Home » NewPages Blog

NewPages Blog

At the NewPages Blog readers and writers can catch up with their favorite literary and alternative magazines, independent and university presses, creative writing programs, and writing and literary events. Find new books, new issue announcements, contest winners, and so much more!

Review :: “Shame” by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

"Shame" by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers review by Lauren McKinnon from Cincinnati Review issue 19.1 2022 literary magazine cover image

Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers explores isolation, class, and gender in her nonfiction essay, “Shame.” Set mostly in Guilford County, North Carolina, Rogers recollects her complicated relationship with her grandparents who live secluded on a gothic farm. Rogers sympathizes with her grandmother’s inability to escape a marriage to a man who acts as a family patriarch and predator. When Rogers graduates high school and attends Oberlin University, she fulfills a dream of higher education her grandma could never afford. Despite the liberal, nerdy, queer community Roger finds on campus, she feels out of place and looked down upon because of her ties to small town Guilford County. Rogers explores how humans value themselves above others based on class and education, both unearned privileges. She uses humor and calculated characterization of her grandmother to show readers how isolating it is to exist on the edges. The essay ends with a haunting image of Roger’s grandma, trapped behind the glass window above her sink, washing the dishes, staring at the view of an eroding barn and fields of clay. The image humanizes isolation as women observe the world around them but are unable to fully participate.


“Shame” by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers. The Cincinnati Review, 19.1, Spring 2022.

Reviewer bio: Lauren McKinnon is a creative writing master’s student at Utah State University. She teaches English and is the Assistant Graduate Director of Composition. Lauren is currently writing her first book of poetry about the Southern Utah desert, motherhood, and woman’s bodies.

Magazine Stand :: Valley Voices – Fall 2022

Valley Voices print literary magazine fall 2022 issue cover image

The call for the Fall 2022 issue of Valley Voices (v22 n2) was themed, “Where Are You From?” and meant to be a simple question that may not have a simple answer. In his introduction, John Zheng writes, “There are different answers because the question can be geographical, political, racial, and ethnic, it can also mean curiosity, attitude, suspicion, or exclusion.” This issue spotlights Mississippi Delta poet and musician Jack Crocker, and in response to the call, includes over 100 pages of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and reviews. A full table of contents can be found for each issue on the Valley Voices‘ website. Writers – the next call for submissions ends December 30, 2022, and the theme for their spring issue is “Goodbye.”

New Book :: Goddess of Water

Goddess of Water, poetry by Jeannette L. Clariond translated by Samantha Schnee published by World Poetry Books book cover image

Goddess of Water by Jeannette L. Clariond
Trans. Samantha Schnee
World Poetry Books, September 2022

Mexican poet Jeannette L. Clariond’s Goddess of Water draws upon Mesoamerican cosmogony to lament the present-day epidemic of femicides in Mexico. The author’s sixth book in English translation reconstructs the myth of the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, employing the lyricism of Nahuatl philosophy and investigating gender construction and fluidity in Aztec mythology. Printed in a bilingual edition, the cycle of poems is accompanied by a glossary of the Nahuatl words and Aztec concepts critical to its comprehension. In Samantha Schnee’s keen and urgent translation, this collection of poems presents a surprising window on an invisible war waged against thousands of Mexican women. Clariond astounds us with her ability to painstakingly analyze a phenomenon that has drawn attention around the globe. Translator Samantha Schnee is the founding editor of Words Without Borders. Her translation of Carmen Boullosa’s El libro de Eva, a finalist for the Mario Vargas Llosa Biennial Novel Prize, will be published by Deep Vellum in 2023.

Call :: Sky Island Journal Issue 23

photograph of a leafless tree against a sunset sky

Don’t forget you have until Midnight on December 31 to submit work to Sky Island Journal Issue 23. Need an idea of what they are looking for? Dive into their Fall 2022 Issue. Then consider submitting to this online literary magazine dedicated to providing its readers a powerful, free-access, advertising-free literary experience that transports them.

Learn more here.

Review :: “Deathbed” by Anna B. Moore

Pembroke Magazine number 54 print literary magazine cover image

Guest Post by Sandra Edwards

Anna B. Moore’s “Deathbed” essay in Pembroke Magazine describes the end of her father’s life from her perspective as his primary caretaker. As a narrator, she questions her relationship with her father, but her feelings seem to change as she navigates his dying state. Rather than being a story of redemption or some other giant paradigmatic shift, it is instead one of understanding as she reflects on her father’s character. Interwoven with this narrative is her experience staying in a rented basement apartment while she is away to take care of her father.

Each scene offers details that serve to characterize her father, such as the description of his bedside table in the hospital: “Cluttered with old books, used drinking glasses, folded newspapers, used Kleenexes, his wallet, some coins and pens, a magnifying glass.” She also emphasizes his breathing throughout the piece, almost rhythmically, so that we not only see his physical deterioration into death, but also gain insight into his feelings just as she does. A seemingly simple piece on the surface, Moore captivates the reader and approaches the subject of death in a familiar yet sincere way.


“Deathbed” by Anna B. Moore. Pembroke Magazine, #54, 2022.

Reviewer bio: Sandra Edwards is a college student and aspiring writer currently pursuing her master’s degree.

New Book :: The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky

The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky poetry by CooXooEii Black published by Rattle Poetry book cover image

The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky by CooXooEii Black
Rattle Poetry, November 2022

CooXooEii Black is an Afro-Indigenous writer and a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. He is an MFA creative writing candidate at the University of Memphis and a poetry reader for The Pinch Journal. His poetry has appeared in Eco Theo Review, Palette Poetry, and Carve Magazine. His creative nonfiction has appeared in The Tusculum Review. This collection of sixteen poems came bundled with the December issue of Rattle poetry magazine. Subscribers to Rattle are treated to bonus chapbooks and anthologies with each issue, but each issue and each bonus publication can also be purchased separately from the Rattle website.

Books Received December 2022

NewPages receives many wonderful titles each month to share with our readers. You can read more about some of these titles by clicking on “New Books” under the NewPages Blog or Books tab on the menu. If you are a publisher or author looking to be listed here or featured on our blog and social media, please contact us!

