Civil Jar editor—and Silver Jew—David Berman talks to Minus Times editor Hunter Kennedy about his new book and his former neighbor James Dickey.
The Minus Times is the long-time gatekeeper to a specific cultural Hades where Barry Hannah and Rob Bingham sit chatting at the bar. Founded by Hunter Kennedy in the early ’90s as a one-page broadside, the zine-like literary magazine grew slightly thicker as the decade progressed. It was heavily informed by a Southern sensibility and displayed an unerring taste in cartoonists, collages, and horse racing roundups by Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich. I also enjoyed the goofy drink recipes on the last page, Will Oldham’s VHS recommendations, and the short interviews—always the same questions—with everyone from the aforementioned Hannah to Harmony Korine to Chan Marshall to Thomas McGuane.
The Minus Times Collected is a great big coffee-table style book, out now from Drag City and Featherproof Books. Within it you will find everything that ever came out between The Minus Timess brown covers. It’s pretty great.
Kennedy spoke with David Berman—former Silver Jew and frequent Minus Times contributor—about the origins of the magazine. Mostly though, they talk about Kennedy’s childhood neighbor James Dickey.
David Berman The Minus Times started out as a one-page mish mash of snips and clips and blips and quips left here and there for anyone and everyone. How did it start? What drove you to it?
Hunter Kennedy Sheer isolation. The epistolary tradition. An opportunity to subvert the newspaper format on a miniscule scale.
DB Were there any precursors that influenced The Minus Times?