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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted December 15, 2009

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  • Published Date November 2009
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online
This literary journal presents eight stories a month to the reading public and then has viewers vote on their favorite. That story becomes the featured story of the month, to be included in a downloadable biannual collection produced in July and January. Two new stories are featured each week, encouraging frequent visitations to the website by interested readers. This is strictly a fiction website, and there is a range from microfiction up to 4000 words.
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  • Issue Number Volume 9 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I admire Bellevue Literary Review for its consistency and the polish, confidence, and competence of its contents. Produced at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, with a focus on “illness, health, and healing,” it is easy to conceive of a journal that might compromise on or sacrifice literary quality in its quest to adequately represent these themes, yet Bellevue pays as much attention to composition as to subject matter. Featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews, the journal presents the work of accomplished writers with impressive credentials from the world of medicine, literature, the social sciences, education, and the MFA poetry scene.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
This second edition of Bloodroot, “dedicated to publishing diverse voices through the adventure of poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction,” features the work of 27 poets, five fiction writers, and one essayist. Poems tend to fall into one of three categories, personal narratives, nature scenes, or personal encounters with nature, with a few exceptions (including a few more metaphysically oriented pieces). David Strait’s “Christmas Day” is characteristic of the personal narrative. The poem begins:
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  • Issue Number Issue 120
  • Published Date October 2009
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly online
This magazine was founded in 1957 in print form and none other than Jean Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett contributed to its pages. In the years to come, it continued to feature such luminaries as William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Terry Southern, and Allen Ginsberg until the final issue in 1973. The Review was revived as an online edition in 1998. The present edition, issue number 120, has a pleasant mix of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reviews, and several reprints from the past.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“Defining literature. In real context.” is how Fifth Wednesday describes itself, making smart use of the multiple layers of meaning these terms evoke (I especially like “defining,” which works grammatical overtime). That said, I’m not sure what this actually does mean. What I do know, thanks to publisher Vern Miller's Editor’s Notes, is that each issue is guest edited (fiction editor this issue is J.C. Hallman and poetry editor is Nina Corwin); in this fourth issue the journal has now added a section of book reviews; and the magazine feels “obligated” to bring readers some new voices in literature. Alongside these emerging voices, Issue 4 also includes a poem by the incredibly prolific and popular novelist and poet Marge Piercy and award-winning poet Arielle Greenberg. An interview with Greenberg opens the issue.
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  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I recognized only two names in the Table of Contents, Nahid Rachlin and Simon Perchik. Yet, even a quick glance at the Contributors’ Notes lets me know that most of the 16 fiction writers, three nonfiction writers, and more than two-dozen poets whose work appears here have substantial publishing credits. Despite the popular notion that people don’t read and the literary world is suffering, languishing, or on the decline, there are so many journals of all kinds, and so many people writing and publishing, it is difficult to keep up with them all. Gander Press Review, published by Loosey Goosey Press in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is doing its part to keep small press publishing thriving.
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  • Issue Number Volume 1 Number 1
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Editor-in-Chief Kimberly Ann Southwick kicks off her new mag with a warm welcome to potential contributors:
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  • Issue Number Number 95
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hanging Loose always does a good job of mixing it up: a combination of established poets and newer voices, along with the fresh work of “writers of high school age.” The youthful poems are particularly appealing this issue, more mature in their insights than one has a right to expect from such young writers.
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  • Issue Number Volume 34
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
This edition of inscape finds loss of every sort within its pages. Each piece is different, naturally, but the element of emptiness seems to touch each poem, each story, in this journal. The first I’ll give a glimpse of is Brian Brown’s “History of Time”:
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  • Issue Number Volume 39 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
In May and June of 2008, The Cedar River, after days of torrential rain, broke through its restraints, and the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was suddenly plunged into a flood, destroying the city and displacing most of its inhabitants. The memory of this event permeates the pages of this edition of the Iowa review, and the journal cannot be read without feeling the loss that these people, and these writers, felt. So deep was their loss, and their shock, that stories and poems about the river fill each and every page, with nostalgia, sadness and anger. All manner of emotion can be found within The Iowa Review’s pages.
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  • Issue Number Number 27
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
This journal is, not the least surprisingly, composed almost entirely by long, short stories. It was a joy to read, and it is my sincere hope that, at the end of this review, I will have convinced you to purchase a copy.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Summer/Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
One appreciates a literary magazine with a central theme, and this is precisely what MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine delivers. It trains it sights on the underdogs of society, with stories and poem focused on character and a sense of place, depicting individuals who have been brushed aside or overlooked by society.
