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NewPages Literary Magazine Reviews

Posted July 15, 2011

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  • Issue Number Volume 6
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Number six of the Ampersand Review is one packed with loads (and I mean loads; this thing is practically a monster) of juicy fiction and chomp-able poetry. It even has a couple of nonfiction selections that are beyond readable. I have recently been getting into nonfiction perhaps even more than fiction, and the reads in this issue certainly shuffle me along the same path.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date Winter 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
While Bone Bouquet is subtitled “a journal of poetry by women,” the poems in this issue go beyond the idea of women writers only writing about women’s issues. Instead, it holds a wide spectrum of styles and subjects with only the commonality of being written by women.
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  • Issue Number Issue 48
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The newest issue of Hayden’s Ferry Review melts in the hands. Perhaps this is due to its comfortable size—large, a bit overweight—or the season in which it is published. In reality though, the fiction, poetry, and photography inside enacts the melting. In fiction, “Meet Me on the Moon” by Robert Warwick brings summer and its thematic counterpart growing up to the forefront with effortless prose:
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  • Issue Number Issue 13
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Continuity is the watchword in High Desert Journal’s first number under editor Charles Finn. Founder and publisher Elizabeth Quinn remains at the top of the masthead, but with the title of managing editor. According to Finn’s editor’s note, Quinn continues to be very much a part of the endeavor, but will focus now on “the difficult and necessary job of keeping the magazine financially afloat.” Finn pledges to continue the journal’s dedication to furthering the understanding of the “people, places and issues of the interior West.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 64 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
With this volume of the Hudson Review, the magazine features an exemplary selection of Spanish authors and writings, juxtaposing the modern against the established, such as Edith Grossman, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Lorna Knowles showcased with the likes of William Carlos Williams, Jorge Luis Borges, and Pablo Neruda. Reading almost like a highly compact and sleek version of a staggering anthology, the issue does not aim to define the Spanish identity, but instead to spotlight a variation of strong voices and create a mosaic of cultural and social experiences.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Small but mighty, Jackson Hole Review makes its debut into the realm of literary magazines. If you’ve ever wondered about the strength and validity of place-based magazines, the lead essay “Almost Paradise” by Kim Barnes will give plenty of proof positive. Telling her own story of growing up near water and having to leave it behind, Barnes lays painfully bare how deeply connected she was and the mental and emotional suffering she experienced with leaving. Barnes turns to Jung and Campbell for the psychology and mythology of these deeper reactions we have to the planet, “You see, it is not simply the place that I miss, but the recognizable stories it contains. […] What I know is that the stories that take place in a particular landscape are what give us a strong sense of belonging, of attachment. They give us a sense of shared history, a narratival investment. […] How can we separate ourselves from the land that holds our stories?” Barnes’s essay is a good lead-in along with the editorial, setting up the theme of the magazine: Connect/Disconnect.
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  • Issue Number Number 62
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
There are few among us who can say that a disability, in some form or another, hasn’t affected our life or the life of someone we love. Whether it is an accident that results in paralysis, a struggle with mental illness, chronic disease or a learning disability, the fact is, according to the United States Department of Labor, nearly fifty million people in this country have a disability. Kaleidoscope, born out of a beautiful idea back in 1979, is the literary journal published by the the United Disability Services. It gives voice to those living with, or within the shadow of, a disability. This issue of Kaleidoscope is a thoughtful literary collection that focuses on the experience of disability while avoiding any unnecessary sentimentality. Within its fiction, personal essays, poetry, articles and reviews the undercurrent moves readers through content rich with honest stories of determination.
  • Subtitle A Journal of Literary Humor
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  • Issue Number Number 1
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Let me admit this up front: I normally am not a big fan of literary humor. It's not that I don't think funny and literary can exist side-by-side; Mark Twain proved that the two mix well a long time ago. But this first issue of Kugelmass is truly funny, and truly enjoyable.
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  • Issue Number Number 35
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
On the back cover of Left Curve, Franz Kafka proclaims, “The spark which constitutes our conscious life must bridge the gap of the contradiction [between inward and outward] and leap one pole to the other, so that for one moment we can see the world as if revealed in a flash of lightning.” In this issue, authors strive to bridge the gap between the academic and the political, the enlightened intellectual and the deeply philosophical. Unlike other literary journals, Left Curve prides itself on its lofty ambitions of analyzing and even criticizing the effects of cultural modernity. Infused with the fire of devoted and headstrong liberals, many of the essays featured in the magazine cover an array of topics, from the recent Wall Street financial meltdown to the importance of animal equality. The selection and depth of material can be rather daunting, though prepared with the right mindset, can be pleasantly challenging and enlightening.
