Literary Analysis

Rain Taxi: The mission of Rain Taxi’s quarterly publications is to foster engagement with innovative writing. The magazine tries to accomplish this with feature interviews from upcoming writers, as well as in-depth reviews on literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry. From an aesthetical standpoint, this magazine is not all that pleasing for those who enjoy the bookish feel instead of that of an old school, black and white newspaper type of publication. The magazine is also nonprofit, and it shows as advertising adorn every page and often distract from the actual print (at least for me.) On the bright side, many of the ads are literary related, so the ads at least pertain to the field of writing. But enough about the visuals, one can’t judge a book by its ads only, right? 

Although the ascetic of this magazine is a bit drab, the actual content is anything but. Because I only have one magazine thus far, I feel I cannot get a complete gage at what the magazine’s audience is, however, I feel that the published reviews in the edition I have offer a way to entice contemporary readers to the poetry, fiction, or nonfiction being discussed in the magazine. Even the interviews are contemporary since it is about the two authors, with one of the books titled Talk Thai: The Adventures of a Buddhist boy and the second, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir. Chances are you haven’t heard of these books, and the same unfamiliarity can be said about the books and poems being reviewed, but I kind of liked how the magazine chose to focus more on the quirky, off-beat writing instead of what’s current in the literary world. I imagine the audience ranges from college students to readers in their 40s and 50s, as long as they’re not prudish I suppose. Overall, Rain Taxi offers an outlet for readers seeking some contemporary tastes in writing, and the reviews are honest, insightful, and can easily capture or kill a reader’s interest in the book.

A Public Space: This fairly new independent magazine is complied of art, fiction, poetry, and essays. That new book smell and an artsy appearance, check. Interesting writings, peculiar photographs, and abstract art, check, check, and check.  This book intrigued me on several different levels from the magazine’s intellectual, visual, and innovative style. From looking at the back of the contributing  authors and poets however, a reader would have to have some serious writing credentials under their belt before considering submitting to this publication.

When I discovered that this magazine is from New York, I wasn’t surprised. To me, the magazine has that urban, cultural union that brings together different contemporary media together. For that reason, I would say that this magazine is marketed towards anyone with an interest in debate, stories, and art, all of which appeal to me and I’m sure countless of other college students and adults. However, if a reader is looking for more traditional sort of magazine with pictures of artwork that would go well in the family room, or a magazine that abstains from thought provoking stories, I would recommend a different magazine entirely. This magazine is aimed for an eclectic, current audience and it achieves that with its artistic expressions in the written and visual worlds.


erica lewis

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