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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted January 15, 2013

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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date January 2013
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online
ARDOR steps into the literary world with its first issue featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork along with two interviews—one with a featured poet and one with a featured prose writer.
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  • Issue Number Issue 42
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Reading the Berkeley Poetry Review gave me one of those “grass is always greener” moments. It made me jealous that my town doesn’t have a journal like this, dedicated to highlighting local talent and the local scene.
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  • Issue Number Volume 24
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
As always, The Briar Cliff Review makes a strong impression from the second it is placed in your hands. The journal’s large pages offer poetry, fiction, and nonfiction room to breathe and allow pieces of graphic art to be reproduced in flattering detail. In her introductory note, Editor Tricia Currans-Sheehan affirms her obvious desire to embrace the “print-ness” of the review. The magazine, she says, “is for holding and looking and for leafing through—with a treat for the eye and mind on each page.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date Autumnal 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Camera Obscura is a journal devoted to both prose and photography. This issue contains eight stories and twenty-seven photographs.
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  • Issue Number Issue 9
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Subtitled “The War and Peace Issue,” this offering considers the stated themes from a wide range of situations and viewpoints. Aside from an introductory editor’s note, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is given the first word. In an address given in Chautauqua, New York, Roosevelt lamented that he had seen “the dead in the mud” and “cities destroyed” and declared how much he hated war. Unfortunately, the nature of war is such that the same man was forced to wage one several years later.
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  • Issue Number Volume 18
  • Published Date October 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Copper Nickel states on the submission page that the journal publishes no more than 2% of the submissions it receives. After careful study of its October edition, I can easily perceive the appeal: the value proposition of this particular journal exceeds the usual draws—presentation, print and polish. The journal is intelligent in a bold way, showcasing surrealist efforts in at least three of the prose included, and I cage the statistic in “at least,” because the classification “surreal” has been thoroughly extended by popular vernacular: sometimes an exotic dragon making a holographic appearance truly tests the limits of the term. (See Leslie Rakowicz’s short story “Celia,” for an illustration of same.)
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  • Issue Number Volume 4
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Found Poetry Review features—you guessed it—found poetry. Borrowing text from anything from tweets to speeches and newspaper articles to books, the magazine is a fruitful collage of collages.
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  • Issue Number Number 58
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Can our literary senses be overwhelmed? Gargoyle #57 was “a 600-page doorstop of an issue!” Gargolyle 58 is another 470 pages. It’s been noted in previous reviews that there’s too much work available and accepted for Gargoyle, and it happened again with #58. But it’s all of great quality! Consequently, the editors decided to divide everything accepted for #58 and print two issues in 2012.
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  • Issue Number Issue 11
  • Published Date November 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Imitation Fruit welcomes you to the site with a number of googley-eyed fruit. Without a real aesthetic declared, it is hard to tell what the magazine is looking for without doing some reading first. And what I found is that it appears to be more about story, more about the message, than the style or bravado of the writing.
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  • Issue Number Volume 46 Number 1
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Laurel Review is another solid literary journal from the “Show Me State.” The editors and interns present a collection of strong works without fanfare or pretension. They are simply looking for good writing, and that’s exactly what you can expect to see in their latest issue.
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  • Published Date December 2012/January 2013
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly online
Literary Juice publishes literature in small sips. There are short stories, flash fiction, pulp fiction, and poetry.
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  • Issue Number Volume 180
  • Published Date Autumn 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Two outstanding Canadian literary journals have collaborated on separate issues consisting of work from each other’s patch. This issue of Malahat, based in British Columbia (B.C.), features “Essential East Coast Writing” in collaboration with Fiddlehead, published in New Brunswick. Alternately, Fiddlehead published a West Coast issue. Malahat Editor John Barton traces the idea to a 2010 residency at University of New Brunswick and conversations with Fiddlehead Editor Ross Leckie. The result, at least by reading the Mahalat half, is a celebration of artistic vibrancy on both coasts.
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  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
While The Meadow, an annual journal published by Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada, is not exclusive to any region in its scope, it appears to reflect a cohesive sensibility, a conversational approach to creative writing. It begs the question as to whether or not someday we’ll look back to the poets of the West as a distinct school, like the New York School with O’Hara and Ashbury, except that instead of the MOMA we’ll see the glittering of the Vegas slot machines, the boiling petri dishes of Los Alamos.
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  • Issue Number Issue 6
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
After clicking on the man’s face and having him wink at me to enter the site, I knew Miracle Monocle had to be entertaining. I scrolled down and first read “The Importance of Not Losing One’s Head” by Adam Krause and instantly knew I had to review this magazine, even if it was just to mention this one microfiction piece. Short, it invokes a sort of black comedy as the character quite literally loses his head. But no worries, he pantomimes in the street as he looks for it. This doesn’t earn him his head, but he does receive a quarter. That’s all I’ll say; just go read it.
