Tag Archives: Literary Journals

Open Borders: Literary Journals in Texas Today

Twenty-nine years ago, in the final paragraph of the essay “Small Presses in Texas” (Texas Observer 1977), Dave Oliphant, usually a reserved and cool critic, becomes prophetic. “The ingenuity, persistence, and dedication of Texas’ small press publishers have contributed to a growing movement that is clearly here to stay.” By “small press,” Oliphant is referring to a person or group of people who publish a periodical or short run chapbook or book. “There are various types of small presses established in the state; the smallest—and most numerous—are those devoted to the publication of poetry.” In his essay, Oliphant, the publisher of a small press himself, attempts to prove that an important shift had occurred in literature as it is practiced in Texas, that there had been “the return to Texas of native publishers.” Oliphant loves such Western-tinged phrases. This one reminds me of The Return of the Magnificent Seven—the poor exploited farmers combating, with a little help, the corrupt capitalists from afar. Continue reading