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.

More from WCP