NewPages.com is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Honest critiques of new and established literary magazines

Posted November 15, 2016

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Annual

In her extended interview with George Guida featured in this volume of 2 Bridges Review, poet Kim Addonizio references Macbeth’s speech about how life is a poor actor, strutting and fretting about the stage for his brief moment of fame before fading away to nothingness. With these words, Addonizio seems to have set the unifying theme of this volume; on its pages, beginning with the cover, readers find writers and artists exploring the ways in which people strut and fret.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 74 Number 3
  • Published Date Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

Let’s go back seventy-five years and meet ourselves again—because, as The Antioch Review has proven in its special anniversary edition, we did not hold the mirror closely enough back then, and we did not hear the message presented so clearly in the writings of people like Ralph Ellison, who laid before us in no uncertain terms our racial disparities and injustices, and in the poetry of that age. As Sidney Alexander explains in the poem “Prologue to Bolivar,” originally published in the autumn of 1944, we must “Roll back the dusty scroll, for no man lives / without his past: no man moves alone: / No man skates on time as if it were a film, but sees below him when the waters clear / the endless processionals of the dead.”

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Premium Edition 16
  • Published Date Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

It’s been quite some time since I have been able to write a review for Carve—in fact the last issue I did review was Summer 2012, their final issue before moving to and including the new[ish] premium print edition—but I’ve been itching to do so for quite some time as I follow along with the places it is going. Although all stories are still available to read online for free, “because good honest fiction should never disappear into obscurity,” trust me when I say you’ll want to go ahead and purchase the premium edition.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Number 27
  • Published Date Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Humanity has always been fascinated with death and invented stories to explore the possibility of life beyond death. Gilgamesh, distraught over Enkidu’s death in one of the world’s oldest bromance stories, dives into the underworld to unlock the secret to eternal life, but is outsmarted by a clever snake. Orpheus nearly resurrects his dead lover Eurydice after a private concert for Hades and Persephone, but fails because he can’t resist sneaking a peek over his shoulder at the last minute. Our fascination with death and resurrection continues to this day in popular culture, where superheroes are killed and brought back to life more times than that fellow from Nazareth. The summer 2016 issue of Conduit magazine, Digging Lazarus, presents a selection of talented writers who add their voices to the ongoing exploration of death and resurrection.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 9 Number 1
  • Published Date April 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Like all good storytellers, the authors published in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine invite the reader to come close and listen carefully. Only, these authors do so in 360 words or less. David Swann best captures the feeling of storytelling in his piece, “The Story of Her Eye” when he writes, “strangers are the best audience. But stories hate distance.” Flash bridges this distance. The journal is at its best through humor and sometimes fantastical pieces that pull you close.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 58
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Semiannual

Chelsea Hickock, editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review dedicates this issue to ego. As Hickock explains, writers must be gutsy to believe that someone cares enough to “sit down with our words for hours at a time and live inside the worlds we create.” For all the ego these authors must have in their words, the heart of this issue is told through silences. It takes ego to believe what you write matters, but it takes greater ego to believe what you write will be heard in a pause and understood in a lack of words.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 35
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

The Spring 2016 issue of Kestrel, a journal of literature and art out of Fairmont State University in West Virginia, includes a broad selection of poetry, an entertaining collection of short stories, and a fascinating group of art works. I know, that sounds like a pretty clichéd opening; the content, however, does not permit using novel exaggeration and false praise. It’s just good work that needs noting quickly and energetically. The work is definitely energetic.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 111, Number 3 / 4
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2016
  • Publication Cycle Semiannual

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Robert Frost knew all too well that home is not always the place where one has chosen to be but is the place where one is, if not welcomed, at least allowed in. The poems in this issue of Poet Lore were meant to be together and fall under an umbrella theme of home; they deal with relationships of people and places inspired by or in reaction to the word home and all of its connotations. They explore the many manifestations of home in memories and observations tinged with bitter nostalgia, unapologetic and raw.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 11 Number 1
  • Published Date Summer & Fall 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Co-editor Aaron Barrell asks “And what force can a magazine of poetry have in this world?” and later promises that “each poem in these pages will offer sustenance.” I am inclined to agree. I would add to that the visual art on the pages of this issue of Poetry Northwest. Commanding and stunning, the images strike with a bold knowledge of beauty, joy, and heartbreak. Joe Wankelman’s photograph “Lines” arrests with cautious veracity. The works of photography and artwork in this issue are acute in their understanding of different realities.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 124, Number 3
  • Published Date Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

While reading the summer issue of The Sewanee Review, I decided to poke into some historical trivia. It was founded in 1892 and devoted to book reviews, theology, political science, literature and such. Poetry didn’t appear until 1920, and the Winter 1966 issue, at almost 1,000 pages, was devoted to T. S. Eliot.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Volume 54 Issue 1
  • Published Date 2016
  • Publication Cycle Semiannual

If I were to give this issue of Southern Poetry Review a title, it might be “Profound Perspectives” or “Meaning in the Moment.” The poems in this issue find moments of awe in life events and transport them from the mundane through reflection to the place where art lives in all its weighty insightfulness and magic. The poets accomplish this with rich imagery, carefully controlled lines and stanzas, and an attention to the natural rhythm of language.

  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date October 2016
  • Publication Cycle Monthly

If I’m being honest, what drew me in to the first issue of True Story, brought to you by the editors of Creative Nonfiction and In Fact Books, is that the inaugural story, “Fruitland” by Steven Kurutz, sounded intriguing, mysterious, and—well—like a fiction story I’d like to read. Two brothers, Donnie and Joe Emerson, recorded an album together in the late 70s. While a flop at the time, it was rediscovered by chance in 2008, catapulting them into belated fame and inevitably stirring up ghosts. As a true story, “Fruitland” ends up offering more to readers than a fictionalized “inspired by” story ever could.

newpages-footer-logo

We welcome any/all Feedback.