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Nature and Scope of the Project

The historical – and contemporary – importance of little magazines is unquestionable. Apart from publishing many of the major literary figures of the twentieth century (including James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Ernest Hemingway, Hart Crane, William Carlos Williams) before they were acceptable to mainstream publishers, they have also been fundamental to the genesis, growth and dissemination of literary and artistic movements from Symbolism, Futurism, Imagism, Expressionism and Surrealism through to Beat Literature, Concrete Poetry, Projectivism and Language Poetry. Importantly, they have also provided a space for the many of the poets, writers and artists who have not been a part of any movement or group, and who remain resistant to categorisation.

Bibliographical entries will be provided for around 2,000-2,500 magazines from the post-1945 period, with details of titles, places of publication, dates and issue numbers (first and last), editors, ISSNs, and any additional bibliographic information (such as variant titles or subtitles). In many cases, more information will be added as it becomes available, and entries will be updated where appropriate. (Entries which are entirely provisional and which may be deleted at a later stage are given in square brackets.) Descriptions of the magazines, with details of typical contributors, have been added in some cases, and it is intended that more will be added in due course.

An important development will be the eventual expansion of the project to include little magazines from 1850 (the publication date of the Pre-Raphaelite magazine The Germ) through to 1944.

In addition to the bibliographies, we will be providing full indexes for various magazines, providing the means for a multiplicity of perspectives on the literary and creative activity in this period, and helping researchers to trace individual and group developments (e.g. the influence of specific US poets on British poetry, or the development of visual and Concrete poetry in the UK). The database will provide access to development and work of a wide range of poets, from Geoffrey Hill, Charles Tomlinson and Roy Fisher to J.H. Prynne, Tom Raworth and Thomas A. Clark, as well as many younger poets.

Amongst the magazines that we have indexed or intend to index are: Active in Airtime; Acumen; Agenda; Aggie Weston’s; Alembic; Anthill; Archeus; Cloud; Coil; Eonta; Form; Grille; Grosseteste Review; Intimacy; Morning Star Folios; Nine; Object Permanence; Ore; Ostinato; The Poet’s Voice; Poor Old Tired Horse; The Resuscitator; Shearsman; Slow Dancer; Stereo Headphones; Stride; Terrible Work.

We provide search facilities for magazine titles and magazine editors, and also author surnames and titles of individual contributions in indexed magazines.

Little magazines are those which publish creative work in literature and the other arts, with little or no regard for commercial gain. They often provide an outlet for work that might be seen as exploring or pushing at the boundaries of its given medium. In many cases such work may be regarded as “innovative” or simply too singular for more mainstream or commercially oriented journals. At the same time, work published in little magazines represents a wide spectrum of literary and artistic activity.

By identifying little magazines with artistic, creative or imaginative work, we are excluding three main types of journals from consideration: journals of theory or criticism (though without denying a creative factor to such work); newsletters, consisting mainly or solely of factual information; and alternative (or underground) press magazines, where they mainly or solely concern themselves with social or political issues, alternative life-styles, and so forth. However, exceptions have been made for any of these journals when they also publish a large amount of poetry, fiction, etc.

The publications of the Research Team can be mentioned for further information on various aspects of little magazines, especially David Miller’s British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000: A History and Bibliography of ‘Little Magazines’, written in collaboration with Richard Price and published by The British Library and Oak Knoll Press in 2006. Mention should also be made of Wolfgang Görtschacher’s excellent Little Magazine Profiles: The Little Magazines in Great Britain, 1939-1993 (University of Salzburg Press, 1993) and Contemporary Views on the Little Magazine Scene (Poetry Salzburg, 2000).

Although a number of sources have been utilised, the two main archives that have been consulted are the Little Magazines Collection at University College London and the Poetry Library at the Royal Festival Hall (London). Holdings of magazines at these two libraries are given with the abbreviations UCL and PL. Additional holdings are given for the British Library (BL) and Nottingham Trent’s own collection of little magazines (NTU).


Little Magazines Project
The Nottingham Trent University