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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Honest critiques of new and established literary magazines

Posted August 16, 2016

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  • Issue Number Issue 59
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

This issue of Creative Nonfiction focuses on the sacrament of marriage. But if you think you’re in for an issue of romantic tales and happily-ever-afters, keep in mind that this magazine is nonfiction. While the wedding itself and much of a marriage can be happy, real life happens, and like anything lasting or worthwhile, it has its ups and downs. This issue explores many angles of marriage including “non-traditional” marriages, spur-of-the-moment marriages, fifth marriages, same-sex marriages, marriages that work, those that don’t. Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth’s (of Tugboat Printshop) beautiful and intricate woodcut prints are featured throughout the issue to tie it all together.

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  • Issue Number Number 37
  • Published Date 2016
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Passages North is a vade mecum. A canon. A bible for literati. An authority. A serious digest. A volume that induces wallet-cracking extra-baggage charges. This annual journal sponsored by Northern Michigan University publishes short stories, fiction flashes, modular and traditional essays, and poetry—loads and loads of poems of every possible breed: ghazals, sonnets, pantouns, free-verse, coupleted-cantations—diversity in form, theme and content receive open-armed welcomes at Passages North. From Pushcart winners to first-timers, from experimental to toe-the-liners, this volume is hefty hefty hefty, and by following the editorial compass of publishing only what deserves “merit,” they have produced a book to please the masses. If you can’t find something that thrills and rocks your sacrum, email me, and I’ll give you the number of my therapist, or maybe we can photoshop your name onto my prescriptions.

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  • Issue Number Volume 17 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

“My mother taught me that the dead are among us—look closely and you’ll begin to notice them everywhere . . . The world is full of codes and keys, maps and legends. You wake up one morning, and ask yourself, How is it all connected? The question haunts you for the rest of your life.” (Karen Dietrich’s “Air and Water”). Here lies one of my favorite passages from this issue of River Teeth, a collection of creative nonfiction. And how is this writing all connected? It is, after all, deemed worthy to all fall beneath the same covers. I think it’s the human experience, and the raw need to make an understanding of life’s experiences and mysteries.

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  • Issue Number Volume 18
  • Published Date 2015
  • Publication Cycle Annual

If I had to pick one word to describe Water~Stone Review #18 it would be: Story. Regardless of genre, nearly every piece in this issue has some sense of narrative, of back story, of foreshadowing; there are stories told to us, shown through careful detail, and trolled through symbolic imagery by the many authors in this hefty annual—which is a factor also worth note. The editors of Water~Stone have a unique sensibility in their selections as an annual publication. It’s almost a shame from the review standpoint to have to read the entire publication in a short period of time, because I felt I should slow down and let each piece sink in before moving on and, in some cases, reread and re-reread works that deserve the attention—even with so much new waiting to be read. That speaks to good submissions as well as good editing in selection.

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  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date June 2016
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online

weirderary is that kid in high school who, when called weird, would smile proudly and say, “Thanks.” weirderary is the weird things you do at home when you think no one’s watching. weirderary is exactly the kind of read I’ve been looking for.

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  • Issue Number Volume 6
  • Published Date 2015
  • Publication Cycle Annual

West Marin Review’s 2015 issue Editor’s Note draws attention to the journal’s lack of overall theme, though readers will quickly see Volume 6 is tied together by the social climate and by strong, absorbing writing, with lots to love in both poetry and prose.

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