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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted December 15, 2014

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  • Issue Number Volume 6
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
At the end of the day, aren’t we all looking for the same thing: words on a page that are strong enough to transport us inside a writer’s mind? I’m a picky reader and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It takes a lot to get, much less keep, our attention. That said, the Spring 2014 issue of Arroyo does not disappoint; in fact, it is quite the page turner—transported I wanted, transported I got.
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  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
An out-of-this-country experience, the Atlanta Review introduces a collection of poems that touches on issues of race and bias. In this issue, readers are taken on a tour of Pakistan as they discover a unity in life’s tragedies.
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  • Issue Number Volume 64 Number 1
  • Published Date Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
According to the cover, the Summer 2014 edition of The Carolina Quarterly is said to be full of “fairy tales, and pheromones, pious knives and lullabies, plus dust, dreams and winged messengers,” but it’s also chock full of darkness and hope, especially in the fiction and nonfiction entries. The Summer 2014 edition takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of loss, love, and optimism.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Fall 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I haven’t reviewed many literary journals despite my sixty-something years on earth, since many of those years were spent in the Navy and at sea. I’ve never read a journal cover-to-cover until I perused the Fall 2014 issue of The Common, a relatively new journal, first published in 2011, and headquartered at Amherst College. And I didn’t expect it to make me feel like this was my journal; like I’d selected all of the pieces I want to find in a journal: fiction, poetry, essays, and photography.
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  • Issue Number Volume 38 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This double issue of The Florida Review packs in a dazzling array of thought-provoking reading. It invites with accessible forms and quotidian subjects, and rewards with more challenging and experimental material. It covers a vast range of the human experience: what is it like, and what does it mean, to be a woman, a Mormon, a Jew, a person aware of the nearness of death, a person pondering her relationship to her vocation?
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Beth Mead, the editor of The Lindenwood Review, asserts that “the pieces we’ve selected this year are fragmented, showing us moments caught and suspended for our study, helping us find some truths about life through an unexpected point of view.” The Lindenwood Review most certainly holds true to Mead’s statement as each work within the magazine not only enticed me to read its content, but drew me to a level of self-reflection that left me wonderstruck.

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  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Never have I felt a literary magazine embody its name more than the current issue of The Meadow. Its contents guide readers through a field of language which sets forth a landscape of natural beauty that’s not without its seasonal allergies. The Meadow amalgamates previously published writers like Keith Dunlap with students, such as Kirsten Jachimiak, who attend Truckee Meadows Community College where the magazine is published.
The North Carolina Literary Review is serious business, filled with substantial articles, interviews, poems, and stories that will be cited and remembered beyond the pleasure of reading that so many good literary journals offer. Moreover, there is a welter of photographs and art work, almost too much to take in. This is not an issue to pass on to a friend, but rather to shelve in one’s permanent library.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Pacifica Literary Review embraces stories dealing with concepts that represent the reality of the world in which they are written. This is evident in the poetry, prose, and art of this issue. The things people wish they could say, or experiences that they may have had but never talk about, find their way onto the page in bold, eye-catching print. Individual poems, stories, and images work together to form a collective narrative of the ever-changing world in which we live.
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  • Issue Number Volume 46
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Dysfunctional families, human nature, and the forces of Mother Nature are all prominent topics in this issue of Pembroke Magazine. While stories with happy endings, delivered with bows on top, are often sought after in today’s culture, it is refreshing and entertaining to read essays, stories, and poetry that have no real resolution.
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  • Issue Number Volume 7 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Quiddity is ambrosia to modern writers and readers alike. It values brevity, and wraps life’s enigmas in eloquent vocabulary. Three-quarters of the issue is dedicated exclusively to poetry, but even the prose is concise, and yet all of the pieces are dense with dimension and meaning. This issue is broken into four categories: poetry, prose, interviews, and art. Each section is carefully pieced together like patches to create a beautiful quilt.
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  • Issue Number Issue 16
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The title Skidrow Penthouse evokes images of grit. A cover photo featuring bird heads and faceless, female nudes immediately confronts readers with the promise of grit. The 200+ pages of varied writing paired with black and white art neither disappoint, nor fall short of those gritty suggestions. The entire volume is a pleasure to navigate, but the words are not always nice.
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  • Issue Number Number 10
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Speaking in this issue’s long-form interview with upstreet editor Vivian Dorsel, Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer Robert Olen Butler had this to say about the special problems the writer’s medium presents: "The medium for a writer is words, and the words make sounds, but those sounds are immediately overwhelmed by meaning. We are the only artists whose medium is not innately and irreducibly sensual, and yet, as artists, we try to create sensual objects from it. Our medium is constantly struggling with us, to drag us into our heads."

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  • Issue Number Volume 7
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Writing is ordinarily a solitary pursuit, but the result of all that lonely work makes us part of a proud community. The Westchester Review takes the concept of community very seriously, collecting the poetry and prose composed by “established and emerging writers living, working, or studying in New York State’s Westchester County area.” Founder JoAnn Duncan Terdiman and managing editor Naomi L. Lipman tap a deep pool of talent, offering us some very good work that manages to transcend the geographic limits of its submissions policy.
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