Suspend Your Disbelief

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The (U.K.'s) Best Underground Lit Mags

The UK’s Independent highlights their favorite new underground literary magazines “stemming from the edgiest enclaves of the book-loving universe”:

Indeed, the editors of these fledgling organs claim that low budgets spur inventiveness. While Five Dials’ inaugural issue contained an 1852 letter from Flaubert to Louise Colet, the first in a series of “exemplar letters”, in more recent times it has juxtaposed articles on gangster rap with more high-brow fare. “It’s good to try to challenge the more established magazines,” says [Craig Taylor, author and editor of Five Dials]. “They don’t always deserve to be there. You need newer titles with new ideas; there needs to be movement in that world. We are trying to show you can still have Susan Sontag alongside NWA, a huge mix of writers and topics. At worst, people aren’t reading literary magazines because they don’t think they’re fun. We have to hustle and the stakes aren’t as high. A lot of the more traditional magazines are wedded to a certain aesthetic and it’s fun not having to pay attention.”

On the Independent‘s “Hot Lit List” are several young magazines, including Pen Pusher, Litro, Popshot, and Stingray. Virtually all of them are UK-based, though, and I’d love to see an equivalent list for those of us stateside. So you tell us: what are your favorite indie or underground literary journals?

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