Poetry

After Ward, Wendell Hawken, Cherry Grove Collections
Alone in the House of My Heart, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Swallow Press
Born Under the Influence, Andrena Zawinski, Word Poetry
The Day Gives Us So Many Ways to Eat, Lindsay Wilson, WordTech Editions
Disbound, Hajar Hussaini, University of Iowa Press
Edgewood, Mark Belair, Turning Point Books
Goddess of Water, Jeannette L. Clariond, World Poetry Books
In the Plague Year, W.H. New, Rock’s Mills Press
It’s About Time, J.R. Solonche, Deerbook Editions
John Scotus Eriugena at Laon and Other Poems, Jacques Darras, World Poetry Books
Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn, Daniel Thomas, Cherry Grove Collections
Little Disruptions, Biljana D. Obradovic, WordTech Editions
Little Wife: The Story of Gold, Nuova Wright, The Calliope Group
Lords of Misrule, ed. Henry Israeli and Rebecca Lauren, Saturnalia Books

Continue reading “Books Received December 2022”

Magazine Stand :: Cave Wall – #17

Magazine Stand Cave Wall #17 cover image

In the introduction to Cave Wall #17, Editor Rhett Iseman Trull addresses the feeling I’m sure many of us have experienced – repeatedly – given all we witness in the world around us: What good are we doing writing poems? In response, she writes, “I get it. Language feels futile. A poem can’t cure disease or stop a war or bring back the dead. I hear many poets ask it in time of tragedy/atrocity: What good are poems? Well, here. Read this issue. It’s the only way I know who to answer that question.” Helping Trull answer that question in this issue, readers can find poetry by Angelique Zobitz, Dion O’Reilly, Renee Soto, Jeffrey Bean, Benjamin S. Grossberg, Matt Mason, Roxanne Halpine Ward, Abbie Kiefer, Angela Dribben, Devon Miller-Duggan, Erik Jonah, Julie Hanson, Angela Sucich, Dannye Romine Powell, Brady Thomas Kamphenkel, M.L. Brown, Ellen Kombiyil, Ruth Dickey, John Poch, Han Vanderhart, John Krumberger, Brandon Amico, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Anne McCrary Sullivan, and artwork by Elvia Perrin.

New Book :: John Scotus Eriugena at Laon

John Scotus Eriugena at Laon and Other Poems by Jacques Darras translated by Richard Sieburth published by World Poetry Books book cover image

John Scotus Eriugena at Laon and Other Poems
Poetry by Jacques Darras, Trans. Richard Sieburth
World Poetry Books, September 2022

John Scotus Eriugena at Laon is the “long overdue volume” of Jacques Darras, celebrated French poet of place and nature, and prolific translator and scholar of American and British poetry. The title poem recounts the journey of a ninth-century Irish monk to the cathedral city of Laon in the heart of Picardy to translate a recently discovered Byzantine manuscript into Latin—the first such transmission of ancient Greek thought northward into Carolingian Europe. Eriugena’s pithy formulation of neo-Platonism—omnia quae sunt lumina sunt—echoes forth in Pound’s Pisan Cantos as “all things that are are lights.” This is the radiance that pulses through the theophanic nature poetry of Jacques Darras, celebrant of northern rivers, islands, seas, and bard of Picardy. His lifelong commerce with the English language as the translator of Shakespeare, Blake, Whitman, Pound, Bunting and MacDiarmid is here met by Richard Sieburth’s wide-ranging and award-winning forays into French. Richard Sieburth is the translator from the French of works by Nostradamus, Scève, Labé, Nerval, Baudelaire, Artaud, Leiris, and Michaux. His translations from the German include Hölderlin, Büchner, Benjamin, and Scholem. In addition, he is the editor of a number of Ezra Pound’s works.

New Book :: Until She Goes No More

Until She Goes No More fiction by Beatriz García-Huidobro translated by Jacqueline Nanfito published by White Pine Press book cover image

Until She Goes No More
Fiction by Beatriz García-Huidobro, Trans. by Jacqueline Nanfito
White Pine Press, November 2022

In Until She Goes No More, Beatriz García-Huidobro simultaneously maps the coordinates of the intimate story of a female teenager and the broader historical and socioeconomic reality of Chile in the early 70’s. The story is narrated in the form of a monologue, through the eyes of a young female protagonist who resides in desolate town in the mountainous region where the landscape is bleak and barren, and men futilely toil in unproductive fields. The aridness of the land mirrors the hopeless and hapless lives of the characters whose dreams are futile and futures are compromised. Like silhouettes in sepia, the protagonist and others are sketched as characters that live out a wearisome, tenuous existence, shrouded in ambiguity, in a circular time that is based upon the repetition of daily chores and the changing of the seasons, marked by the events in the life cycle.

Lit Mag Review :: Reckoning – Issue 6

Reckoning literary art magazine issue number 6 2022 cover image

Guest Post by Jacob Taylor

The sixth issue of Reckoning: Creative Writing on Environmental Justice gathers the words of diverse writers from around the world as they grapple with the future of our planet. This collection of fiction, essays, and poetry tells unflinching stories of Earth’s recent past and speculates on its future in vivid detail. Brothers dive for rare silvery sludge in the submerged streets of Oakland; wildfires tear through dry forests while governors calculate how much the burning lumber is worth (not enough to put out the fires); teens turn into trees (they thought it was just a phase at first), and then mothers do too; another strange chemical leaks into our water supply (GenX); oil rigs rape Mother Earth, and she retaliates without apology; Orocobix battles island-eating machines, and a trash compacter engineered to clean up Earth while humanity evacuates decides to nurture a colony of rats instead. The complex worldbuilding throughout the speculative pieces is particularly engaging and provides a nice contrast to the pieces that evaluate Earth’s present state. Much of the writing draws clear inspiration from recent social movements and the COVID-19 pandemic, making this publication both relevant and relatable.


Reckoning: Creative Writing on Environmental Justice, Issue 6, 2022.

Reviewer bio: Jacob Taylor is a queer writer based in northern Utah, where they are currently completing an MA in creative writing at Utah State University.

Magazine Stand :: Rattle – Winter 2022

Rattle poetry magazine Winter 2022 issue cover image

Rattle #78 is the poetry journal’s annual prize winner issue, featuring the First Prize poem, “Shoes” by L. Renée as well as ten Finalists. The “open section” features a rich mix of eclectic poetry, including reader-favorites Ted Kooser and Kwame Dawes, and a heroic crown of sonnets by Anna M. Evans that attempt to bridge political divides. The conversation section takes a deep dive into the divided brain with psychiatrist and philosopher Iain McGilchrist, who explains the role the two hemispheres, with their completely unique perspectives on the world, play in creativity. The discussion also includes how the modern world has come to be dominated by the left hemisphere’s narrow focus and how poetry is an antidote to “the matter with things.” In addition to the quarterly publication, subscribers also receive a new bonus chapbook from the Rattle Chapbook Series and other stand-alone anthologies, like the annual Rattle Young Poets Anthology. What a lovely gift a subscription to Rattle would make for anyone on your holiday list – that includes you!

