Loading...

East Coast–West Coast Rap 

New mag hopes to connect literary New York and Los Angeles

Thursday, Apr 15 2004

Writer types might consider quixotic at best, oxymoronic at worst, any new publication that calls itself a bicoastal literary magazine. The West Coast has always been saddled with the burden of proof when it comes to high culture, and the East Coast has always been cast as its somewhat tolerant but unattainable muse. It is just this sort of frayed myth that Swink editor Leelila Strogov seeks to unravel for good with a biannual collection of fiction, nonfiction, interviews, poetry and essays from writers working at both ends of the country. The magazine debuted last week in New York and launches here April 17. “One of my goals is to really bridge that East Coast–West Coast gap,” says Strogov, a 33-year-old New York native and MIT graduate who settled in Silver Lake two years ago. “They both tend to be so isolated. And when I say East and West, I’m referring not just to where a writer’s from but to the sensibility of the writing. We’re really going for diversity here.”

The premiere volume of Swink (a word that actually means “toil” or “labor,” as well as an evocation of “ink”) features writers whose bios range from hefty to none: Elissa Schappell, Jonathan Ames, Geoff Dyer, Rachel Resnick, David Ulin, Amy Bloom, Terrance Hayes, to name about a third. The first issue tilts decidedly more to the East Coast than the West — heavy on New York — but California runs enough through the book, like a fault line, to break things up. The best writing, though, has little to do with locale; Daniel Alarcon’s short story “Florida” paints a tough, lyrical portrait of a group of Puerto Rican friends pointedly going nowhere. Ulin’s musing about one-hit writing wonder Frederick Exley should touch the empathy and shiver the spine of anyone who’s ever harbored literary ambition of any size. To keep the synergy going, Swink will hold regular open readings and other events here and in New York. “But we publish writers from all over the globe,” says Strogov, a writer herself. “I started this magazine because I wanted to be in the literary world in a way that was more impactful than simply being a writer, sending off work and waiting for people to accept it.”

Related Stories

  • Sunny Sushi Becomes WTF Sushi in Silver Lake

    Sunny Sushi on Hyperion Ave. in Silver Lake was a little bit sad. Tiny, rather dingy and usually empty, the restaurant was a place to go when you wanted easy affordable sushi and didn't care too much about ambiance. And then it went away.  Last week, a new sushi spot...
  • Best Live Music in L.A. 7

    Los Angeles has some of the best live music venues in the city. Take these, for example.  But what if one prefers to enjoy bands in the cozier settings of a bar or restaurant?  Here, then, are the 10 best L.A. bars and restaurants with live music.  10. Casey's Irish Pub...
  • Hipster Lakes Battle 9

    Whether you wish to join their ranks or avoid the nuisance, the precise location and behavior of the phenomenon known as "hipster" seems to be a matter of dire importance to all Angelenos. These gentrifying, culture-conscious creatures can be found preying on vintage purses, foraging for craft beers, avoiding basic bitches and...
  • Silver Lake Murder 4

    A man was fatally shot at a Silver Lake Del Taco today, police said. The attack on a busy stretch of Sunset Boulevard near Hollywood was reported at 10:55 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department Det. Meghan Aguilar told us. The killer was described as a teenage boy, not older than...
  • "Secret" Chinese Delivery Hits Silver Lake and Los Feliz 4

    While there's a whole world of Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley, it's a common complaint among residents of the rest of Los Angeles that the sketchier stuff can be difficult to find. I'm talking about the kind of crappy but delicious Chinese food that's incredibly common in most...
  • New mag hopes to connect literary New York and Los Angeles

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Lina in L.A. -- Tiki Oasis
    Pin-up girls, beatnik boys and tiki lovers from L.A. and beyond made a splash at San Diego's Crowne Plaza Hotel, which hosted the annual Tiki Oasis event, this year themed "Beat Tiki" with a groovy "60s beat" thrust. The wild weekender took over the grounds with colorful cocktails, non-stop pool and room parties, fashion shows, seminars, shopping and live entertainment including burlesque, bands and more.

    See also: Tiki Oasis, a Convention for Fans of Retro Tropical Kitsch
  • Lina in L.A. -- Swinghouse Studios' Farewell to Hollywood Soiree
    A rocking, raging night was had by all when Swinghouse Studios marked a big move Saturday night. The legendary Hollywood recording and rehearsal space, which has been home to big bands and wild bashes for two decades (first on Cahuenga Blvd. and then on Willoughby Ave. near Santa Monica Blvd.) will soon move to Atwater Village. Food trucks, drinks, and great live sets by Prima Donna, Dorothy, The Beta Machine and Alexa Melo highlighted the bittersweet revelry.
  • Beatlemania at the Flying Morgans' Mansion
    In honor of the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania the Flying Morgans had a Beatle prom this last Friday to celebrate Molly, Bonnie and Gary's Birthday with 400 of their closest friends. All photos by Star Foreman.