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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted June 14, 2013

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  • Issue Number Volume 30 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date Spring & Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Alaska Quarterly Review (AQR) is “a journal devoted to contemporary literary art.” This double issue is indeed artful, and reading through the selections is like wandering through a museum one has loved since childhood, from school trips through failed first dates and on into the future of adult wanderings, each stage of life a visitation filled with misgivings, missteps, and misunderstanding.
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  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date May 2013
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online
The first step into the third issue of Apeiron Review is Jenny Taylor Moodie’s poem “I Am,” which speaks to not being the “perfect” looking woman, the one “dipped / in smooth cold plaster / filling all [her] cracks and hiding every insolent flaw.” Instead:
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  • Issue Number Volume 13 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Bellevue Literary Review starts with eyewitness descriptions on the effects of last October’s Hurricane Sandy on New York’s Bellevue Hospital. The piece, titled “The Night of the Hurricane,” archives recollections from resident physicians of NYU’s Department of Medicine and is a tribute to the brave staff members who had evacuated Bellevue Hospital, hauling patients and equipment down stairs and through halls one by one to safety in the midst of enormous devastation rendering the building silent for the first time in more than 275 years. In her foreword, Editor-in-Chief Danielle Ofri writes, “Dollars, hours, gallons, and acreage can seem almost flimsy when trying to understand the effects on a human level—the patient who was carried down seventeen flights of stairs, the administrator who never left the hospital for a week, the employee whose home was destroyed . . .” We are relieved to hear that though “there still remain many displaced elements,” there is hope that “the hospital community will be fully restored soon.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date April 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Muse-Pie Press’s new magazine (they also publish Shot Glass Poetry and the fib review) puts out video and sound files of spoken word poetry. While this often includes slam poetry, it isn’t exclusively so: “Bent Ear Review is about giving a voice to poets, enabling them to express their work with their own emotions and passion in the form of the spoken word.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The cover of this issue of Carve Magazine depicts a fractured two-story home engulfed in flames, and the image is appropriate for at least two reasons. The journal’s title and its ethos are inspired by the works of Raymond Carver, who certainly knew how to depict households in disarray. Further, the stories in this issue each relate to some kind of disaster, whether natural or personal.
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  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
As George Kovach points out in his editor’s note, “the standard definition of war, one society imposing its will on another by militant force, fails the test for full disclosure.” Consequence Magazine adeptly fills the many gaps left open by such a clinical conception of what war really means to those who endure it, soldier and civilian alike. The issue offers a wide range of literature that both forces and invites the reader to confront some of mankind’s more unpleasant tendencies.
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  • Issue Number Number 9
  • Published Date March 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Like all cherished fairy tales from childhood, the Yellow Issue of Fairy Tale Review invites its readers on a journey with memorable characters and promises treasure. The typical reward of the fairy tale as we know it, though, is more elusive in the selections in this issue, and we are asked to listen carefully. Guest Editor Lily Hoang says to “tiptoe forth with caution or come with sword drawn.” Sage advice, for some of these modern fairy tales come equipped with evil, real and imaginary.
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  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Gris-Gris is a new online journal featuring poetry, fiction, and art. “We see the gris-gris as a rich symbol of creative cultural borrowing and blending,” write the editors, “an emblem of the unique mix of cultures that have shaped southern Louisiana. The gris-gris shares the root inspiration of the creative arts: the casting and the breaking of the spell.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 7
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“For me the main motivator in my practice is, quite simply, communication—and a communication that is as unambiguous as possible. I am not looking for novelty but a straightforward way to express an essence or idea, which I hope will be accessible to most people,” writes Jim Maginn in “Modus Operandi,” a sort of afterword to his photographs of traditional Irish musicians printed in this issue of Irish Pages. Maginn apprentices himself to “the humanist tradition,” where photography is “a continuing and compassionate engagement with people.” That just about sums up this issue of the journal for me; only just about, because I would add that it is also a gorgeous experience.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date March 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
In the foreword to the first issue of Lost in Thought, published in July 2011, Editor-in-Chief Kyle Schruder explains that his modus operandi was to contact writers and visual artists, solicit either previously completed or new work, and pair images with fiction of 1500 words or less. If a writer submitted a finished story, Schruder approached an interested artist with the option to make a new work based on that story; if an artist submitted a completed photograph or drawing, Schruder approached an interested writer with the option to write a story based on that image. The pairings should “create something entirely new,” according to the current website. They should inspire the imagination. They should lead you, or permit you, to lose yourself in thought.