Review :: “Plague Novel” by George Estreich

George Estreich author of "Plague Novel" published in Southern Humanities Review v55 n2 2022 headshot image

Guest Post by Zackary Gregory

In the short essay “Plague Novel,” published in Southern Humanities Review, George Estreich [pictured] uses Colson Whitehead’s novel Zone One to make sense of his lived experience through the outbreak of Covid-19.

The essay begins in a small room filled with the “breath and bodies” of people slowly exiting a literary reception. A poet approaches and asks, “You write about science. Should we be worried about this coronavirus thing?” Estreich responds by “disavowing expertise,” but states that from what little he has read, “our behavior mattered.” In “a few weeks the great blur would begin,” people would start hoarding rolls of toilet paper in sparse grocery stores and his “hands would be cracked and raw” from applying hand sanitizer.

Estreich threads in a rich literary analysis of Zone One, drawing parallels and using scenes from the novel to name the mania caused by the pandemic. He describes Americans responding to crises like the characters in the novel, “Zombie-like, they cling to old routines, old stories, as the world falls apart around them.” Estreich claims the novel was “an escape true to the present’s depths,” depths he wouldn’t be able to plumb without Whitehead’s novel.


Plague Novel” by George Estreich. Southern Humanities Review, v55 n2, 2022.

Reviewer bio: Zackary Gregory (He/him) is an English grad student at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He likes bikes and books.

Magazine Stand :: Blink-Ink – 50

Blink-Ink print literary magazine issue number 50 cover image

Persisting in print despite the rising costs, Blink-Ink continues to delight readers with its zine-style 4×5 format filled with works of no more than 50 words each. The newest issue is themed “Country Roads” and includes 25 works. Additionally, Blink-Ink offers subscribers a bonus publication along with other “goodies and surprises.” With this issue, readers get the “goody” publication Songbirds of North America that features 8 bird-related works. Visit their website for subscription information – and consider gifting this unique journal to arrive throughout the new year!

New Book :: Urbanshee

Urbanshee poetry by Siaara Freeman published by Button Poetry book cover image

Urbanshee
Poetry by Siaara Freeman
Button Poetry, July 2022

Urbanshee is Siaara Freeman’s retelling of fairy tales and mythological stories through a modern and urban lens. This collection discusses the weight of being Black in America, Freeman’s relationships to lovers and family, and how the physical place you grew up can become part of your identity. Urbanshee expertly combines humor, fantasy, and raw emotion to create this astonishing reinvention of classic fables. Freeman’s poems are ventrously unique and are sure to enchant anyone who reads them. Siaara Freeman is from Cleveland Ohio, where she is the current Lake Erie Siren and a teaching artist for Center For Arts Inspired Learning and The Sisterhood Project in conjunction with the Anisfieldwolf Foundation.

New Book :: Best Spiritual Literature Vol. 7

Best Spiritual Literature, Vol. 7 edited by Luke Hankin, Nathan Poole, Karen Tucker published by Orison Books book cover image

Best Spiritual Literature, Vol. 7
Edited by Luke Hankin, Nathan Poole, Karen Tucker
Orison Books, December 2022

Best Spiritual Literature is the new name of The Orison Anthology, under the same editorship and publisher, and it continues the same mission to collect the finest spiritually engaged writing that appeared in periodicals in the preceding year. In addition to reprinted material, each year the anthology also includes new, previously unpublished works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by the winners of The Best Spiritual Literature Awards. The award judges for Vol. 7 were SJ Sindu (fiction), Molly McCully Brown (nonfiction), and Leila Chatti (poetry). Contributors to this volume include Ser Álida, Jai Hamid Bashir, Ellen Bass, Jack B. Bedell, Wendy Cheng, Broderick Eaton, B. Tyler Lee, Kenji C. Liu, Nancy Ludmerer, Joy Moore, David Naimon, Darius Simpson, and Gideon Young.

Book Review :: God is a Black Woman by Christena Cleveland

God is a Black Woman by Christena Cleveland published by HarperOne book review by Jack Bylund book cover image

Guest Post by Jack Bylund

In God is a Black Woman, author and professor Christena Cleveland confronts the faults of the mainstream Christian deity, whom she refers to as “whitemalegod.” A perpetrator of endless wrongs in society, the whitemalegod that Cleveland interrogates is found at the heart of racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and toxic masculinity, among others. Cleveland makes her case for mainstream Christianity’s role in these issues succinctly and effectively, providing compelling evidence from recent events and her own upbringing in Christianity; stories drawn from her life prove as compelling and honest as they are tragic and too common.

All the while, Cleveland presents a narrative of her travels through France on a pilgrimage seeking out Black Madonnas—statues of the Virgin Mary throughout the world who are Black. In her efforts to connect with these works of art, she enumerates the multifaceted ways in which Black Madonna—the titular figure of the book—contrasts with and rejects the white supremacist ideals of whitemalegod. She applies Black Madonna ideology to modern issues and rhetoric. Most of all, Cleveland gives hope for people in need of a God who truly loves amid the post-Trump rise in Christian hatred and nationalism.


God is a Black Woman by Christena Cleveland. HarperOne, February 2022.

Reviewer bio: Jack Bylund teaches and studies English literature and fiction at Utah State University. He loves contemporary lit, Panda Express, and books about the end of the world.

Magazine Stand :: Terrain.org – November 2022

Terrain.org logo image

Terrain.org publishes place-based editorials, poetry, essays, fiction, hybrid forms, articles, videos, reviews, interviews, the ARTerrain gallery, the Unsprawl case study, and critically acclaimed series such as Letter to America on a rolling basis. Readers to the most recent posts will find the wild in its many forms: wildlife, wild kin, wildflowers, and the wild mind it takes to reconnect with wild earth. Read poetry by Brian Turner, an interview with Gavin Van Horn, and an excerpt of David Hinton’s new book, plus a Letter to America by Rashna Wadia, a delightfully skunky poem by Sunni Brown Wilkinson, a wild story by Natalli Amato, and learn about wildflowers above the Colorado treeline in “A Life of Science.” All of Terrain.org‘s content is free and accessible to read online. Teachers (and students – tell your teachers!) Terrain.org offers Teach Terrain.org – “Outstanding place-based, ad-free literature and more for high schools, colleges, and communities” with materials ranging from “lyrical poetry to longform journalism and from detailed community case studies to interviews of some of the world’s most important thinkers. Many contributions also include audio and other interactive features such as slideshows, maps, and video.”

