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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted December 17, 2012

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  • Issue Number Volume 43 Number 2
  • Published Date August 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
The Arkansas Review features a blend of fiction, poetry, photography, and scholarly articles about the seven-state Mississippi River Delta. At fifty pages, the brief journal is an interesting study of this part of America, but at times feels claustrophobic in its geographic constraints. What sets this magazine apart from others is the chorus of Delta voices and its convincing local color.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 49
  • Published Date December 11, 2012
  • Publication Cycle Weekly online
Every Tuesday, Atticus Review publishes a few pieces of literature. The December 11th issue features the work of William Reese Hamilton, Marko Fong, and M. C. Allan. This issue, as the editors say, is about rejection.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
Created last Thanksgiving, Birdfeast aims to quarterly provide a feast of poetry; publishing all forms and styles. “Think of how you might see a dessert pudding sitting comfortably by a roast turkey on your Thanksgiving table,” the editors say.
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  • Issue Number Volume 28 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Once again, Richard Burgin and his team present a well-rounded collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that will appeal to the reader’s intellect and emotion alike. The impact begins with the journal’s very first piece: a new short story from Joyce Carol Oates. In “Anniversary,” Vivianne has retired from higher education and has decided to volunteer to teach writing in the State Prison Education Program. Vivianne has been paired with Cal Healy, a much younger and far less experienced teacher. Oates builds tension effectively and organically, taking a lot of time to explain all of the many rules one must follow to work in a prison. (Avoid blue clothing so you can’t be confused with an inmate, avoid delving too deeply into their personal lives . . . and keep an eye on that pencil sharpener.) The ending of the story alone is worth the read. Oates manipulates the reader’s understanding of the narrative, lending greater power and a more disturbing undertone to a simple ride home.
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  • Issue Number Number 89
  • Published Date Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
At its start, Brick was a collection of reviews, and at its heart still is. The editors say, “Brick’s mandate remains unchanged: to create a beautiful product filled with the most invigorating and challenging literary essays, interviews, memoirs, travelogues, belles lettres, and unusual musings we can get our hands on.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 27 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
CALYX, a literary journal dedicated to celebrating women’s voices, never fails to delight. The expanded summer issue of 2012, with its collection of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art, and book reviews, is by turns lyrical and raw, whimsical and powerful. We read about mothers, sisters, wives, and best friends in witty and imaginative language, glimpses into other lives that live on in the imagination long after the last page has been turned.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Now in its eighth issue, Canteen is a journal that “admires what writers and artists do” and wants “insight into how and why it’s done.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 62 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Families in various stages of self-destruction or survival are a connecting thread for most of the prose in this issue of Carolina Quarterly. Fiction and memoir today are rife with stories about the unsettled, uncommitted young, so it’s refreshing to read strong writing about people who have tried to firm up some ground beneath their feet—even if the effort sometimes fails catastrophically.
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  • Issue Number Volume 4 Issue 11
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2012-13
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online
Cerise Press, a well laid-out and professional looking online journal, publishes a variety of fiction, poetry, translations, essays, and art and photography in the latest issue. I started with the fiction, getting lost in the narratives and then dove into the endless (okay, not literally) amounts of poetry.
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  • Issue Number Volume 6 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
As its name would indicate, the poems in this slender volume of Ekphrasis take another piece of art as their starting point, sometimes providing description or commentary but also pushing it further, igniting something transformative. Though there is no editorial statement to indicate any specific theme or thrust for the issue, the further one reads, the more unnecessary it becomes. The title is enough.
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  • Issue Number Issue 13
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Eleven Eleven is an exciting journal from the California College of the Arts. Founded in 2004, their goal is to provide an outlet for risk and experimentation from talented writers and artists. From the gorgeous cover art to the works of fiction and poetry from local and international talent, there is a lot to like about the current issue.
