Type of site
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3:AM Magazine is a literary magazine, which was set up as 3ammagazine.com in April 2000 and is edited from Paris. Its editor-in-chief since inception has been Andrew Gallix, a lecturer at the Sorbonne.
3:AM features literary criticism, nonfiction essays, original fiction, poetry, and interviews with leading writers and philosophers. Its slogan is "Whatever it is, we're against it."
The magazine was launched in 2000. In 2004, the editors unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Daily Mirror newspaper from publishing a short-lived 3am Magazine supplement based around its 3am Girls gossip column. The site was also called "irreverently highbrow" by The Observer, "suitably roguish for a website that aims to be an online Fitzrovia" by The Daily Telegraph, while The Independent has hailed its commitment to 'the avant-garde' on several occasions. The Spanish daily ABC hailed it as "the Offbeats’ New Yorker".
An anthology covering its first five years of publishing, The Edgier Waters, was published in Britain by Snowbooks in June 2006, featuring writers Steve Almond, Bruce Benderson, Michael Bracewell, Tom Bradley, Billy Childish, Steven Hall, Ben Myers, Tim Parks, Mark Simpson, HP Tinker and Kenji Siratori, as well as poetry pieces arranged by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo alongside Tyondai Braxton.
A volume of city-themed fiction, 3:AM London, Paris, New York followed in February 2008 (on Social Disease) and featured Henry Baum, Chris Cleave, Niven Govinden, Laura Hird, Toby Litt, Lee Rourke, Nicholas Royle, Matt Thorne and Evie Wyld.
In 2014, a book-length collection of 3:AM's popular 'End Times' interviews with notable philosophers was published by Oxford University Press, reflecting the magazine's increasingly philosophical emphasis.
3:AM sees itself as an extension of publishing traditions forged by earlier literary magazines before the advent of webzines. It has claimed its litblog 'Buzzwords' to be the world's first (since 2000). The magazine features literary criticism, fiction, poetry, and interviews with writers, philosophers and intellectuals.
In its early period, 3:AM focused particularly on cult and transgressive fiction. Its outlook and coverage was for some years post-punk, particularly the emphasis on 'blank generation' authors and elements of 'Prada Meinhof' (for instance Stuart Christie and John Barker). Stuckism featured prominently, from the poetry of Billy Childish and fellow Buff Medway Wolf Howard, to the regular column by Charles Thomson, though equally 3:AM also carried pieces supportive of Britart, in particular on Damien Hirst and with Matthew Collings. There was also a strong musical presence on the site, from an extensive archive by and about punk rockers (including several interviews with members of the Bromley Contingent), through to pieces by and about Spacemen 3 and other shoegazer acts.
Authors interviewed more than once include Steve Almond, Will Ashon, Stephen Barber, Billy Childish, Andrei Codrescu, Dennis Cooper, Richard Hell, Stewart Home, Tom Bradley, Wu Ming, Michael Moorcock, Dan Rhodes, Nicholas Royle, Iain Sinclair, Lee Rourke, Scarlett Thomas, Cathi Unsworth and Helen Walsh as well as Jon Savage and Simon Critchley. The magazine also interviewed figures in the underground press, such as Lisa Crystal Carver, Lydia Lunch, Mick Farren and Pleasant Gehman. It carried poetry by Charles Bukowski and featured interviews by Bukowski acolyte Ben Pleasants, including with John Fante and Steve Richmond. Former Kenickie and Brian Jonestown Massacre keyboardist turned novelist Tony O'Neill was a regular contributor and interviewee.
Past columnists included Sophie Parkin, Ben Myers, Hillary Raphael and Cathi Unsworth, while past editors have included Noah Cicero, Heidi James, Andrew Stevens (Deputy Editor), Travis Jeppesen, Tao Lin (Poetry Editor), Lee Rourke, Adelle Stripe and HP Tinker.
Tom McCarthy (whom it championed from the outset of his writing career) has written several pieces for 3:AM and appeared at a number of its events. 3:AM Editor Andrew Gallix runs the unofficial Tom McCarthy site 'Surplus Matter' It has reviewed, interviewed and run excerpts of avant-garde writers Lydia Lunch, Stephen Barber and Stewart Home.
In recent years 3:AM has become more eminent in the translation of European avant-garde poetry under its 'Maintenant' series. Its 3:AM Asia strand has also covered transgressive culture and artists, particularly from Japan. The 'End Times' series of interviews with leading philosophers has become a crucial part of 3:AM's identity, resulting in a collection of interviews being published by Oxford University Press. Recently, 3:AM has also shown an increased engagement with avant-garde fiction and with essayistic, philosophically-inflected forms of literary criticism. In 2014 it partnered with the British Film Institute for their Derek Jarman season on the 20th anniversary of his death.
Since 2013, the literary critic and regular contributor David Winters has been 3:AM's co-editor in chief (alongside Andrew Gallix). Winters began his tenure by observing that "online, the form and function of criticism are fair game for redefinition," and calling for "criticism that is creative, unconventional, and that brings books into active collision with the lived experience of the critic."
- "3ammagazine.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
- Guardian profile
- Guardian, 'Mirror's 3am Spin-Off Faces Legal Challenge', 9 March 2004
- The Observer, 'The Festival of Economics 2012', 11 November 2012
- Daily Telegraph, 'Diary', 19 January 2004
- The Independent, 'Does the credit crunch have a silver lining for literature?', 9 January 2009
- ABC, 'Sea lo que sea, estoy contra ello', 16 February 2009
- Dogmatika.com, 'Tales of the City'
- The Independent, 'Web hits delete on magazine's 12-year archive', 6 July 2012
- 3:AM Magazine » Preface
- 3:AM Magazine 'Events' page
- Surplus Matter