Book Review :: Cost of Living by Emily Maloney

Cost of Living, essays by Emily Maloney published by Henry Holt and Co. book cover image

Guest Post by Jackie Martin

Emily Maloney’s memoir, Cost of Living, is an exploration of “an expense that’s hard to bear.” In the sixteen essays that make up the collection, Maloney introduces readers to a roster of memorable characters and generously shares stories that explain – but never excuse – the financial and metaphorical costs of the American healthcare system. Maloney employs a surgeon’s precision to cut into the business of health, revealing unethical prescribing, inequitable resources, medical sexism, inadequate mental health care, and other malignancies that hide beneath the surface. Her insights come from time spent as a patient as well as an employee: her background includes such varied work as an emergency room tech “expected to guard against the depletion of resources,” an EMT trainee who learned “it was never about the patients themselves,” and a “medical publications manager” who was tasked with schmoozing doctors at conferences. Though Maloney’s essays inspire a multitude of reactions from melancholy to righteous anger to utter disbelief, her writing is never preachy or overwrought. Her personal stories serve the greater narrative, reminding us that there are real people behind the bloated price tag of even simple curative procedures. With an artful, sardonic humor and a refreshingly straightforward perspective, Maloney stitches medical facts together with personal experience and observation to investigate the “enormous cost” of trying to stay healthy in America today.

Cost of Living by Emily Maloney. Henry Holt and Co., February 2022.

Reviewer bio: Jackie Martin is a writer and teacher from the Boston area. Her stage plays have been produced around the U.S. and published by Heuer, Applause, and others. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Bridgewater State University.

New Book :: The Woods

The Woods Short Fiction by Janice Obuchowski published by University of Iowa Press book cover image

The Woods
Short Fiction by Janice Obuchowski
University of Iowa Press, November 2022

Winner of The John Simmons Short Fiction Award, The Woods explores the lives of people in a small Vermont college town and its surrounding areas—a place at the edge of the bucolic, where the land begins to shift into something untamed. In the tradition of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, these stories follow people who carry private griefs but search for contentment. As they try to make sense of their worlds, grappling with problems—worried about their careers, their marriages, their children, their ambitions—they also sift through the happiness they have, and often find deep solace in the landscape.

Magazine Stand :: Colorado Review – Fall/Winter 2022

Colorado Review print literary magazine fall 2022 issue cover image

The newest issue of Colorado Review features the winner of the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, Mike Murray’s “Night Owls.” Final Judge Ramona Ausubel commented, “‘Night Owls’ takes place in the darkness – characters are hiding, sneaking, and seeking. I found myself squinting as I read, trying to see through the murk to decipher which things were pure and which were depraved, which were evidence of love, which destruction.” Joining this winning entry are works by Angela Sue Winsor, Da-Lin, Joy Guo, Alyson Mosquera Dutemple, Geoff Wyss, Carolyn Kuebler, Georgia Cloepfil, Mirri Glasson-Darling, Chris Ketchum, Laura Donnelly, Martha Silano, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Mary Helen Callier, Emily Koehn, Nicole Callihan, Jennifer Peterson, Emily Adams-Aucoin, Virginia Ottley Craighill, Jodie Hollander, Sage Ravenwood, Meghan Sterling, John Sibley Williams, Luisa Muradyan, Ashley Colley, Landa Wo, Jeffrey Bean, Tyler Kline, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, C. Henry Smith, Jessica Hincapie, Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez, and Andrew Hemmert.

Book Review :: Lightning Flowers by Katherine E. Standefer

Lightning Flowers by Katherine E. Standefer published by Little, Brown Spark book cover image

Guest Post by Elizabeth Robin

“On the last morning of my first life,” are the words that haunt the second chapter of Katherine E. Standefer’s debut memoir, Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life. In her early twenties, Standefer is confronted with the ghosts of her past — a genetic heart defect hidden within her bloodline for generations (called Long QT syndrome) — and must now learn to navigate young adulthood while simultaneously trying to reconnect with her body which, she states, has “become a stranger.” This book is as much about the grief of a life-changing diagnosis as it is a biting criticism of the broken medical system housed under capitalism, which holds “inordinate power” over a vulnerable population. Standefer, who begins her Long QT journey uninsured, finds that she’s unable to afford the life-saving care that she needs without significant help from her family, friends, and charitable doctors; she writes that she “was paying in other ways” as by having to rearrange her life around her symptoms and medical appointments. As an activist, Standefer feels hesitant about getting a doctor-recommended defibrillator, which could be made from conflict metals. She is then forced to question if her life is worth more than those who work to mine the metal. Standefer’s work portrays the intense and complex feelings of having a chronic illness, and the desperation of an American bound to a broken system. However, there is hope and love found within these pages, too. Through this journey, Standefer grows closer with her family and her own sense of self. It serves as a reminder that there is “hard work that lies before us,” and it is our responsibility to change a broken system.


Lightning Flowers by Katherine E. Standefer. Little, Brown Spark, November 2020.

Reviewer bio: Elizabeth Robin is a student at Bridgewater State University and a teacher. She live in the Boston area with her partner and their two cats.

Magazine Stand :: Raleigh Review – Fall 2022

Raleigh Review print literary magazine Fall 2022 issue cover image

Raleigh Review Co-Editor Bryce Emley offers a thoughtful introduction to this newest issue, which begins, “I like to think of telling the truth and being honest as two different things. Telling the truth is a straight line from one point to another, while being honest is a passage more of a toward than a to. . . ” Emley connects this discussion to the Laux/Millar Poetry prize winners included in this issue. Allison Blevins and Joshua Davis both “demonstrate the honest messiness of loss, of grief’s complicated grace.” Joining them in this issue are writers Colin Bailes, Mary Buchinger, Caroline Chavatel, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Gregory Djanikian, J.R. Evans, Grace Ezra, Loisa Fenichell, C. Francis Fisher, Stephanie Kaylor, Peter Laberge, Justin Lacour, Cass Lintz, Owen McLeod, Annie Dyer Stuart, Erica Jenks Henry, Katherine Joshi, Andrea Lewis, Caroline McCoy, John Salter, and Mackenzie Sanders. And “for the first time in 12+ years,” this issue features original illustrations by Nora Kelly made specifically to accompany the written works.

New Book :: Simultaneities and Lyric Chemisms

Simultaneities and Lyric Chemisms poetry by Ardengo Soffici translated Olivia E. Sears published by World Poetry Books book cover image

Simultaneities and Lyric Chemisms
Poetry by Ardengo Soffici, Trans. Olivia E. Sears
World Poetry Books, September 2022

This publication is being heralded as “a vital reconstruction” of Italian Futurist poet Ardengo Soffici’s visual poetics, presented for the first time in English in Olivia E. Sears’s exacting translations with a foreword by Marjorie Perloff. With unexpected lyricism, buzzing between the entropic and the erotic, Soffici’s unrelenting poems manifest his milieu’s fascination with the metropolis. Guillaume Apollinaire called it “very important work, rich in fresh beauties.” This facsimile-style edition—with a foreword by Marjorie Perloff, helpful annotations, and an informative afterword by the translator—offers a glimpse into the vibrant early avant-garde, when modernity held tremendous promise. Ardengo Soffici (1879-1964) was an Italian painter, poet, and art critic associated with Florentine Futurism. Years spent in Parisian artistic circles spurred Soffici to champion an artistic renewal in Italy, introducing French impressionism and cubism and a vibrant magazine culture. Olivia E. Sears is a translator of Italian poetry and prose, specializing in avant-garde women writers. She founded the Center for the Art of Translation and the journal Two Lines, where she served as editor for twelve years.

