NewPages.com is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted July 30, 2010

  • Subtitle Belfast Imagined
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 13 Number 2
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Edited by Megan Sexton and David Bottoms, this issue of Five Points explores literature as well as audio inspired by the theme “Belfast Imagined.” Work includes an interview with novelist Glen Patterson (which is also available on the journal’s website); photography comprising a series entitled “Flash Points”; a companion 19-track, 78+ minute CD; two essays; fiction; and poetry by Medbh McGuckian, Ciarán Carson, Leontia Flynn, Howard Wright, and Alan Gillis, whose poem “Down Through the Dark and Emptying Streets” begins the issue:
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 46
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I’m warning you from the get-go: I will never be able to do this volume justice in a one itty-bitty little review. This is one big, bold, brilliant effort. From Brian Dettmer’s “New Books of Knowledge,” full bleed front and back cover art, to Halina Duraj’s essay, “The Company She Keeps,” the last piece in the magazine, this is surely one of Hayden’s Ferry Review’s most exciting issues ever.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 40 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
A terrific redesign to kick off the journal’s 40th year. I love the new look and feel (decidedly less stodgy; easier to hold and read; appealing new shape, beautiful cover and page layouts). Prose – seven stories and five essays – is what held my attention most vividly in this volume, beginning with Elizabeth Benjamin’s beautifully composed prose in “Scarce Lit Sea” (“A year after he said see you soon out the window of his truck, he returned to me, in the night as he had always come, either by water, his boat striking the sharp brown rocks, or on foot, whistling bird calls from the trail.”). Stories by Karl Harshbarger, Whitney Ray, Sarah Colvert, Amma Gautier, Ben Fountain, and Kirsten Clodfelter couldn’t be more different from Benjamin’s, or from each other, but all are solid and satisfying in different ways and for different reasons, making the short fiction in this issue especially appealing.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 26 Number 3
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Curiosity got the better of me. Once I’d read the title, “Je Suis un Ananas” (I am a Pineapple) in the TOC, I had to turn to Libby Cudmore’s essay right away. I got doubly rewarded for my impatience. First, with Cudmore’s short, insightful response to “new media” (YouTube, Facebook) efforts to encourage a revisionist approach to childhood memories; and then by Colleen Pilgrim’s exquisite black and white photo, “Bog Trail,” which I had not expected on the facing page. The quality of Pilgrim’s photo sent me straight back to the TOC to look for other photos, and I was happy to find another of Pilgrim’s photo, and stunning images by Patrick Mog and Robert McGovern.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 48 Number 1
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
In this era of short attention spans, multi-tasking, split screen viewing, fast food, speed dial, and the quick fix, I admire Northwest Review’s daring: this issue features three very long short stories (Charlie Smith’s “We’re Passing Through a Paradise” is nearly 50 pages) and a lengthy essay by poet Eavan Boland (just under 20 pages). The work of 15 poets rounds out the issue.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 69
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
A glossy, four-color magazine produced quarterly in Arkansas, featuring magazine journalism, fiction, a dining column, news of the south, and the annual “Best of the South” selection. This year’s “Best of the South” turns “best-of” lists upside down with quirky “Odes to” places, trips, events, people, experiences, books, activities, nature highlights, sports, commercial establishments, food and drink, the visual arts, famous personalities, moods and moments by writers, artists, and actress Sharon Stone. Beth Ann Fennelly expounds on “Ten Sexy Books” (writers as distinctly different from each other as Tennessee Williams, Zora Neale Houston, and Ellen Gilchrist make the list). Maud Newton writes about the Biltmore Hotel in Florida. Barrah Hannah’s ode is advice to a young writer advising that he/she treasure loneliness. William Giraldi celebrates body builders in Louisiana.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 105 Numbers 1/2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue’s cover is a riveting photo of Japanese-Americans at a Los Angeles rail station on their way (forcibly) to internment camps in 1942. In fact, the photo is so beautifully composed and so striking, it’s hard to open the cover and leave it behind. But, it would be a shame not to, the issue’s simply terrific. “Poetry…survives war’s upheavals and seeks to leave an enduring record…rebuilding has always been part of poetry’s promises,” assert Poet Lore’s editors. Much of the work here certainly deserves to endure.
  • Image Image
  • Published Date Spring 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
This is the “short story” issue, fifteen short works (2-4 pages) many of which read more like memoirs or personal essays than fiction, and they may be (genres are not identified). They are direct in their intention to be “reflections of Jewish thought.” Half have titles that announce their Jewish-ness in one way or another (“Post-Abrahamic,” “Tekiah Gedola: The Strongest Call,” “Mamala,” “Zaydie the Courageous,” “A True Hillel and Shamai Story,” “Yom Kippur,” “Israel Journey, ’94 Heart”), and all have overtly Jewish themes of one type or another: one’s relationship to Israel; the portrait of a grandparent as an example of Jewish life as it used to be; differences in Jewish practice or belief between parents and children; the experience of Holocaust Survivors; memories of synagogue services; relationships with Christian neighbors; coping with aging parents; the changing nature of Jewish families.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 5 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
With this issue, the journal moves from its home at the Attic Writers Workshop in Portland, Oregon to the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College on the Puget Sound. Editor Kevin Craft says the journal will remain true to its “capacity to be of one place and reflective of many,” and he describes the journal’s editorial approach:
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 33 Number 1
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Sometimes other diversions provide resonance to my reading. Last week I watched SMILE, a Michael Ritchie film that I'd seen several times back when watching old movies meant late night broadcast stations, not TCM. I remember how hip I thought that movie was, because it acknowledged that beauty and charm were just as much part of women's competitive framework as doing well in track or basketball. Knowing what I do now about life, women (and women's pictures), I was naive. I was also in the first generation of girls that went to school after Title IX was enacted in US schools. Equal opportunities in athletics, back then, seemed a new, honest and honorable route to personal achievement.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 39 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2009/Spring 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Full disclosure: I read this issue and am writing this review while recuperating from surgery to repair a fractured hip. So, this issue’s focus on the corporeal (Special Double Issue: The Lyric Body) is of particular interest. Of the body, editors Stephen Kuusisto and Ralph James Savarese say they present “a form for engagement" that "is always political…and always lyrical, whether we see it that way or not.” If lyrical means poetically inspired, and political means engaged with the world, then I would say their choices for the issue are, indeed, lyrical and political. And they’re also quite wonderful.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Number 17
  • Published Date Spring 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Tipton Poetry Journal is a small, stapled, chapbook-like (in appearance) publication featuring “poetry from Indiana and around the world.” This issue’s 44 pages include the work of three-dozen poets. While I was not familiar with these poets, all have substantial publication credits in a wide variety of journals and several have authored full-length collections and/or novels.
newpages-footer-logo

We welcome any/all Feedback.


Warning: mysqli::stat(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 202

Warning: mysqli_close(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 209

Warning: mysqli::stat(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 202

Warning: mysqli_close(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 209

Warning: mysqli::stat(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 202

Warning: mysqli_close(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 209

Warning: mysqli::stat(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 202

Warning: mysqli_close(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 209

Warning: mysqli::stat(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 202

Warning: mysqli_close(): Couldn't fetch mysqli in /mnt/data/vhosts/casite-640320.cloudaccess.net/httpdocs/libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 209