In his Welcome Readers Summer 2016 column, Editor M. Scott Douglass begins, “It may have gone unnoticed since we didn’t make a fuss about it, but The Main Street Rag recently experienced a milestone.” Having started in May of 1996, that milestone is 20 continuous years of publishing MSR, beginning as Main Street Rag Poetry Journal. “We’ve gone through many changes,” Douglass writes, “taken advice from notable people like Dana Gioia who advised me to diversify our content and broaden our audience. We did and it did. So did the workload.”
Douglass comments on the efforts of many committed individuals who have supported the publication through the years – with blood, sweat and tears, and “who work specific projects for cheap, sometimes for beer and/or Chinese food.” Sounds like literary publishing as we know it. But Douglass has built quite a publishing house, producing “as many as 200 titles in a single year, but now averages between 100 and 120 titles per year, when you include our titles, this literary magazine and those we produce for others, and the books we produce as a contractor.”
I’m sure there are hundreds of individuals, if not in the thousands by now, who owe some thanks to The Main Street Rag for having given them the opportunity to be published and read, and certainly in those thousands, those who have appreciated being able to read from this publishing house over the past 20 year. MSR has been a mainstay in the literary community. We congratulate them on two great decades of dedication and commitment to literary publishing, and wish them many, many more years of good work.