Book Review :: The Slain Birds by Michael Longley

The Slain Birds, poetry by Michael Longley published by Wake Forest University Press book cover image

Guest Post by James Scruton

The late Seamus Heaney titled his first collection of poems Death of a Naturalist. Michael Longley, his friend and fellow poet from Northern Ireland, has devoted decades to just the opposite principle: celebrating the flora and (mostly avian) fauna of Carrigskeewaun, in County Mayo of the Republic. In The Slain Birds, Longley continues this project, his imagination sparked by bog asphodel and snowdrop, white helleborine and sneezewort, some of the flowers, like some of the townlands (Carricksnashinnagh, Barnabaun, Kinnakillew) sounding made up, invented—and yet, what names are not? Flowers, he declares, seem the “Secret of the cosmos,” some house martins “God-spark . . .dream birds.” But Longley’s practice is less an Adamic naming than an honoring, an affirming of love, family lore, and local custom even as he draws parallels from Homer, modern war, and recent pandemic. Whether his eye falls on lupine and catkin or follows the flight of plovers and godwits, whether his ear is attuned to the ”cheer-up-cheer-up” of nightingale or the “wind’s / Vocal cords,” Longley pays tribute. From the elegiac to the exuberant, the poems brought together here form a lyrical, joyous extension of a sparkling poetic career.


The Slain Birds by Michael Longley. Wake Forest University Press, 2022.

Reviewer bio: James Scruton is the author of two full collections and five chapbooks of poetry as well as dozens of reviews, essays, and articles on poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

Magazine Stand :: Months to Years – Fall 2022

Months to Years online literary magazine fall 2022 issue cover image

The newest issue of Months to Years features eleven nonfiction writers, nine poets, and five photographers and artists whose works explore mortality and terminal illness. Two of the nonfiction writers in this issue use basic tools of craft to reveal grief from unique angles. In the “Tree of Judas,” by Jenny Flores, the narrator directly addresses her unnamed spouse as “you” throughout. The effect provides readers with simultaneously intimate and objective perspectives. Kathleen Quigley’s use of the imperative tense in “After Your Mother Dies,” takes readers along on the relentlessly practical tasks that must happen in the immediate aftermath of a death, regardless of the fact we may be consumed by grief. Months To Years‘ Design Director and Photo Editor Barbara Labounta found that “The Empty Chair” by Frances Fish juxtaposes the now-forever empty chair with the cultural imperative to just “be happy.” Poetry Editor Joseph Paulson noted that Liz Grisaru’s poem, “Grief Came in Torn Blue Jeans,” offers a novel take on the unanswerable grief question: how long will this last? These are a just few of the works included in this issue, which readers can access fully online for free.

New Book :: Plume Poetry 10

Plume Poetry 10 Anthology Edited by Daniel Lawless published by Canisy Press book cover image

Plume Poetry 10
Edited by Daniel Lawless
Canisy Press, 2022

For those who love poetry, teach poetry, and who write poetry, add this Plume Poetry 10 anthology to your list. In keeping with the approach used in their previous anthology, Plume invited “’well-known/established’ poets (for lack of better descriptor) to contribute a poem; then each of these poets introduces a poem from a ‘less well-known/established’ poet, whom they have selected and believe merit a brighter spotlight.” The result, says Lawless, “makes for a more diverse reading experience.” Plume Poetry 10 includes new poems from “established” poets ranging from Juan Felipe Herrera to Jane Hirshfield, Kwame Dawes to Rae Armantrout — and so many more, with a Featured Selection including new translations, essays on and photographs of Rimbaud, by Mark Irwin. Visit the Plume website Anthologies page for ordering information for this newest anthology as well as past anthologies.

New Book :: Islands Apart

Islands Apart Becoming Dominican American a YA memoir by Jasminne Mendez published by Pinata Books book cover image

Islands Apart: Becoming Dominican American
YA Memoir by Jasminne Mendez
Piñata Books, September 2022

Jasminne Mendez didn’t speak English when she started kindergarten, and her young, white teacher thought the girl was deaf because in Louisiana, you were either black or white. She had no idea that a black girl could be a Spanish speaker. In this memoir for teens about growing up Afro Latina in the Deep South, Jasminne writes about feeling torn between her Dominican, Spanish-speaking culture at home and the American, English-speaking one around her. She desperately wanted to fit in, to be seen as American, and she realized early on that language mattered. Learning to read and write English well was the road to acceptance. Mendez shares typical childhood experiences such as having an imaginary friend, boys and puberty, but she also exposes the anti-black racism within her own family and the conflict created by her family’s conservative traditions.

Magazine Stand :: Cutleaf – 2.23

Cutleaf online literary magazine volume 2 number 23 cover image

Publishing new content online twice each month, Cutleaf publishes poetry, short stories, essays and other nonfiction from both new and established writers. Sign up for updates, and an overview of new content will be delivered to your mailbox. Some recent contributors include Hussain Ahmed, Lauren Davis, Ben Weakley, John Lane, Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Linforth, Monic Ductan, Sara Siddiquil Chansarkar, Moriel Rothman-Zecher, Daniel Romo, Lori Brack, Nathan Alling Long, Elise Gregory, William Woolfitt, and George Ella Lyon. All content is free and accessible to read online.

Book Review :: The Book Collectors of Daraya by Delphine Minoui

The Book Collectors of Daraya by Delphine Minoui published by Picador book cover image

Guest Post by Marc Martorell Junyent

The Book Collectors of Daraya by Delphine Minoui offers a particular glimpse into the drama of the Syrian Civil War. The author, a correspondent for the French newspaper Le Figaro in Istanbul, happened to find on Facebook a picture of two men in a library in 2015. The caption of the picture informed her that the library was located in Daraya, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus besieged by Bashar al-Assad’s troops since 2012.

