January 24th, 2011 / 3:00 pm
Literary Magazine Club

{LMC}: A Conversation with Terrance Hayes, Parts 3 & 4

Earlier this month, we enjoyed Parts 1 & 2 of Terrance Hayes, the guest editor for the current issue of Ploughshares, and here are the final two parts of the great conversation when he visited Emerson College. While we’re on the subject, what do you think of the guest editing approach at Ploughshares? How do you think that such an editorial approach shapes the magazine over time?

Part 3:

Part 4:

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  1. Travis

      Loved him in Hustle & Flow. Also good: Terrance Hayes!

  2. Roxane

      Ha! It was bound to happen. Corrected!

  3. Travis

      It really was just a matter of time. Thanks for posting the videos.

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  8. Aaron G

      that’s an interesting question: many magazines seem to think that changing the editors regularly keeps a freshness of some sort, or keeps things interesting. i know hayden’s ferry review mentions their regularly revolving editorship with some recognizable pride — a change associated with the arrival of new mfa students and departure of others. i like that willingness to try something new. it’s admirable.

      there’s this hard-to-pin down aspect for me, though: somehow a ploughshares has changing editors, yet they maintain what, from a distance, seems a consistent aesthetic. or at least what i assume is, and what they likely say is, a consistent aesthetic. i don’t read the magazine regularly enough to say. i have the last 3 issues, and from them all i sense some continuity, at least from what the mag is not: edgy, subversive, experimental, etc. not in a bad way, just an observation. but it’s interesting: you can shift the editors and still maintain your core identity. if you scraped parts of our brains away, we sure wouldn’t maintain the same core identity.

      i don’t know. as an editor, roxane, what’s your take on it?

  9. Roxane

      I respect the approach quite a bit. I think it takes a lot to relinquish editorial control like that. It’s something I also admire in Everyday Genius. I am impressed at how Ploughshares is able to maintain a level of excellence consistently. At the same time, I agree that even with different editors there does seem to be a consistent aesthetic where as with Everyday Genius, which is a very different magazine, you can see how the magazine shifts and changes shapes over time with the different editors each month. I would kind of expect to see some of that even with a quarterly guest editor who is responsible for 50% of the magazine’s content. It’s interesting to think about. I wonder if it is possible for a magazine as established as Ploughshares to really change from issue to issue. I think that the writers who are creating more explicitly subversive and experimental work don’t even bother submitting to a magazine like Ploughshares but I too am not familiar enough with the magazine to know for sure.

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