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  • Issue Number Number 6
  • Published Date Fall/winter 2009/2010
I didn’t even realize publications like make/shift still existed. What a relief! Reading this radical magazine-style (not journal, magazine!) publication made me nostalgic for Off Our Backs (maybe even for On Our Backs) and Lesbian Connections and the let’s-turn-the-world-upside-down rags I looked forward to every month in the 70’s and 80’s when women’s bookstores were (sometimes) dangerous and (always) exhilarating, and I could rely on feminist writing to inspire and sustain me.
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  • Issue Number Number 168
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Despite much evidence to the contrary, or the apparent – or at least underestimated – challenges of doing so, it is possible to write an original and unforgettable speaker-meets-nature poem; or a speaker talks-to-poem poem; or a family story poem; or a poem with diction as casual as a nonchalant conversation; or a poem with images of popular culture; or yet one more poem about the mystery of math. It is possible to write an original and satisfying story from the perspective of a child or an adolescent that is also mature and inventive, not excessively playful or childish. It is possible to write a book review that exhibits intellectual sophistication without resorting to jargon. It is, in fact, possible to find all of these original and exceptional pieces in one place, writing by Susan Gillis, Jefferey Donaldson, Sam Cheuk, Rachel Rose, Eve Joseph, Ross Leckie, Eliza Robertson, Devon Code, Jackie Gay, Eric Miller – in The Malahat Review.
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  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The Meadow is an annual journal published by Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. Truckee Meadows students serve on the editorial board and represent the largest group of contributors to the magazine, although this issue’s contributors also include several MFA students from large universities and a few more seasoned writers. The centerpiece of the issue is an interview with novelist and memoirist Kim Barnes (A Country Called Home, Finding Caruso, In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in an Unknown Country, Hungry for the World), conducted by the journal’s fiction editor, Mark Maynard. They discuss the genesis of Barnes’s most recent novel, the importance of place in that book, her writing process, and her upcoming work.
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  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
For twenty years, Moon City Review was a student-run biannual journal published by the Missouri State University department of English. With the 2009 issue, the magazine transitions to a “book annual featuring work in various genres from multiple communities; from current students and faculty to celebrated alums and artists of regional, national, and even international reputation.” The new journal will include a section titled “Archival Treasures from the Ozarks,” which will “’bring back’ artists whose works lie languishing, and largely forgotten.” In their lengthy introduction announcing these changes, the editors invite submissions for future issues, which will focus on special themes, though not to the exclusion of other work, to include “speculative fictions,” an alumni issue, and the art and literature of children and adolescents.
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  • Issue Number Volume 1 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
For those of us fortunate to live in Massachusetts, the name Paul Revere nearly conjures magic, in the fairy-tale sense. Perhaps it was by design, then, that the publishers of this journal’s very first edition would use tales that evoke feelings of long-agos, and far, far-aways. Micaela Morrissette’s tale, “The Glowing Light in the Forest” is the perfect ambassador for Paul Revere’s Horse’s first foray, and the perfect example of magic conjured by pen. Truly, I can give but a hint or two of her ingenious story/poem. For example, “In the cool, damp, dark forest, a princess.” If this seems like a slight tease, then I’ll add one of Morrissette’s devilishly clever lists: “The forest. The princess. The well. The tower. The red rose. The frog. The ring. The dog. The tear. The servant. The key. The mirror. The witch. The disguise.” But that is all I will say. To give you, the reader, more would spoil the surprise that is Morrissette’s writing, and her utterly captivating tale. This imagining would be enough to recommend the journal; it’s that good, but Paul Revere’s Horse has so much more to offer.
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  • Issue Number Volume 59 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
As usual there are great poems and stories in the latest issue of Shenandoah, though I must say that the two essays, Jeffrey Hammond’s engaging “My Father’s Hats, and a wrenching must-read by Shari Wagner, “Camels, Cowries & A Poem for Aisha,” about harrowing conditions in Somalia, are stand-outs. Set within the frame of a memoir, Jeffrey Hammond’s essay, “My Father’s Hats,” is an entertaining history of the hat, beginning with the snug pilos, the Greek name for a common, helmet-shaped cap made of felt. I sat at my computer as I read, Googling the names of hats as Hammond’s prose moved through the centuries.
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