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  • Issue Number Volume 4 Number 2
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
My first impression of Ontologica was that it published a lot of non-literary nonfiction, essays that take a strong bias or are very persuasive. And while I still have that impression, I now realize that it is part of their aesthetic. “Our journal is dedicated primarily to essays of philosophical work,” say the editors. In fact, two of their goals are “to publish provocative contemporary work” and “to challenge the status quo.” In this, they succeed (see Edward Lyngar’s “A Tale of Two Penises” which discusses why male babies should not be circumcised and Edward A. Dougherty’s “Lessons on Totalitarianism”). But for the purposes of this review, I will focus on the fiction.
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  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Ping•Pong is the journal of the Henry Miller Library. Their mission statement maintains that they publish a journal because continuing the literary and artistic legacy of Henry Miller does not mean just publishing Miller, but also others, and that “Given our interest in these peculiar and often-overlooked centers and margins, not everything published in Ping•Pong will be pretty.”
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  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Redheaded Stepchild, an exclusively poetry magazine, likes to play with the other magazine’s unused toys. “We know that a lot of kickass poetry gets rejected,” say the editors, “and we thought it would be fun to publish only previously rejected poems. We like rejects.” But that being said, poems aren’t necessarily rejected because of quality but rather because of fit for the particular magazine. Looking through the bios of this issue, it’s obvious that these writers are not lacking in publications.
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  • Issue Number Issue 9
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
I can’t do much of a better introduction to this issue than Editor Jessica Bixel’s intro, so I’ll let her words speak as she invites you into the issue like she’s inviting you into a haunted mansion: “all manner of death and destruction, breakups and breakdowns, hook of rock and hank of hair. The orchards are swelling, the wolves are watching, and the city is haunted—everyone is waiting for you. Enjoy your stay.”
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  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
Scapegoat Review claims to “gather pieces that actively engage with the audience— they may be challenging, surreal, or even absurd, but they always express an interest in communication. Rather than work that is dry or academic, we seek writing that resonates with sincere, if ironically observed, emotion.” While this is a similar goal of many magazines I come across, I found their aim to be reached. Each and every poem here was engaging, not “dry or academic” (not that academic can’t be engaging too . . .).
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  • Issue Number Volume 35 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
NFL fans who take pleasure in the arts will affirm that Green Bay has more to offer than the Packers. From the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay comes the Sheepshead Review, now in its 35th year of publication. Offering fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and a healthy serving of the visual arts, this publication arrives with the smell of a new book, bearing an elusive whiff of fresh bread. Bold graphics lead the way throughout, and not just in the pages designated for the visual arts; the hefty paper and 4-color format contribute to the satisfying feel of the journal.
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  • Issue Number Issue 16
  • Published Date January 2013
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online
On the first day of each month, The Sim Review releases an issue that features one poem and one story. While it certainly does not entertain a lot of reading, it does provide the reader with a way to learn about new writers, and it shines down a spotlight on the writers, putting their voices and names forward.
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  • Issue Number Volume 97 Number 4
  • Published Date Autumn 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
This is one of those issues that’s a pleasure to read cover to cover. The fiction, including the winner of the 2012 David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction, is outstanding; the brilliant essays take us from Greek isles to the chicken farms of Arkansas, from Salinger to Alain-Fournier to Twain; and the poetry is, without exception, beautiful. Don’t miss any of it.
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  • Issue Number Issue 34 1/2
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
storySouth is not about a flashy design or a new digital look. With a clean and readable format, readers can focus on the writing. As the editors say, “Online fads can’t help but fade away; great writing endures. storySouth is all about the writing.”
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  • Published Date January 2013
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly online
Showcasing fourteen poets, Thrush emphasizes melody found in poetry. The magazine takes its name from the thrush, a species of bird whose songs are, regarded by some, the most beautiful in the world. “We love that and that is how we feel about poems,” say the editors. “We hope to provide you with the best poetry available to us.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Valparaiso Fiction Review, a sister publication of the Valparaiso Poetry Review, is from the Department of English at Valparaiso University in Indiana. What first struck me about the magazine was the format. Each piece of the issue appears in a separate PDF that needs to be downloaded to read. This seemed odd and discouraging, but I’m glad I took the time to work with the format. These longer pieces of fiction found within the issue were well worth it.
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  • Issue Number Volume 47 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Western American Literature, currently housed at Utah State University but seeking a new institutional home, regularly publishes ten or so book reviews plus three or four critical essays on the culture of the American West in each quarterly issue, to an audience focused on critical analysis of the literature and culture of the American West. No fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction is presented here.
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  • Issue Number Volume 66 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Western Humanities Review is the literary journal of the University of Utah’s Department of English. This special issue, the product of collaboration between the Western Humanities Association (WHA) and the University of California Global Health Institute Center for Expertise in Women’s Health and Empowerment (CEWHE), “represents the intellectual work of contributors as well as the exchanges and discussions at both the annual WHA conference meeting [and] CEWHE colloquia seminars.” There is no fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry in this issue. Instead, five scholarly essays discuss “the intersection of women’s empowerment, health rights . . . and new science and technologies that are transforming health and health-care in an increasingly globalized world.” Singly and collectively, these arguments are consummate examples of passionate, knowledgeable, logically persuasive prose. The attentive reader is well repaid for her diligence with timely interrogations of political, economic, and ideological assumptions driving global programs allegedly dedicated to women’s empowerment and health.
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