Longreads

Either you’re the kind of person who wants to start a magazine or the kind who can’t understand why anyone would start a magazine. Well, Ken Layne started the magazine Desert Oracle in Joshua Tree, California, and it’s struck a chord with readers.

At Pacific Standard, Max Genekov profiles the determined desert resident who designs, edits, and ships each issue of his independent magazine himself. Following a winding path through established media, Layne landed in this scorching, brown, 8,000-person town and decided the arid West needed its own literary outlet. Unlike many publications, Desert Oracle is funded entirely from subscriptions. Readership is brisk. The reception has been enthusiastic. Subscriptions are growing, but how does one person successfully run a small publication? Like the desert itself, Layne’s Oracle contains a peculiar magic that speaks to a particular but motley breed of people.

Of the people living in Joshua Tree…

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