Literary Magazines: A Brief History
The 1940s saw the publication of the Gargoyle (1941–50) and Prologue (1947–49), which perhaps encouraged the extraordinary blooming of poets in the late 1940s, among them the future beat poets Gary Snyder ’51, Phil Whalen ’51, and Lew Welch ’50, as well as Bill Dickey ’51, Don Berry ’53, and others. Both the Gurgle (1951) and the Gorgon (1952) came soon after, but were short-lived, while the better-known Janus literary magazine started in 1950 and ran until 1957.
The 1960s saw several brief attempts at producing literary magazines, but none were carried on. Many titles appeared in the 1970s, several on a larger scale, such as BIGWORD (1974–79) and the Oregon Anthology of College Poetry (1977). The Rude Girl Press, begun in 1980, still brings out irregular issues of feminist writing, and the ’80s also saw extended activity with the Small Press Collective, which lasted through 2002. The Reed College Creative Review has published annually since 2004, and there is an annual Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Contest for Reed student poetry. The newest addition to Reed’s roster of literary magazines, Counterverses, was published in 2007 by students involved with Reed’s office of multicultural affairs.
—Gay Walker ’69, Special Collections Librarian