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  • Issue Number Volume 1
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Frequencies, a new biannual journal published by Two Dollar Radio, is dedicated to delivering artful essays for your reading pleasure. This first issue only contains four essays and an interview with Anne Carson, but the quality of each piece makes this journal heavy with literary weight.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
The Golden Key is a brand new speculative online journal, then name coming from the Grimm’s fairy tale with the same title. The Grimm’s story ends with a boy who lifts the lid of an iron chest without revealing what’s inside. Co-Editor Susan Anspach says, “The Grimms chose to end their collection of fairy tales with this story as a reminder that there exists an endless reserve of stories still yet untold. In the same spirit, our journal seeks to publish work that is open to strange and marvelous possibilities.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 7
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Jellyfish Magazine’s design is simple and fresh. The top of the page features a sketch of waves—and certainly this issue flows through like waves, ups, downs, and fluid, often touching on the topic of the water, the sea. 
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  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online
Another new magazine, Map Literary “is dedicated to celebrating quality works of new literature. Rather than aligning with any one aesthetic, we aspire to promote the finest provocative writing of our time.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 4
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Mead aims to make the magazine “small and explosive, writing we would want to read while waiting at the bar for our lover. Writing that is fermented, burnt, makes some kind of penance, offering, or sacrifice. Has breakage, but tooth. Writing with ropes, legs, residue. Writing that leaves ashes.” There are five sections—beer, wines, cocktails, pure spirits, and sparkling—in which the editor categorizes the pieces to be published. In this review, I choose to select my favorite for each of the drinks.
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  • Issue Number Volume 54 Number 1
  • Published Date Autumn 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The Midwest Quarterly, published at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, is a no-frills, no-nonsense journal of scholarly essays and poetry.
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  • Issue Number Issue 6
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Trianuual online
What first drew me into this magazine was the art, by Alison Scarpulla. The table of contents is set up as a collage of images, each one pertaining to a piece of prose or poetry. At least for the art, make sure to take a look at this issue, though I suspect you’ll find plenty in the writing to keep you on the site. 
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  • Issue Number Issue 58
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online
Before delving into discussion of the writing in Right Hand Pointing, it is worth noting that the magazine’s layout/design makes reading it easy. Such a simple design allows for full focus on the words rather than what they look like on the page. I read the issue entirely from my phone; at the end of each poem, I simply scrolled to the bottom and clicked the hand pointing to the right to continue on in the issue.
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  • Issue Number Volume 14 Number I
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
A journal dedicated to the nonfiction narrative, River Teeth celebrated its fourteenth year anniversary with its Fall 2012 edition. In many of the essays in this volume, the concepts of privacy and identity, which its editor Dan Lehman mentions in his notes, become a weighty trade-off for the benefit of nonfiction. The thirteen narratives that compose the volume are unique in subject matter and voice but share an artistic spirit, a deliberate frame of a world otherwise chaotic.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Numbers 8 & 9
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Solo Café 8 & 9 is a volume written by teachers and students. It considers the relationships between teachers and students as well as the dynamic of an educational setting. Having such a diverse age range of writers with so many different experiences relating to education was enlightening. The writing follows a more autobiographical track filled with emotion, rather than being dominated by writers trained to excel as creative writers. The raw story takes precedence over any craft in storytelling. It made for a very interesting read, and there were some great contributions of poetry to dive into.
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  • Issue Number Number 5
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
We read magazines for escape. At least, I do. Whether I’m sitting under the salon hair-dryer flipping through celebrity gossip or snuggling into a comfy chair with a novel that forces me to be the narrator (Look at me! I just killed a dragon!), I am an escape artist. I enjoy leaving reality far, far behind. So, for me, Stone Voices was a major wake-up call.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Summer/Autumn 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Dear Structo:
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  • Issue Number Volume 7 Number 62
  • Published Date Summer/Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
The journal subTERRAIN is published thrice annually by the sub-TERRAIN Literary Collective Society in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although the journal originated in 1988, to a reader in the United States, it appears to be a somewhat Northern combination of the 1970s Mother Jones magazine with its funky typeface and riotous paper and Harper’s Magazine with its editorial composition. Despite its funding from various governmental entities, I don’t think its writers or its editorial collective really tend to bow or mew to anyone in particular.
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