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  • Issue Number Number 15
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
A literary, though not a little, magazine, Mandorla is published by the Department of English at Illinois State University in Normal, in collaboration with Southern Methodist University, where its founding editor, Roberto Tejada, is a distinguished professor of art history. Tejada’s interest in interdisciplinary research and synergies infuse the magazine with a focus on the creative process and the synthesis of multiple art forms. This 542-page tome is the 15th issue of the magazine, which started in Mexico in 1991 and has been published yearly under the current aegis since 2004.
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  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Is it backhanded to say that most of Moon City Review 2013 is promising? The truth is, the issue is eclectic and accessible. The prose narratives tell their stories in a straightforward manner that hold my attention, and the poems leave little doubt as to the image or sentiment they’re driving for. But as I read, I often find myself wishing that many of these pieces had received one more editorial pass: so little separates them from promising to satisfying.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
ONandOnScreen publishes poems alongside videos, incorporating the “conversation between moving words and moving images, on and on.” This issue contains a variety of poetry styles as well as ways in which the “moving images” enhance the poems. It holds Looney Toons, dancing Goths, a videodrawing, a news clip, Jiujitsu, several artistic videos, and, of course, excellent poetry.
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  • Issue Number Volume 33 Number 1
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Possibly every reviewer has made a reference to the Pleiades constellation when reviewing Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing (& Reviews). The connections are hard to miss. Just as the constellation has many stars, some of which shine brighter than others, the journal is a collection of many polished works that resonate even if one has to examine them closely, as if with a telescope. The stars are also known as the Seven Sisters, and here the connection ends, at least for the Winter 2013 issue in which none of the pieces seem to be siblings but perhaps distant cousins of one another, at times a few steps removed.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
This issue delivers a lot of interest in relatively few pages by coming at writers from more than one angle. This is particularly effective in the treatment of Carolyn Elkins, a fine poet now living in North Carolina but with roots in the Mississippi Delta, where Poetry South is based. We’re given a generous serving of Elkins’s poetry, seven poems, as well as an interview with her by the magazine’s editor, John Zheng. As a bonus, Zheng discusses three additional poems with the author in some detail and prints the texts in full. Here, all in one place, is an introduction to a poet whose skill and imagination run deep.
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  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date April 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
My first job out of high school was at a small theater that played artistic, foreign, and independent films, but right next door to this theater was a rowdy biker bar. I was always fascinated by the juxtaposition of the theater’s well-to-do patrons of the arts and the leather-clad highway warriors who would sometimes swing by to purchase large tubs of popcorn drenched in butter. Radio Silence, a unique literary journal that blends literature and rock & roll, reminds me of that wonderful cultural clash. In this journal are stories and poems from some of the strongest writers of the previous century and essays that analyze music from influential rock bands and musicians.
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  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Co-publishers Celia Blue Johnson and Maria Gagliano of Slice magazine want to take a moment of your time to share with you their rabid obsession with literature: “This issue of Slice was designed to interfere with your day. We want you to miss your subway stop because you were too busy turning the pages.” This is no joke, dear reader. Obsession is the theme of this issue and every story, poem, and essay is dangerously addictive to read. Subjects range from the mundane to the insane and every piece of writing is sure to keep your attention as your train passes you by.
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  • Issue Number Issue 5
  • Published Date May & June 2013
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly online
The writing in Split Lip pulls the reader in, immediately. All the pieces seem to have that attention-grabbing first line(s). Take these for example: “Jude discharges liquid through her mouth all morning. She suffers from the opposite of motion sickness—she can’t handle the stillness” (Genevieve Hudson’s “Even Wild Horses”). “It happens in a Hong Kong hooker hotel, / off Nathan Road.  A round bed under mirrors, / girlie pinups gazing from candy-pink walls” (Lauren Tivey’s “The Breakdown Atlas). And: “You wake up on the toilet staring at your dick” (Sean Davis’s “Sudsy Penguins”). But, of course, first lines are the only part of the story. After each of these lines come excellent fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
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