Matt Rowan

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Seven Innovative Chicago Magazines on Electric Literature

Our fiction editor, Matt Rowan, wrote a piece for Electric Literature about seven Chicago literary magazines: 

1. Artifice Magazine

"Adcox and Silverman saw an opening to publish first-rate surrealist and absurdist stories that seemed to have fewer places (at the time, at least) to be published."


2. Another Chicago Magazine

"Having showcased the work of folks like Charles Bukowski, a young David Sedaris, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Steve Almond, Patrick Somerville, Samantha Irby, Amelia Gray, and on and on, ACM has undoubtedly earned its indie cred."


3. MAKE Magazine

"The layout of the publication is alone something to behold. Dodson said that a few years ago they upgraded MAKE’s paper stock and added color ink with the idea that 'each issue is an art object, as well as a format to distribute art, and the design of each issue is as carefully considered as each poem or story.'"


4. Knee-Jerk Magazine

"I was first personally acquainted with Knee-Jerk at a release party for their Offline Vol. 1 issue way back in early 2011. It featured rising (and established) Chicago literary stars like Lindsay Hunter, Jacob Knabb, Katherine Rooney and Michael Czyzniejewski, to name a few."


5. Skydeer Helpking

"Sara Woods and Jeannette Gomes have collaborated on this project for just about a year now, which is especially interested in publishing female poets and / or queer poets and / or poets of color."


6. Anobium

"Anobium Vol. 1 (summer 2011) begins with a “Letter From the Editor” — Mary J. Levine — who is, in fact, not a real person (and this then seems like something a publication whose name literally translates to “lifeless” would do)."


7. Poetry Magazine

"Poetry Magazine, meanwhile, has been around much longer than the foundation, arguably a Highlander among other literary magazines that focus almost exclusively on poetry (as their name suggests)."


Go read it now and get educated on the many facets of Chicago's strong literary tradition, alive and well.   



Connor Goodwin can't stop.  You can follow him @condorgoodwing.  His fiction and poetry has appeared in Chronopolis.  View more of his work at

Summer Reads: Matt Rowan


Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones

I'll read anything Jones publishes. So far, doing so hasn't once left me disappointed. Crystal Eaters, which I've gotten a taste of from reading an excerpt in a recent issue of Salt Hill Journal, looks to be everything I've come to enjoy about his fiction, with a dash of Michel Gondry meets J.G. Ballard for good measure. An absurd but simultaneously serious journey to a world in which crystals exist in each living creature and everyone has a finite number of them.


Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace

I'm actually already about halfway through this one. Much has been said about Wallace in recent years, both good and bad, but I remain an unabashed fan. His stories, with their obsessive explication of the minutest details, always read to me like honest and true streams of consciousness, stories pulled straight from characters' heads.  


Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

I'm looking forward to reading something about economics that wasn't written by F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, or Murray Rothbard, which is to say that their variegated but similarly neo-liberal theories have worn thin. Piketty's book I'm hopeful will offer a much needed and erudite perspective from a more centrist place on the political spectrum, a little too rare in economics generally speaking. 


Bark by Lorrie Moore

I love Moore's stories. There's such a fun, visceral quality to everyday life (even, somehow, when it descends into the realm of the sardonic) present in her work. I've had the opportunity to teach her short story "How to Become a Writer," which perfectly captures second-person narration. She's gravitated toward more straightforward narrative in more recent collections, like in Birds of America, and I remain curious to see what she does next. 


Matt Rowan serves as fiction editor for Another Chicago Magazine.

New Fiction Editor: Matt Rowan

I am thrilled to be joining the staff of Another Chicago Magazine. It’s a publication I’ve long admired. I had a great time of working with ACM in the past, in a different capacity and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for ACM’s future. All of this is rather generic to say but I MEAN IT. I really do. I’ve had opportunities to work with various publications before, and I value those experiences, but I’ve never been quite so excited as am now, to be responsible for fiction editorial duties here at ACM.

As for a little about me: I live in Chicago with my fiancee, Ashley Collier, and two awesome, tiny dogs. I’m the author of the short story collection Why God Why (Love Symbol Press, 2013). Along with ACM, my editorial duties include co-editing Untoward Magazine and the recently launched humor and fiction website, Horrible Satan. I’ve published work in places like SmokeLong Quarterly, Booth Journal, Gigantic, Atticus Review, Pear Noir! and PANK, among others. You can read more things and stuff on my personal blog at

In terms of the fiction I enjoy, I’d say one key aspect of it is that it introduces an engaging narrative fairly early on. I can’t really get behind a short story that takes seven pages to really get going (perhaps a novel, but not a short story). Bring me in, get me excited to keep reading, please! We’ll get along great if you do that. Also, being weird is good. I enjoy inventive language and stories that take creative risks.

Here are some stories available around the internet that I love (and which get going fairly quickly in my opinion):

Angela Allan’s “Amelia Fucking Earhart”


George Saunders’ “Sea Oak”


Lindsay Hunter’s “The Baby”


Faith Gardner’s “Deciduous Man”


and a piece by Etgar Keret, “God The Midget”


Along with those named above, my favorite writers include Daniil Kharms, Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, Russell Edson, Lorrie Moore, Jane Bowles, Ben Loory, Amelia Gray, Shane Jones, Amber Sparks, and Mathias Svalina.

So send us your work. I look forward to giving it a look.


P Fanatics Reading at Moe's Tavern 4/21/11

A few ACMers (myself included) went to the P Fanatics reading at Moe's last Thursday. P Fanatics is a themed monthly reading series hosted at Moe's organized by Mason Johnson and various other individuals. The theme for this particular reading was "hair." Mason and Natalie Hurtenbach made an accompanying hair guide zine for the event. Readers included Matt Rowan, Mary Hamiliton, Mairead Case, Ian Jones, Samantha Irby, Mark Schettler and Dan Shapiro. Things got a little distracting with people clapping for the muted Bulls game, making it a little hard to hear, but all in all it was a great reading.