The Best Writing and Reporting You'll Read

Our library contains 1,300 publications–a feast of magazines, journals, alt-weeklies, newsletters, and zines–and every year, we honor the stars in our Utne Independent Press Awards. We’ll announce this year’s winners on Sunday, April 25 at the MPA’s Independent Magazine Group conference in Washington, D.C. and post them online the following Monday. We’re crazy about these publications, and we’d love it for all of our readers to get to know them better, too. So, every weekday until the conference, we’ll be posting mini-introductions to our complete list of 2010 nominees.

The following eight magazines are our 2010 nominees in the category of best writing.

Bookforum is the bibliophile’s banquet, a must-read for the culturally curious. In engaging with the world’s finest writers and their work, Bookforum transcends the predictable and delivers fascinating ideas and provocative conversations. If you call it literary, then call it political, philosophical, and artistic, too.

Since 1975, Boston Review has been a harbor for the rigorous examination of culture and politics, as well as a haven for literature and poetry. Now in its 35th year, the publication has added another welcome element to its formidable repertoire: outstanding long-form investigative journalism.

Where would we be without Columbia Journalism Review? The bimonthly publication of the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism is a dynamic chronicler of the ever-expanding media landscape. And in providing analysis, criticism, commentary, and reportage, CJR also manages to tell captivating, expertly crafted stories.

Geist is a literary delight: a smart mélange of the quirky and the serious, a richly varied feast of fiction and nonfiction, poetry and photography, comics and cartography. With a kick-ass redesign in 2009, the Vancouver-based bimonthly seems imbued with an even more vigorous curiosity.

Hip Mama is alive with passion for progressive parenting, for radical kids, for the many meanings of family–and in doing so, it builds deep compassion. It is an intimate forum, showcasing the voices of diverse parents, talking about their challenges, struggles, successes, and joys.

A dozen years ago, the founders of Tin House set out to create a journal “tantamount to being guest of honor at the greatest literary house party ever.” Such success! In its 10th year, Tin House has been wild and delightful, a true feast for its lucky readers.

Published once each year, Witness manages to capture us completely, presenting works that “promote the modern writer as witness to his or her times.” Published since 2007 by the Black Mountain Institute (dedicated to literary and cross-cultural dialogue), Witness illuminates the American experience with a global lens.

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.