Throughout numerous interviews conducted over Skype, which stretched for almost a year, Minoui got to know first-hand about the bombing and lack of food and medicines the inhabitants of Daraya had to endure. At the same time, however, Minoui learned more about the project a group of revolutionaries had managed to build in the midst of general destruction: a secret library with books rescued from the bombed ruins of Daraya. Minoui describes the secret library as “a hopeful page in the dark novel that is Syria.”

When interviewed by the author, Ahmad Muaddamani, one of the co-founders of the library in 2013, explained that creating a site of culture and sharing information about it on Facebook was a way to send a powerful message to the world. As he explains, “What better way to defy Syria’s leader than to contradict his narrative of a terrorist opposition? Another of the organizers of the library, Shadi Matar, tells Minoui how the group organized English lessons in the library and describes these moments as “a feeling of normalcy.”

The Book Collectors of Daraya is the result of Minoui’s conviction that, despite her inability to travel to Syria and cover what was happening on the ground, the story of the Daraya library deserved to be told. And the French author does so in a most convincing way.


The Book Collectors of Daraya by Delphine Minoui. Picador, March 2020.

Reviewer bio: Marc Martorell Junyent graduated in International Relations and currently studies holds a joint Master in Comparative Middle East Politics and Society at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the American University in Cairo. His main interests are the politics and history of the Middle East (particularly Iran, Turkey and Yemen). He has studied and worked in Ankara, Istanbul and Tunis. He tweets at @MarcMartorell3.

New Book :: Collect Call to My Mother

Collect Call to My Mother: Essays on Love, Grief, and Getting a Good Night's Sleep Nonfiction by Lori Horvitz published by New Meridian Arts book cover image

Collect Call to My Mother: Essays on Love, Grief, and Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Nonfiction by Lori Horvitz
New Meridian Arts, February 2023

Collect Call to My Mother follows Lori Horvitz’ experiences as a queer Jewish New Yorker living in the South, looking for love in the internet age. When she teaches a class of queer college students who look to her as a role model, what they don’t know is that she spent her twenties and thirties in the closet, and leapt from one relationship disaster to the next. Each of her turbulent trysts helps unearth the roots of her poor judgment: a chaotic upbringing, compounded by her mother’s emotional distance and early death. In these essays exploring themes of love, family, and grief, Horvitz gradually embraces who she is and finds a healthy, long-term relationship. Horvitz’ first collection of memoir-essays, The Girls of Usually (Truman State UP), won the 2016 Gold Medal IPPY Book Award in Autobiography/Memoir. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in a variety of journals. Professor of English at UNC Asheville, Horvitz holds a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Albany, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. The book is currently available for pre-order directly from the author who will sign advanced order copies.

Magazine Stand :: Woven Tale Press – vol. 10 no. 7

Woven Tale Press online literary and art magazine volume 10 issue 7 cover image

The Woven Tale Press promotes itself as “a hub for writing and visual arts, bringing together notable artists and writers seeking to share their work more broadly with communities actively in quest of unique voices and compelling perspectives.” Drawing readers in with Julie Harrison’s rich artwork, this newest issue features work by Mary-Jo Adjetey, Ea Anderson, L. Shapley Bassen, Chao Ding, Ron Eigner, Julie Harrison, Karen Kilcup, Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios, Kim McAninch, Pawel Pacholec, and Gregg Maxwell Parker, as well as more of Harrison’s artwork and artist’s statement. All free and accessible to read online in addition to content like Art Central with interviews, exhibits, profiles, reviews and glimpses into artists’ spaces and art links from around the web.

Book Review :: Stone Junction by Jim Dodge

Stone Junction fiction by Jim Dodge published by Grove press book cover image

Guest Post by Colm McKenna

This year saw the re-release of Jim Dodge’s 1990 cult classic Stone Junction. While Fup remains the cornerstone of Dodge’s legacy, his first full novel is considerably more ambitious. Inexplicably, it is yet to be made into a film.

The story follows Daniel Pearse, a child taken in by AMO – Alliance of Magicians and Outlaws alongside his mother Annalee. Following her murder early on in the story, Stone Junction evolves into a bildungsroman, with Daniel being brought up by an eccentric cast of criminals and wizards. His unconventional education occurs alongside a search for his mother’s killer and an attempt to steal a supernatural diamond from the U.S. government.

Daniel and Annalee’s relationship is a driving force of the story, even after her death. Their situation is unusual, but their bond means they never feel unrelatable. Early on, Daniel offers his mother a piece of tear-soaked birthday cake he had just smashed; he was angry that she couldn’t tell him who his father was even if she wanted to. This moving scene of reconciliation takes place on a boat for magicians and outlaws, perfectly displaying the book’s capacity to juggle emotionally heavy themes and a more playful side.

With the recent success of literary adaptations (The Queen’s Gambit, Shadow and Bone, etc.), re-printing Stone Junction feels appropriate if a film is ever going to come. The novel appeals both to young and old readers; it is an emotionally intelligent coming-of-age story, but also engages with adult themes, ranging from grief to impotency. Dodge’s oeuvre has a minor place in 20th Century American Literature, and I hope this re-print of Stone Junction can help it receive the recognition it deserves.


Stone Junction by Jim Dodge. Grove Press, July 2022

Reviewer bio: Colm McKenna is a second-hand bookseller based in Paris. He has published and self-published an array of short stories and articles, hoping to eventually release a collection of stories. He is mainly interested the works of Joh Cowper Powys and a range of Latin American writers.

New Book :: Bipolar Bear

Bipolar Bear and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Health Insurance a fable for grownups by Kathleen Founds published by Graphic Mundi book cover image

Bipolar Bear and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Health Insurance
A Fable for Grownups by Kathleen Founds
Graphic Mundi, November 2022

Theodore is a bear with wild mood swings. When he is up, he carves epic poetry into tree trunks. When he is down, he paints sad faces on rocks and turtle shells. In search of prescription medications that will bring stability to his life, Theodore finds a job with health insurance benefits. He gets the meds, but when he can’t pay the psychiatrist’s bill, he becomes lost in the Labyrinth of Health Insurance Claims. Featuring 195 color illustrations, this tale follows the comical exploits of Theodore, a loveable and relatable bear, as he copes with bipolar disorder, navigates the inequities of capitalist society, founds a commune, and becomes an activist, all the while accompanied by a memorable cast of characters—fat-cat insurance CEOs, a wrongfully convicted snake, raccoons with tommy guns, and an unemployed old dog who cannot learn new tricks. Entertaining, whimsical, and bitingly satirical, Bipolar Bear is a fable for grownups that manages the delicate balance of addressing society’s ills while simultaneously presenting a hopeful vision for the world.

