectacle when he reads) if he even knows who he is. My immediate reaction to Frizzelles article was, yeah! Seattle should have a McSweeneys style magazine that isn’t McSweeneys. And then on thinking about it, I thought, well, there are a lot of very good magazines in Seattle and there must be some reason that a world conquering literary magazine hasn’t been published here? For sure, magazines and small presses have a very hard time in Seattle. But, why doesn’t Frizzelle spend his three hundred odd words talking about the difficulties of publishing a literary magazine, or what actually manages to get made here instead of what is not here? Why doesn’t he figure out why Seattle fails to please his hankering for a particular kind of literary magazine? Why? Because, yet again The Stranger (and Frizzelle in particular) continues (albeit in a backhanded way) to dis local lit. This has become such a sustained assault on the part of Frizzelle that it makes me wonder what he really wants?
I would like to turn your attention to some really good literary magazine in Seattle:
The Wandering Hermit recently released issue #2 with work by Stacey Levine, Jesse Minkert, John Olson, and Mary Lou Sanelli. You can find this at Bull Dog News at Steves Broadway News.
Other magazines that I would recommend that are currently publishing from Seattle:
- Lit Rag: http://www.litrag.com
- Square Lake: http://www.squarelake.com
- Bird Dog: http://www.birddogmagazine.com
- Golden Handcuff Review: http://www.goldenhandcuffsreview.com
- Fine Madness: http://www.finemadness.org
- Swivel: http://www.swivelmag.com
- Cranky: http://www.failedpromise.org
Active Print Mags that are from the Internet (with a Seattle provenance) and may now be located wherever because the idea of a geographically-fixed-magazine in our era of Globalism is a bit bogus. (I recently discovered this architecture movement called Critical Regionalism, which explains this problem I had about regionalism. More on that when I can make sense of what it means to me):
And there are also the sporadic, oceanic issues of The Raven Chronicles.