Yesterday, 02:49 PM
M.R., I actually went and combed through the lists of contributors to MLM and its anthologies. The writers who've been published more than once are fairly evenly distributed among the volumes, so I'd say there's a real submission and selection process going on.
I also did spot checks on some of the repeating writers, and they're real. They're almost completely uncommercial, but every writer I checked had a history of also being published in other literary fanzines -- ones that have real names and addresses associated with them.
We can therefore identify MLM as one more island in the MFA Archipelago. It's more pretentious than most, and less prestigious than some (about half the writers I spot-checked didn't list it among their credentials), but it's home to the same migratory population of writers who get published throughout the rest of the archipelago.
I'll stand by my earlier statement that it's bizarre to claim that a magazine has a right to make a profit. It's especially odd in that milieu, where success as a writer often takes the form of grants, fellowships, and teaching positions.
(I think it would almost be funny if someone were running a literary fanzine as a profitable scam. My guess is that in a world where publishing credits are the real currency, it could take a long time for anyone to notice that money was consistently going astray.) (But I digress.)
You'll have to decide for yourself whether MLM is worth your time. It is what it is. The question is whether that's what you want.
Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.