Magazine Stand :: Plume – #135

Plume online poetry magazine issue #135 cover image

The November 2022 issue of Plume is online and waiting for readers to discover new poems by Sandra Moussempès, Olivia Elias, Stewart Moss, Virginia Konchan, Yuliia Vereta, Ron Smith, Michael Torres, Marc Vincenz, John Wall Barger, Henry Israeli, Daisy Fried, Christopher Bakken, and Bruce Bond. “The Poets and Translators Speak” is a section in which contributors share commentary on their work. Readers can also enjoy a feature section “In conversation with the world: Three poems & an interview with Vivek Narayanan, by Leeya Mehta,” and the essay “ROOM AT THE TABLE” by Charles Coe introduced by Chard DeNiord, who writes of Coe, “Both his prose and poetry address incidents of racist turpitude with a largeness of spirit and eloquence that betrays the verbal efficacy of truth-telling, immense particulars, and courageous witness, as evidenced in his essay for Plume this month.”

Magazine Stand :: Space and Culture – November 2022

Space and Culture International Journal of Social Space November 2022 issue cover image

Space and Culture brings together critical interdisciplinary theory and research on social spaces and spatializations, eveyday rhythms and cultural topologies at the interface of urban geography, sociology, cultural studies, studies of time-space, architectural theory, ethnography, media and urban studies, environmental studies. Space and Culture‘s focus is on social spaces, such as retail, laboratory, leisure spaces, suburbia, virtual spaces, diasporic spaces or migrancy, or the home and everyday life. This most recent issue includes articles like “Emigration Chests in Ankara, Turkey,” “Socio-technological Factors and Changing Urban Spaces,” “Homeless People in Public Space and the Politics of (In)visibility,” “A Paradigm Model of Traditional Iranian Neighborhood (Mahalleh),” “Cross-cultural Encounters in Urban Festivals,” and many more in this 200+ page issue.

Book Review :: Out Here on Our Own by J.J. Anselmi

Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown by J.J. Anselmi with photography by Jordan Utley published by Bison Books book cover image

Guest Post by Raymond Jenkins

The spirited voices of Rock Springs, Wyoming come to life in J.J. Anselmi’s retelling of an American boomtown’s prosperous but turbulent history. Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown captures the history of Rock Springs by chronicling the town’s boom and bust cycles through personal narratives from locals alongside his own personal account of the coal-mining town.

Shining a light on the amoral history of Rock Springs, Anselmi reflects on the way of life of the residents impacted by the oil drilling industry that seized their community. The toils from the laborious coal-mining operation are gathered candidly from the voices of residents who shared witness to the troubles that plagued the area, such as widespread alcoholism and a disturbing increase of mental and physical health illnesses.

Out Here on Our Own offers a candid view of Rock Springs through honest words from people who call the boomtown home and are accompanied by Jordan Utley’s fascinating photographs. Words capture the stark truth and pain of living in Rocksprings during booms and recessions. The photos provide a glimpse of their reality, showing the bleak lifestyle of Rock Springs without denying the sheer beauty of the region’s landscape. Although Anselmi admits after moving away, “I may never be a resident of the town again . . . ” the fascinating stories from the residents of Rock Springs show that the value of the town is not from the coal-mining industry, but rather the reverence that persists in the people who choose to stay and tell their stories.


Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown by J.J. Anselmi; Photographs by Jordan Utley. Bison Books, October 2022.

Reviewer bio: Raymond Jenkins is a student at Bridgewater State University, in the English MA program with a concentration in Creative Writing. Raymond is an emerging writer residing in the Boston area. He enjoys long hikes with friends, binge watching tv shows and drinking tea during sunset.

New Book :: Zakiya’s Enduring Wounds

Zakiya's Enduring Wounds a Roosevelt High School Series fiction by Gloria L Valasquez published by Pinata Books book cover image

Zakiya’s Enduring Wounds
Roosevelt High School Series
Fiction by Gloria L. Velásquez
Piñata Books, September 2022

Zakiya, a sophomore at Roosevelt High School, has settled into the new school year. She loves her friends, the volleyball team and her dance class. There’s even a cute guy she has her eye on. But her world falls apart when her dad dies unexpectedly. Zakiya had a special relationship with her father and is completely devastated by his death. After the funeral, her friends and family try to console her, but Zakiya pushes them away. She just wants to be alone. She quits the volleyball team, shuts down the boy she once dreamed of dating and even skips school. When she experiences a frightening episode of anxiety, she discovers that cutting herself helps to relieve the pain. Will she ever learn how to deal with her grief and sense of loss?

Book Review :: Double Negative by Claudia Putnam

Double Negative memoir by Claudia Putnam published by Split Lip Press book cover image

Guest Post by Mark Guzman

“The intimacy of housing another body and soul inside your own body and soul is indescribable,” writes Claudia Putnam in her debut nonfiction chapbook Double Negative, winner of the 2021 Nonfiction/Hybrid Chapbook Contest. In this short memoir, Putnam engages her reader with this connection of mother and child. It is an intimate portrait of a mother who welcomed her son, Jacob, into the world, only to see him pass so soon in his infancy. Putnam is cerebral but genuine, her prose approachable. She contemplates life and death, the soul, where and how it arrives and departs, the beforehere and the afterhere.

Putnam writes this some three decades after losing her son, Jacob, and what she would have done for him. “Hack and splice, sure. I would have let them cut out my heart if it would have cured my son. It would not have.” This willingness of Putnam to offer her own body in sacrifice for her son, her very heart, echoes the deep bond between mother and child, of souls interwoven even in death. Admitting that this sacrifice would not have saved him is harrowing. She leaves the reader to consider that even if Jacob was saved, his would have been a life of constant struggle and pain. Putnam wants us to consider what it must be like to live beyond the unimaginable.

Double Negative is a meditation on life and death, of parenthood, of the soul and spirit, of dreams and the often-harsh reality that comes with living. Putnam successfully invites us to reflect on the concept of how we live, oftentimes so close to death.


Double Negative by Claudia Putnam. Split Lip Press, March 2022.

Reviewer bio: Mark Guzman lives and teaches in Massachusetts. He is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in English at Bridgewater State University.

Magazine Stand :: The MacGuffin – Fall 2022

The MacGuffin literary magazine fall 2022 issue cover image

The newest issue of Schoolcraft College’s The MacGuffin (vol. 38.2) makes good on their staff’s mission to find work that takes risks with and evolves the narrative form. Look to Lisa L. Leibow’s “The Watch,” which utilizes multiple forms of the written word, as well as the magazine’s first-ever comic panel; Derek Updegraff’s “One Day at Work” satirizes message board vernacular; and A.J. Cunder’s “A Recipe for Chicken Parm” entwines the story in, well, a recipe for chicken parm. Augmenting these works are Janée J. Baugher’s ekphrases on two Andrew Wyeth paintings and Len Krisak’s tribute to “Four Characters” of a bygone era in Hollywood. Cover image: Mission Cone Flowers by Maeve Croghan.

