The publication’s cover art, by Fred Tomaselli, and ad campaign, shot by photographer Chris Buck, inform the sensibility of Electric Literature. Claiming “Reading That is Bad For You” and featuring a merry, subversive group of black-eyed businessmen, boozing nurses, and toad-lickers, the print and banner ads are a far cry from the text-heavy (read: boring) advertisements in the back of your average Poets & Writers.
Besides its artistic merit (other contributors include Lydia Millet, T Cooper, and Diana Wagman), the magazine is a case study for other creative start ups. With an initial investment in the “low five figures,” Hunter and Lindenbaum managed to put together their first issue in a matter of months. Since they avoid upfront printing costs — only printing issues when requested and paying the printer in bulk at the end of the month — and work with an independent distributor, they can afford their first priority: fair, even generous, compensation for writers. Most importantly, the editors have maintained their enthusiasm for an industry suffering from “blood in the streets,” declaring,”the precedent we set now will inform the future.”
Electric Literature will be printed bi-monthly and accepts open submissions here.