Best Literary Personage

Richard Peabody

The literary journal Gargoyle was launched in 1976 as something of an inheritor to the Beat tradition—Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski were featured in its pages early on, and co-founder (now sole editor) Richard Peabody seemed to specialize in provocative, defiantly messy prose. He’s also a big fan of coffeehouse-style spoken word—most of the journal’s recent issues have come out on CD, not paper. But spend a little time going through Gargoyle’s back issues (numerous samples are available at gargoylemagazine.com), and you’ll see that he’s also published many of contemporary lit’s better-known authors, from former poet laureate Rita Dove, locals-done-good Richard McCann and Mary Kay Zuravleff, and current lit luminaries like Julia Alvarez, John McNally, and Jennifer Egan; he published T. Coraghessan Boyle in 1981, when he had only one book of stories out. Ever the provocateur, Peabody’s lately specialized in publishing collections of women-only and men-only fiction through his Paycock Press.

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