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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted September 17, 2009

  • Published Date Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online

As a reviewer who regularly decries the sloppy and disorganized presentation standards of many emerging and established online literary magazines, it is refreshing to find one which states openly: “A good online magazine is accessible, intelligently designed, and carefully organized.” They go on to say: “Above all other technical considerations, the writing selected to appear in 42opus deserves a respectful presentation; we strive toward this goal through design that is contemporary, uncluttered, and professional.” Well, bravo, and I am happy to report that they succeed in this endeavor.

  • Issue Number Issue 11
  • Published Date July 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
This is a difficult review to write for two reasons: 1) Much of the content found in this quarterly defies easy description and interpretation; 2) They are closing their operation as of October 1. Nonetheless, it is such a well organized and interesting website, a somewhat belated review is better than no review at all.
  • Issue Number Volume 12 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Never on the fence, this journal is persistently – almost relentlessly – inventive, provocative, and unconventional. Not shocking. Not wildly unreadable. But certainly dogged in its desire to startle me out of complacency. “You find a little sick cognition,” begins “Gay Trade,” a poem by Sean Kilpatrick. “Lately my hand is an alligator,” opens James Gendron’s prose poem, “Number One Country.” And here is the beginning of “How to Make Something Funny of Something Serious into a Funny Joke and Then Back Again into Something Serious,” a short story by Colin Bassett:
  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“Not reading books is escapism,” insists editor in chief, Troy Ehlers. Reading is an “engagement,” a chance to “contemplate and process.” Minnetonka Review offers eight short stories, the work of two nonfiction writers, and poems from close to two dozen poets to help us think about how we relate to the world, including a section of Editor’s Prize winners with poetry by Rhonda C. Poynter and prose by Tim Keppel.
  • Issue Number Number 3
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Pank Magazine seems to delight in thoughts born of the abstract. The unassuming cover art sets the tone and establishes the journal’s aesthetic. The brush-painted invitation/confession “to anyone I have ever met:” precedes poems and short fiction that meditate on the serendipity that can be found in the life of a contemplative, literary person.
  • Issue Number Number 16
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Post Road has everything. The sixteenth issue contains short stories, flash fiction, poetry, nonfiction, criticism, portions of a play, an interview, excerpts from journals, literary recommendations and full color artwork.
  • Issue Number Volume 14 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
You’ll always find a few big stars in Salamander (Chase Twichell, Maura Stanton, Michael Collins). What’s more important, though, is that you’ll always find some stellar work. And this issue is no exception. I am thrilled to see two poems from Catherine Sasanov’s new collection, Had Slaves. I heard her read from this book last year prior to its publication and was quite taken with these spare (with the exception of their titles!), beautifully composed, and astoundingly moving poems about a family history of slave ownership.
  • Issue Number Volume 48 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
If you’re a poetry reader, you’ll recognize many names here (John Balaban, Nicholas Samaras, Sydney Lea, Gloria Vando) and be pleased to see their new work. And you’ll be pleased, too, with the quality of the work presented by poets whose names you may not necessarily recognize (Shannon Ward, Patrick Hicks, Caleb Beissert) and then most especially with the fine reviews by Phebe Davidson, Peter Makuck, and Richard Simpson.
  • Issue Number Volume 10 Number 4
  • Published Date Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Tin House is celebrating its tenth anniversary, but it is the reader who receives the birthday present. The editors celebrate “art that provokes intense emotion,” presenting both psychologically potent stories and poems and interviews that invite the reader to reflect upon their own understanding of art. The top-notch graphic design, with full-bleed photograph pages before each story, makes the stories that much more inviting.
  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Guest editor Jimmy Santiago Baca writes that work submitted for the issue “resounded with emotional and spiritual conviction.” With forms, styles, and subject matter befitting a TOC that includes four-dozen writers, these convictions are expressed in nearly 300 pages of poems that include family narratives, lyric explorations of the natural world, and inventive forms that explore the limits of language. The poetry is well accompanied by prose selections, which include excerpts of novels, and brief essays on creativity and the pedagogy of creative writing.
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