America’s “Narrow” Reading Habits


At Electric LiteratureJoshua Lockwood interviews PANK‘s founding editor M. Bartley Seigel about the origins of PANK, which was sold in November and will be under new management by the end of the year. In addition, Seigel discusses what his experience as an editor taught him about American literature:

American literature is robust, vibrant, and very much kicking and screaming. Reading and editing and publishing PANK only drove home for me that the foundational world of American letters, underpinning the big publishing houses, the major awards, the world of literary magazine and small and independent presses, is wide and deep and teeming with the most amazing publishers, editors, writers, writing, and readers. If I have a critique of American letters, it’s that the average American doesn’t read broadly enough, not enough work in translation, that we’re too isolated, too narrow in our reading habits, still too locked into boxes like the one built out of white male heteronormativity. I think that narrowness ultimately holds back both our culture and its literature.

Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →