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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted June 15, 2014

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  • Issue Number Volume 3
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
2 Bridges Review is a young journal that consistently shows a lot of promise; it is apparent that the staff works hard to find the best work from both new and established poets. This issue puts forth poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography where “the real and the imagination fuse.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 1
  • Published Date January 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The first sentences of the work in this issue of The Austin Review are some of the best I’ve read. Each one drew me in a little differently but with a similar level of intensity. And although the first lines of all nine pieces are of equal measure, here are a few examples:
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  • Issue Number Volume 8 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The cover of the spring issue of Black Magnolias: A Literary Journal is striking, bold, and black & white, moving across the page displaying Alex Nodopaka’s Speed Wind Black Magnolias. It suggests an issue with writing that inspire movement and reaction; the issue does not disappoint on this account.
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  • Issue Number Issue 7
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Bop Dead City is a humble, independent, quarterly literary magazine. At first glance it may seem to lack the finesse of larger magazines, but upon closer inspection, the reader will be pleasantly surprised to see interesting cover art as well as poetry and fiction that can and will inspire us all to read more or to pick up a pen and begin to write. This issue focuses on work surrounding loss and attempts to grasp onto the ever-elusive intersection of what was, what now is.
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  • Issue Number Volume 41 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This journal is a lean sixty-seven pages of poetry. No editor’s remarks, no advertisements or indices, no author bios, no other genres. The state where each author lives is identified in the table of contents and that is all. The attention in The Cape Rock is all on the work.
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  • Issue Number Volume 15
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Clare, a literary journal produced by students and faculty at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, has recently moved from a print publication to an online endeavor, and this is its second issue in that form.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date June 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Communion is a brand new online literary journal, this being their first issue, just published this month. They look for and publish work that moves them either emotionally or intellectually but really aim for work that “reflects the concept of communion—with others, self, the world at large.” And from reading the first issue, I’d say they are hitting the ground running with this goal.
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  • Issue Number Volume 10
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Fairy Tale Review maintains its fanciful theme well, but its significance as a literary document exceeds whimsy: the authors transform modern literature, spackling any clichés or invention with language, philosophy, and critical energy.
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  • Issue Number Issue 75
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Whether written in traditional free verse or veering off into experimental territory, the poems in the latest issue of theHiram Poetry Review are frank, high-spirited, and self-assured. Featuring twenty-one poems from nineteen different poets, this slim volume benefits from a clear editorial vision favoring “poems that exhibit excellence with flaws rather than general competence.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 15 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This 15th Anniversary Issue of Iodine Poetry Journal is a collection of unassuming poems by talented writers. The poems are deceptively simple, written with an ease that belies their metaphoric skill. Each poem imagines a story, a picture, a memory, a season, a way of thinking or living, encapsulated in lines of distilled thought that somehow feel like one collective voice of humanity speaking for itself.
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  • Issue Number Number 11
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The editors of Juked state on their website that they do not adhere to any particular themes or tastes, but in this year’s issue, one might perceive a predilection for experimentation. Michelle Latiolais opens the volume with “Out,” which cannot be characterized in a single clause, but links together a complicated narrative almost without any kind of literary seam showing. Reportage of a world caramelized with sex, friendship, and the idiosyncrasies of place and a specific time sets the work apart in a shifting carnival; one is suspended between effective ‘reportage’ and the sequined world of the author’s imagination.
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  • Issue Number Number 31
  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The cover image of Kestrel’s recent issue is a mixed media collage of photo transfer, ink, and colored pencil suggesting a window through which we’re invited to peer deeper into “a story” (the artwork’s title), the text which, along with “1934,” appears as part of the illustration. Artist Julie Anne Struck’s arresting compositions are featured inside the journal as well, collaging image, paint, pencil, text, and texture to results akin to a two-dimensional Joseph Cornell assemblage perfect for the paginated exhibit and super appealing as cover art. As illustrations that beg the viewer to imagine their narratives, what could be more appropriate for this issue’s strong collection of prose and poetry?
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  • Issue Number Issue 14
  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The fourteenth issue of MAKE Literary Magazine focuses on visual culture, toying with the ideas of perception and image. The journal itself is stunning—a mix of colored, white, and black pages that proclaims on its front, “All colors, are, in fact, here.” It’s a line plucked from Cristina Rivera Garza’s poem “I. Despejar” or “I. To Clear.” And it fits perfectly, given that MAKE has a little bit of everything—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, book reviews, artists’ portfolios, an interview, translations, and comics are all represented and flow together flawlessly for fulfilling, well-rounded read.
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  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
According to its inviting website, Minetta Review is “a student-run publication at New York University [which also considers] writing and artwork from all over the country, and . . . [has] even published international submissions.” It’s the oldest literary publication at NYU; this is the publication’s fortieth anniversary.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Summer/Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of online journal New Purlieu Review is themed “Family” and indeed asks important questions about family as well as reflects on the importance of one.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date February 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
While No Tokens, a new, female-run literary journal from Brooklyn, was born partially out of a desire to remind people of the aesthetic pleasures of the print journal and help assure greater gender parity in the publishing world, it’s clear from the strength of their debut issue that the editors’ guiding principle of “celebrating work that is felt in the spine” was the primary criterion for selecting the fiction, poetry, and artwork in their inaugural issue. In the issue’s most arresting pieces of fiction and poetry, characters and speakers honestly appraise lives which have gained a momentum they can no longer passively abide or completely understand.
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  • Issue Number Volume 43 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Though I’ve read several issues of Phoebe before, I’m always impressed by how diverse the journal is in terms of genre, aesthetic, and style. This issue features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comics, and art—a wide range of content that makes for an entertaining mix of reading and viewing material.
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  • Issue Number Volume 34 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Pinch is so expressive and excellent that I’m confident any instance that I pick up this issue I will open it and begin reading something great. Publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art, and the winners of the 2013 Pinch Literary Awards, this issue is just brimming with work you need to read and art that deserves your attention.
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  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date June 2014
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
Relatively new, online magazine rawboned attempts to get “the marrow of the story” and only posts pieces that are 750 words or less. Twice a year, they plan to publish print issues, showcasing their favorite pieces, and I have a couple of my own votes from this June issue, their third so far.
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  • Issue Number Volume 10 Number 3
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
This issue of Red Booth Review starts with two poems by Timothy Dyson, both synopsizing “B-Movies,” with their predictability, such as the end when “Darnell, wearing only a raincoat, / walks into the mist, smiling, alone / There is one small burst of laughter.” This of course gives the poem a sense of predictability, but the poems are more about observation than telling the story.
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  • Issue Number Volume 25
  • Published Date May 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The epigraph at the beginning of this issue of The Sierra Nevada Review comes from Aimé Césaire: “What presides over the poem is not the most lucid intelligence, or the most acute sensibility, but an entire experience: all the women loved, all the desires experienced, all the dreams dreamed, all the images received or grasped, the whole weight of the body, the whole weight of the mind.” This epigraph couldn’t fit more perfectly as each piece within this issue asks the question “What happens when a body (or person) enters a foreign place, what is the experience?”
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  • Issue Number Issue 17
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
I was surprised when I realized that Subtropics was barely more than five years old. Of course the issue number is right there, announcing itself on the front cover, but I don’t think it’s entirely my fault for forgetting: published out of the University of Florida,Subtropics has the look, feel, and quality of a journal that’s been around for much longer. And if my word isn’t enough, you can check the records: last year alone, the journal had fiction chosen to appear in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014 and Best American Short Stories 2014.
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