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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted May 15, 2013

  • Subtitle New European Writing
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  • Issue Number Number 18
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Published out of Farmington Hills, Michigan, Absinthe identifies its contributors with the help of more than 40 editorial advisors, including Aleksandar Hemon, Adam J. Sorkin, and Sonja Lehner. These advisors, themselves writers and translators, along with Absinthe’s editors, have selected for this issue a preponderance of Eastern European works, including contributions from Romania, Moldova, the Czech Republic, and Croatia, as well as Spain, France, and Scandinavia.
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  • Issue Number Volume 70
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
The seventieth issue of Arc, an annual journal published in Ottawa, Canada, features an email interview with poet Elizabeth Bachinsky, in which she writes: “We really are living in hybrid times.” A fitting remark both for the “cultural capital” writers find themselves living with and for this intelligently edited gathering, which takes as its theme “Reuse and Recycle: Finding Poetry in Canada.” Poetry editor Shane Rhodes contributes the titular essay, considering reuse and recycling in the context of found poetry: its background in Canada, its shifting motivations, and its internet-driven permutations. With few exceptions, however, most of the work in Arc considers reuse obliquely and explores material subjects through honed language rather than through the repurposing of archival or computer-generated texts.
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  • Issue Number Recent Posts
  • Published Date January and April, 2013
  • Publication Cycle Updated Regularly online
Ascent has been featuring essays, fiction, and poetry since 1975. The website is updated regularly, every couple of months.
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  • Issue Number Number 11
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Aufgabe is a tome. It weighs 1.5 pounds on my bathroom scale, and that’s a paperback without any glossy pages. The journal publishes once a year, and the 2012 issue contains American poetry, a section of poems by poets from El Salvador in the original and in translation edited by Christian Nagler, other poems in translation, essays, reviews, and “notes.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 12 Issue 2
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Mississippi River holds a special place in American literature. Mark Twain wrote extensively about it in his memoir, “Life on the Mississippi”: “The Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable.” Big Muddy, a literary journal published by the Southeast Missouri State University Press, is as remarkable as the mighty river it is named after. This journal delivers stories, poems, and essays related to the Mississippi River Basin and its bordering ten-state area, but you don’t have to live in this area of the United States to enjoy the writings collected in this issue.
  • Subtitle A literary journal devoted to women's sexuality
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  • Issue Number Volume 27
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
If discussion of female genitalia makes you uncomfortable, this may not be the journal for you. But if you understand and appreciate that women’s sexuality is natural, then read on.
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  • Issue Number Number 10
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Court Green devotes a big chunk of every issue to a dossier on a special topic or theme. This year it’s sex. There are many fine poems here, but before I get to them, I want to make an observation based on reading so many poems about sex in one bunch.
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  • Issue Number Issue 35
  • Published Date April 2013
  • Publication Cycle 10 a year online
If I can say one thing about The Drum it’s this: don’t read it. No, you read that correctly. It’s just a corny joke to say that you can’t read this literary magazine; you listen to it. Your resource for “Literature out Loud,” The Drum publishes fiction, essays, novel excerpts, and interviews in audio form, often in the author’s own voice. Even if you don’t think you’d enjoy audio literature, go to the website, at least to check it out.
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  • Issue Number Issue 10
  • Published Date April 2013
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online
Fiddleblack, an online magazine now on its tenth issue, seeks to find and publish pieces that “eloquently capture what it means to know the finite bounds of self and place.” The editors go on to say that they are “interested in works of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction that make purposeful commitments to figuring out whom one is meant to be, and how it is that one should exist in the space enclosed around him.” And certainly the characters included in this issue are searching through these problems.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The experience of a minute occurs differently on a train, in sixty parts, rather than the measurable clattering of east coast winter hellos, vowels in mini-seconds through the incisors. Traveling by rail has been the essential inorganic character of thousands of recollections of the Western canon. Like the prospects of vaudeville and print journalism, it was meant to last forever. And thanks to a moving, technically masterful essay by Barbara Hass in the current issue of Fjords, it does. Her essay, “This Wilderness We Can’t Contain,” is imaginative without losing the tight management of its political and philosophical themes, without unraveling the travel narrative in the irresistible surrealism of the setting. In unpacking the 2011 flood of the Missouri River, she captures an essential rail experience—with the expert and shifting lens of the other elements that contribute to environmental disaster.
