Monday, November 2, 2009

David Leavitt Interview

The Writer’s Center blog posted a good interview with writer David Leavitt, who is also the editor of the literary journal Subtropics. I was interested to read that Subtropics is open to longer stories…sadly, a rarity these days:

"What would you say is the Subtropics aesthetic? What kind of work are you looking for?

"You know, we decided pretty early on that we didn’t want to have an aesthetic. We didn’t want to set up a standard—deliberately at least—of taste or style. We just wanted to publish work that we liked. And to try to be as open as we could be, and that’s sort of the philosophy of our MFA program, which our Web site kind of makes a big point. We don’t encourage any particular school of writing. We like diversity, and even perversity. And that’s because we have four wildly different fiction faculty. So we don’t really have an aesthetic, above and beyond the basic: quality, significance—in the sense that something really matters.

"There are two things we do that are unique. One: We really like to publish long pieces, which I know many magazines don’t. We’re open to novellas, and we’ve published at least two that are 15,000 words or more. So we don’t shut out the long piece. Two: We’re very committed to translations. We’re doing this all-translation issue coming up, which we hope to be part of a bi-annual translation issue. Part of the reason for this is that Sidney Wade, our poetry editor, is a translator (and the secretary of ALTA), and she’s been pushing the translation of poetry pretty heavily, including printing poetry translations with the original on the facing page. We have a strong commitment to the principle of translation, and want to continue to encourage translations."

Read the whole piece here.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.