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Literary magazines: grotesque and Gaitskill

June 10, 2008 |  2:15 pm

Haydensferryreview_grotesquWhen I came across Hayden's Ferry Review, the literary magazine from Arizona State University, its latest cover stopped me cold. The photo (by Bill Durgin), of a human torso posed headless, limbless and nude, was gorgeous and deeply disturbing — fitting for an issue on The Grotesque.

Hayden's Ferry Review has chosen to offer little of its content online. What can be accessed in this issue are a few photos and a handful of PDFs: a story by Stephen Tuttle and several poems. The audio of Shamim Azad reading poetry in Bengali is rather lovely, but otherwise, the website is a bit of a tease.

Front Porch Journal, from the Texas State University MFA program, is exactly the opposite. It's all online — no print version — and in addition to the expected new fiction and nonfiction and poetry, it makes the most of its mutimedia-ness. The current issue (No. 7) includes video of Mary Gaitskill reading from her work-in-progress. About summer: "You stand in line at the post office, smelling the other people in line, and sensing that the shapes of things are bleeding slightly in the heat."

Subscriptions to Hayden's Ferry Review are available for $14 a year. Front Porch Journal, as long as you've got an Internet connection, is free.

Carolyn Kellogg