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  • Issue Number Number 66
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“Accept the changes, Celebrate the advantages, Find Purposes.” This quote from Mike Shirk, a disabled artist featured in Kaleidoscope, exemplifies the humanity, humility, and honesty you’ll find in the issue. A magazine dedicated to discussing disabilities through art, fiction, poetry, and personal essays, Kaleidoscope is inspiring. This “Significant Relationship” issue (the last print issue before they transition to a digital model) offers comfort to caregivers, understanding to outsiders, and hope to the disabled. Kaleidoscope is different than almost every other literary magazine I’ve read; it is art with a purpose—with a humanitarian agenda and a palpable sense of community.
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  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
The feel and writing of Literal Latte, a magazine that has been “serving up a stimulating brew since 1994,” are authentic. All of the work is quality and well worth the read. And what’s even better is that this issue features contest winners—the best of the best.
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  • Issue Number Number 31
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Reading a long short story is a special process somewhere between starting up slow and circling around for the long haul, as you do for a novel, and nabbing on the fly the conflict and character quirks thrown out by the early paragraphs of a short story which are swiftly brought to some end. So I respect and admire the unique mission of The Long Story: to publish stories of eight to twenty thousand words (most between eight and twelve thousand) and let the reader develop a relationship with the ideas and people unfolding between the first and twenty-thousandth words.
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  • Issue Number Volume 24 Number 2
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
In the United States, the word freedom is talismanic, introduced from kindergarten as the American creation myth and held up by politicians and news commentators, rightly or not, as the premier American export. We own the idea—so the subtext goes—and the rest of the world struggles to become like us. So when I hold in my hand the Winter 2012 issue of Mānoa, called On Freedom: Spirit, Art, and State, I wonder how each piece and photograph defines freedom: does the definition conform or aspire to the American definition, and is it first and foremost political?
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  • Issue Number Volume 7 Issue 2
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Mezzo Cammin is a journal “devoted to formal poetry by women.” The explanation of the title is explained as such:
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  • Issue Number Volume 202 Number 1
  • Published Date April 2013
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
If any magazine could create a mythology in one edition it would be Poetry. To accomplish this in one issue is next to miraculous, but this is what they have done in the April 2013 issue. Christian Winman and a small cast of editors make their work look effortless, the selections of work by established poets speaking for a larger humanity.
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  • Issue Number Issue 52
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Potomac Review publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from a wide selection of established and emerging authors. From the homepage of their website: “Our philosophy welcomes variety, and through it, we create an organic flow of ideas to contribute to the literary conversation.” The conversation in this issue is definitely worth checking out.
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  • Issue Number Volume 36 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
In REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters, Billy Longino interviews Stewart O’Nan and extracts the following prescription: “I found that in a lot of the plotted fiction the plot was getting in the way of what I thought the novel does best: create depth and use time to illuminate character.” The interview explores O’Nan’s literary theory in compelling insight. Hearing the analysis also informs a reading of the rest of the journal, in which writers succeed in illuminating character.
  • Subtitle A Journal of Christian Literature
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  • Issue Number Volume 17
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Take note of the subtitle of Windhover. If you’re not a Christian, or if you don’t entertain at least a little curiosity about the claims of the Christian world regarding the salvific message and death-into-life of what Brian Doyle calls “that gaunt rabbi from Jerusalem two thousand years ago,” this may not be the journal for you. Every poem (there are thirty), prose piece (three, and two reviews) and work of art (several color reproductions by each of two impressive visual artists) requires at least some familiarity with the Biblical and cultural roots of Christian thought. Allusions to the life and teachings of Christ and to the tension inherent in faithful living abound in this issue. If you grok these allusions, this journal is an absolute treasure. If you don’t, you might be confused—or you might become a seeker, wandering a step or two toward conversion.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Zymbol is steeped in summer. A journal of surrealist fiction and poetry, this issue’s transcendence—occasionally incorporating the grotesque—appears with a tinge of nostalgia for warm days that have slipped away. With this nostalgia comes a feeling of loneliness, and an issue filled with introverted voices trying to find a connection to the world around them.
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