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  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date Summer 2011
  • Publication Cycle Online 3-5 times/year
The editor’s note of Issue 12 of Literary Bohemian promises an escape for summer, urging readers to “let the summer change the equation to x = why.” Through 17 poems, all rich with setting, the issue definitely accomplishes this goal.
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  • Issue Number Volume 27 Number 3
  • Published Date Spring-Summer 2011
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Here are three fiction writers to watch out for. They all set up confrontations of one sort or another on which their stories turn, and they’re all in the latest issue of The MacGuffin.
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  • Issue Number Issue 10
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2010-11
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Fall/Winter 2010-11 issue of MAKE is dedicated to the spirit of play. And the work presented within is most definitely playful – both in its layout and its content. But don’t assume that because its framework is built around play that it must also be somehow unsophisticated or impetuous. As the editors point out at the start, “the seemingly lighthearted subthemes are all tempered by profound solemnity.” MAKE explores the youthful pastime of play, but in the end offers up very grown-up compilation of literary work.
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  • Issue Number Volume 31 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Arguably, there is a line between humanity and the supernatural. There is the world as we know it and there is that which is otherworldly. The latter may be interpreted as: God (in all his/her/its forms); Death; the Spirit; Magic. Regardless of what we choose to call it, our fascination with it is and always will be present. In the latest issue of the Mid-American Review, we see the line crossed and re-crossed. We see it buried in dust, painted over with vibrant colors, twisted, stretched, formed into something more like a circle, or a knot. Almost every piece acknowledges, to some degree or another, forces beyond character control.
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  • Issue Number Volume 1
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Something every day—gettin up, goin to school
No need for me to complain—my objections overruled, ahh!
Too much monkey business, too much monkey business
Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!
Chuck Berry
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  • Issue Number Number 2
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biennial
The Open Face Sandwich shares a great deal in common with its edible namesake. It’s strange, isn’t it, to sit down with a menu and see that you can order a sandwich without a top piece of bread. Giving it any thought, you have to ask why. Why the unorthodoxy? On a pragmatic level, why give up the bread? What’s the gain? Maybe the experience is the gain. Maybe it’s enough to say you tried it. Maybe only having half the bread, rather than leaving you hungry, leaves you satiated in a way you didn’t expect. Consuming the breadless bread, or something Zen like that.
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  • Issue Number Number 170-171
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Founded in 1965, Salmagundi magazine takes pride in its spectrum of essays, reviews, interviews, fiction, poetry, regular columns, polemics, debates and symposia. In the past, the magazine has featured the likes of acclaimed literary figures such as J.M. Coetzee, Christopher Hitchens, Susan Sontag, and Joyce Carol Oates. Additionally, the magazine boasts that it showcases neither a liberal nor conservative predilection, proclaiming that, “in short, Salmagundi is not a tame or genteel quarterly. It invites argument, and it makes a place for literature that is demanding.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 12 Number 4
  • Published Date Summer 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The recently published “Summer Reading” issue of Tin House is… well, it is…
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  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Published twice a year, the Tulane Review is a student-run literary and art journal published by the Tulane Literary Society, which claims on its website to be the “hub of all literary activity” on the Tulane University campus in New Orleans. Nestled in the uptown section of the Crescent City, near where the Mississippi River snakes so tightly it nearly doubles back on itself, Tulane University is itself a hub of literary activity. The works of the forty-seven writers and artists published in this edition are like the intermingling effluents of the hundreds of rivers and tributaries that stream together in the Mississippi River.
Sitting down with a hot mug of coffee and looking at the landscape-style, bright green literary magazine sitting flat on the table in front of me, my first thought was, I hope I don't stain this. My second thought on the cover, after having read through the pages between the two covers, was that the content was just as strange and delightful. Well, most of it. Some of it was more strange than delightful, and some more delightful than strange. Still, I'm glad I didn't stain it.
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  • Published Date June 2011
  • Publication Cycle 11 times/year
Sometimes it’s nice to get another perspective, other times it’s downright satisfying to have someone else agree with you. Ninety-five percent of the time mainstream media tells the story that needs to be heard, and when it comes to news stories, many of us hear what we want to hear anyhow. That is, we take away from a story what we want to take away from it. But if you're in the market for well-researched, articulate articles by writer-activists with true convictions (who are not afraid to speak their minds) then seek out Z Magazine.
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