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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted December 15, 2008

  • Issue Number Issue 30
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
The Dream People is one of those online anomalies that is simply laugh-out-loud funny and it knows it. Not that this is a bad thing. The apex of this journal’s mission is to perplex, astound and cause general hilarity at the antics that take place in its various fantastical fictional narratives, novel excerpts, creative nonfiction, nonfiction, micro-criticism, reviews, flash interviews and even artwork. In this satirical and ghostly world, what is real is dressed up in metaphorical and allegorical costumes sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, for the readers to deconstruct and find whatever meaning that they are searching for.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Ecotone: eco from Greek oikos (a house or dwelling) + tone from tonos (tension). All Ecotone’s writing is true to this theme, in one way or another. This issue opens with a creative nonfiction piece by the editor, David Gessner, in which he recounts his own experience in an ecotone, a transitional place between two communities, as well as a place of danger. Jessica Bane Robert’s memoir, “Dark on the Inside,” about living in the Maine woods with alcoholic parents, is full of both natural beauty and sadness. And Michael Pollan’s lighter “Dream Pond” demonstrates how hubris leads to humiliation, then eventually knowledge and appreciation. This essay follows an engaging interview with Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and, most recently, In Defense of Food.
  • Issue Number Issue 11
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Eratio states that it “publishes poetry in the postmodern idioms with an emphasis on the intransitive,” which I take to mean that the poetry submissions it accepts are not conventional and are experimental with a focus or sentence structure that disconnects from the norm of verb/direct object relationship of sentence construction. A journal that insists upon a literary affectation of this kind could lend itself to stilted prose that sounds as if it removes certain language constraints just to be different. However, in this situation, it shows both the reader and the writer of poetry what possibilities it offers in tone and voice and overall flow of the poems.
  • Issue Number Issue 14
  • Published Date Spring 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Free Verse is an experimental poetry forum for poets that do not follow the normal tenets of form and structure, reveling instead in modern and post-modern tendencies to deconstruct the sentence or line and turn it on its head so that the meaning seems like a coded message scattered in the form of extreme line breaks or unconventional prose-like formations. Rhyme and meter are not ignored here entirely, they are just pushed aside for new and tantalizing artistic configurations that stray from structural traditions, if not always-topical ones.
  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
Front Porch is a online journal of informative and plentiful works of fiction, poetry, reviews, nonfiction, interviews, and audio visual that are gratifying and engaging to the intellect.
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
It has been said that Americans don’t read enough foreign literature, and I am inclined to agree with this statement, given that most people in the United States can identify Ernest Hemingway and Huckleberry Finn readily enough, but not Leo Tolstoy or Madame Bovary. What a shame. Gowanus, a resolutely international online literary journal, attempts to broaden one’s horizons. They state they are “interested in what concerns human beings in Delhi, Bridgetown and Soweto as well as in Chicago, Dublin and Tokyo.” Judging from their archives, they have effectively been doing so since 1997.
With the explosion of online literary journals over the past several years, I have found myself becoming particularly attached to those which are pleasing to the eye, well organized, and contain interesting and well-written prose and poetry. On all of these counts, the Kennesaw Review, which has been in business since 2000, acquits itself well.
  • Issue Number Issue 28
  • Published Date Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Since its beginnings 1998, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (or simply McSweeney’s) has maintained its reputation as one of the most innovative literary journals in publishing today.
  • Issue Number Issue 9
  • Published Date Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Ruminate’s layout is beautiful: almost trade magazine size but sturdier, writing centered on white or grey or black pages, Evan Mann’s creation sketches littered between poems and an essay and a short story. The journal’s writing is equally beautiful, pieces which demonstrate faith inside literature as well as faith in literature, a faith that literature can explain and inspire.
  • Issue Number Number 2
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Many Americans read little from emerging foreign writers. The St. Petersburg Review, an excellent anecdote to this situation, offers translations of Russian writers into English, or English writers into Russian. The latter pieces are of particular interest me, since Russian is almost never found in American literary magazines. Any student of Russian should pick up a copy and check out the Russian translations of Maxine Kumin’s poems scattered throughout the journal – poems which haven’t yet appeared in Russia.
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