New Book :: Edgewood

Edgewood: A Fictional Memoir in Prose Couplets Poetry by Mark Belair published by Turning Point Books book cover image

Edgewood: A Fictional Memoir in Prose Couplets
Poetry by Mark Belair
Turning Point Books, August 2022

Edgewood, a sequel to Stonehaven, the author’s previous book, finds that story’s young, small- town, 1950s family in the booming suburbs at the onset of a new era: the Late 1960s. An era-troubled over Civil Rights and the Vietnam War-whose underlying social conflicts remain troublingly current. Edgewood uses formal strategies to create a work of fiction with the intimacy and detail of a memoir set in language looser than poetry, tauter than prose. The narrative again borrows from music the three-movement form of the sonata (exposition of themes; development; recapitulation), while the text, as in film, renders the behavior of the characters without authorial comment, leaving all interpretation to the reader. The story in each book is self-contained, but the ready resonances between the books reward a combined reading. Sample poems can be read on the publisher’s website.

New & Noted Lit & Alt Mags – November 2022

NewPages receives many wonderful literary magazine and alternative magazine titles each month to share with our readers. You can read more about some of these titles by clicking on the “New Mag Issues” tag under “Popular Topics.” Find out more about many of these titles with our Guide to Literary Magazines. If you are a publication looking to be listed here or featured on our blog and social media, please contact us!

Agni, 96
American Poetry Review, Nov/Dec 2022
Arc Poetry Magazine, Fall 2022
Carve, Fall 2022
Cholla Needles, 72
The Cincinnati Review, Fall 2022
Colorado Review, Fall/Winter 2022
The Common, Issue 24
Conjunctions, 79
Creative Nonfiction, Fall 2022
Cutleaf, 2.23
Epiphany, Summer 2022
Feminist Studies, v48n2, 2022
Gay & Lesbian Review, Nov/Dec 2022
Geist, 121

Continue reading “New & Noted Lit & Alt Mags – November 2022”

Book Review :: When They Tell You To Be Good by Prince Shakur

When They Tell You To Be Good a memoir by Prince Shakur published by Tin House Books book cover image

Guest Post by David Sohboff

In his debut memoir, When They Tell You To Be Good, Prince Shakur traverses geography and time to answer a question that has “haunted” him since adolescence, “Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?” There’s Shakur, a Jamaican immigrant, searching for a better life only to have his father murdered. There’s the closeted Shakur who faces his truth as well as his family’s violent proclivities. There’s Shakur, who travels the globe because, “If America could not deliver me what I deserved as a young and curious Black person, I deserved to try to find it where I could and not be overpowered by the kind of son or citizen I needed to be.” There’s Shakur, the revolutionary, who combats racism, homophobia, and colonialism. There’s Shakur, the humanist, who learns that “one of the best ways we can love people is to not be afraid of them.” There’s Shakur, the provocative writer who becomes “grateful for my body, my heart, my mind, and all the people who loved me and asked questions.” This speaks to the power of “Who Am I,” which Shakur asked early on and ultimately transcends to a universal query in this artful debut.


When They Tell You To Be Good by Prince Shakur. Tin House, September 2022.

Reviewer Bio: David Sohboff is an educator in Massachusetts and a student at Bridgewater State University, pursuing an advanced degree in English. 

Magazine Stand :: The Missouri Review – Summer 2022

The Missouri Review Summer 2022 issue print literary magazine cover image

Themed “Rescue Me,” the newest issue of The Missouri Review bids a final goodbye to Summer 2002 with new fiction from Caroline Casper, Sam Dunnington, Tim Erwin, Nur Kahn, and Amy Stuber. Essays by Christopher Kempf and Daniel J. Waters. Poetry from Davis McCombs, Kelan Nee, and Rachel Richardson. Also: Curio Cabinet on the marketing of Amelia Earhart, Art Feature on Dodo in Berlin, and a review from Sam Pickering.

New Book :: Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn

Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn Poetry by Daniel Thomas published by Cherry Grove Collections book cover image

Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn
Poetry by Daniel Thomas
Cherry Grove Collections, July 2022

Drawing from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn explores how a long relationship of love is like a spiritual practice, a challenge to live in true care and compassion with those to whom we are closest. Interspersed throughout this lyric and narrative sequence are 14 poems that travel cliffs, streams and dirt paths and envision climbing a mountain whose peak cannot be reached. This contemplation of the challenge of love makes us think deeply about finding grace and charity in the ordinary moments of our daily life. Sample poems can be read on the publisher’s website.

New Book :: The Sign Catcher

The Sign Catcher a memoir by Otilio Quintero published by Arte Publico Press book cover image

The Sign Catcher
Biography by Otilio Quintero
Arte Publico Press, March 2022

As a young boy, Otilio Quintero lived with his family in abject poverty in a labor camp in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Later, they moved to a housing project that exposed him to the madness of violence. Despite his difficult childhood, he managed to go to college. But more important to his development was a trip to Mexico in which he was taken in and taught by the Mayan Chol people. In his memoir, The Sign Catcher, Quintero writes he found his calling at an indigenous ceremony during The Longest Walk, a 3,000-mile march across the country—from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to Washington, DC—in 1978 by Native Americans to protest federal attacks on their way of life. The marchers carried the sacred pipe to the nation’s capital and ultimately legislative bills detrimental to indigenous people were defeated. His life took a dramatic turn when he found himself in a maximum-security prison facing a possible 20-year sentence.

Book Review :: Stay True by Hua Hsu

Stay True a memoir by Hua Hsu published by Penguin Random House book cover image

Guest Post by Kevin Brown

In his memoir Stay True, Hua Hsu explores identity through three different lenses: race/ethnicity, friendship, and music. Music is by far the dominant way Hsu defined himself when he was in college, the years he focuses on in this work. He uses his love of music partly to define himself as different than others—as a way to carve out an identity for himself—and to judge others—as a way to keep others at a distance. He becomes friends with Ken, a student unlike Hsu in almost every way, including musical tastes. Despite those differences, Ken becomes a friend who helps Hsu grow and change, slowly moving past his easy judgments about others. Ken and Hsu are both Asian Americans, but Ken is Japanese American. His family has been in the United States for generations, while Hsu is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, leading Hsu to feel less settled in his racial/ethnic identity. All of these strands help Hsu talk about who he was then and how that time has shaped him into who is, but the main concern of the memoir is a specific event in his relationship with Ken, one Hsu is still coming to terms with years afterward.


Stay True by Hua Hsu. Penguin Random House, September 2022.

Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.