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American Literary Magazines

Literary Magazines, or little magazines as they are sometimes called, have played a critical role in our culture. They provide a forum for new and experimental writing, nurture important literary developments, and document social and political movements.

A renaissance in Literary Magazine publishing in the United States is well under way. This rejuvenation of the little magazine has taken strong hold in a number of environments. College and university communities, which have historically been fertile ground for literary publications, are again vibrant centers for new writing. This phenomenon is apparent across the country from Amherst to Austin. Outside the academic landscape, small press publishing, once such a prominent feature of West Coast cities, is again thriving from San Diego to Seattle. Closer to home, one can experience the renaissance of the American literary magazine right here in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, where some of the most innovative and important new works are being published.

The Periodicals Division in the Stephen A. Schwartzman Building actively collects, maintains, and houses one of the most comprehensive collections of literary magazines in the country. From the first issues of Harriet Monroe's Poetry to the latest issues of Fence, Tin House, and jubilat, they can all be found here. Literary magazines are an invaluable resource for researchers investigating little-known writers or locating obscure works by well-known writers. They are also a prime source for writers discovering appropriate publications to which to submit their work.

A 2002 exhibition, New American Literary Magazines, surveyed new magazines published from 1997 to the present that are collected in the Periodicals Section of The New York Public Library. The checklist is available here. (pdf)