One of my favorite novels, Ask the Dust by John Fante, tells the story of Arturo Bandini (Fante's alter ego), an aspiring American writer of Italian origins who, after having managed to publish a story in a magazine, moves from Colorado to Los Angeles to chase his dream. Here he wanders around the city, lives a tormented love story, feeds only on oranges, but above all continues to write ... and to receive waste.

You will understand, therefore, the fascination that literary magazines have always exerted on me, a real training ground for aspiring authors and authors, a forge of talent, but above all a mine of hour of novice writers. It could almost be said, with a margin of error very close to zero, that before the romance there is the story and, consequently, that before the book there is the magazine. Many of the authors we love, before publishing their first book, signing contracts with major publishing houses or winning prizes, made their debut in the pages of a literary magazine, selected by unsuspected editors able to recognize a good pen before anybody else. Without bothering authors of the caliber of Fante and Hemingway, even in Italy there are examples of writers who started publishing in magazines. This is the case, as I mentioned here, of Tiziano Scarpa, Paolo Nori, Piersandro Pallavicini, Ilaria Bernardini, Marco Mancassola, Antonella Lattanzi, who all made their debut on 'tina, the "magazine" of the writer and author Matteo B. Bianchi.

Free and without the constraints imposed by the market and sales, literary magazines, especially if independent, are the lifeblood for the entire publishing sector and often the only springboard for emerging writers.
And if fashion magazines kicked off the niche magazines that we love so much at Frab's, it is undeniable that literary magazines (independent and otherwise) have a much longer history and life and the panorama, even today, is like this. rich to make it difficult to map them all.

Our aim, however, has never been to offer you an indiscriminate list of magazines, you will find many online ready to use. We have always preferred selection to long lists. Here, then, are our favorite literary magazines, Italian and foreign, which have been able to combine the beauty of the word with the beauty of the form with truly noteworthy design, graphic layouts and stylistic choices.
This is a very partial list to read bearing in mind that most literary magazines now exist only online (and one of the reasons we have explained to you HERE) or apply the printing formula on demand, thus leaving our selection radars.   

riviste letterarie su frab's magazines

The magazine edited by the author and literary critic John Freeman comes from the United States. Published in Italy by Edizioni Balck Coffee, it is the best way to take a look at the contemporary, American and international literary panorama.

N + 1
Like the New Yorker, although much more recent, N + 1 is a New York magazine born in 2004 that is inspired by the old, politically engaged US literary magazines. The purpose of the magazine was to give homogeneity to the fragmented American literary scene, which had no appeal in the literary world. Inside, in addition to stories, you will find various reflections ranging from culture to activism.

We keep it in this list of literary magazines because we consider it the best of its kind, but in reality Modern Poetry in Translation is dedicated exclusively to poetry. Founded in the midst of the Cold War, in 1965, with the aim of making English and American authors aware of texts translated into English that came from all over the world (including the USSR and China), today it continues in its intent, dedicating each issue to a different theme .

We stay in Great Britain with this magazine that celebrates the culture and works of authors and 

We have already talked about tina, but it is always good to remember the magazine of the author and writer Matteo B. Bianchi for its impressive ability to select and find authentic emerging talents.

More than a magazine, Quanto is a real experiment in speculative literature. Among its well-kept pages we find a long story, accompanied by illustrations, which projects us into another world, often disturbing and even more often too similar to a future that we do not struggle in the image (have fun looking in the three numbers for the many prophecies that, more or less, they came true!).

It fits perfectly in the canons of the literary magazine Manaròt, a new magazine with an Altesino soul that brings together authors and authors linked to the geographical area of Trentino, Alto Adige. However, do not expect a territorial magazine, Manaròt is quite the opposite, expanding beyond the border and becoming a meeting point for different cultures.

Independent enough, behind K hides (without hiding) the direction of the newspaper Linkiesta which, leaving its comfort zone, gives us this pearl of rare editorial beauty. Directed by Christian Rocca and Nadia Terranova, "K is a paper magazine, analogical and primordial with respect to the spirit of the time " which hosts among its pages tales of famous authors.

Born as a phoenix from the ashes of CTRL Magazine, this trilogy is actually not exactly a literary magazine in the narrowest sense of the term. These are three books of incredible and bordering on real narrative reportage. In any case, it remains one of the most beautiful things we have ever read!

Known to be one of the most beautiful and important Italian photographic magazines, in reality the monochrome RVM is also a literary magazine. Each photographic essay is introduced by a story, printed on paper of a different format to adapt to the different content, called to dialogue with the images that follow it. The photographic projects are sent to selected writers who, being inspired by the photos, are invited to freely write a story. Unlike most literary magazines, RVM therefore does not work with beginners, but I select its authors as Agnese Porto and Giammaria De Gasperis told us. HERE.

Like RVM, also Barlume, a photographic bookzine published by Frab's, is mainly a photographic project which, however, has been accompanied by four stories by four well-known authors who have been asked to be inspired by the photos of Michele Arrabito. The photograph, in terms of images and words, of an unusual Milan has emerged. 

We move to Africa with this literary magazine that comes from Cameroon and collects since 2011 some of the most stimulating fiction and non-fiction pens from the continent. A truly essential and necessary magazine that is helping to create an authorial culture that is still not very widespread in Africa.


riviste letterarie

We love paper, but a digital literary magazine would like to recommend it anyway. It's called Jo Diaries and it's a very new literary experiment that proposes a format that we had never seen before. Jo is a sort of diary of the past, present and future, each issue retraces a year that becomes the starting point from which the stories move, proposed to the reader in a sort of interactive calendar with which to explore and play with time. To direct it, and to guarantee the quality of what we are going to read, there are Carola Susani, Nadia Terranova and Giusi Migliaccio. 

October 10, 2021 — Anna Frabotta

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