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Published February 28, 2014

I'm loving the brilliant colors of Birmingham Poetry Review's Spring 2014 cover: The Alchemy of Invention, 2013 by Nicola Mason, mixed-media on canvas.

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Simon says press red. Simon says press blue. Simon says admire the cover of The Literary Review. A fitting cover image for the themed issue "Artificial Intelligence." And in case you're wondering what the inscription is underneath, it says, "Nothing that matters is new or fake. Nothing can't be controlled with a joystick. Buttons are original thought. Peripherals are unpredictable. Synapses are mythic, like the words we live by."

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Initial thought as I looked at this, out loud, "Ooo I really love this cover of BPJ." A minute later upon closer look, "Oh gross, it's actually kind of creepy, I thought it was just feathers." Thirty seconds later: "I still really love it." Beloit Poetry Journal takes an interesting approach for the cover of the Spring issue: a dead bird's feet among crunchy, dead leaves. The photograph is titled "Raven Elegy" and is actually by Editor Lee Sharkey. Hauntingly beautiful.
Published February 21, 2014
Look quickly or from far away, and you'll imagine that this cover of The Southern Review features one of those energy-saving light bulb, but this is what you thought, I encourage you to look closer. The art is done with polyester resin and Philips circular fluorescent tube lighting by Bernardi Roig, titled Pierrot le fou.

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Under the Gum Tree's current issue cover is by Jane Ryder, "an artist whose chosen medium is paint, and the current inspiration for her gouache paintings can be found in the lakes, rivers, prairies and forests of south central Iowa."

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Willow Springs's Spring 2014 issue has beautiful colors. Joan Snyder's Cherry Fall, 1995 is made with oil, acrylic, herbs, and cloth on linen. 
 
Published February 14, 2014
I always seem to love Ecotone's covers, but this one blew me away. I can't stop admiring it. The colors are brilliant, and it's perfect for the cover of their migration issue: a young woman carries a suitcase, her head in the clouds. The photograph is titled Head in the Clouds by Alicia Savage.

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This cover of Image features James Mellick's Poseidon's Phantom: laminated and carved ebonized poplar, bleached ash and maple, copper, 30 x 22 x 12 inches.

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Sugared Water's inaugural issue cover may not look all that impressive on the screen, but hold in your hands and you'll see that it is. Every issue is printed and handbound, the cover hand screened and stenciled on recycled card stock.


Published February 07, 2014
So it's been a while since I posted about magazine covers, but don't worry--I'm not stopping now! The holidays and AWP have put me a little behind with these posts, but there are plenty in store. If only you could see the boxes and boxes of litmags I have to go through! And one of the delights is discovering some amazing artwork and photography and design on the covers:

Room's cover features a house with one side removed so that you can see the, what do you know, rooms. The Dollhouse: Blue Night #2 was constructed in 2007 by Heather Benning with wood, plaster, paint, mixed media, and an existing abandoned house.

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Salmagundi Magazine's cover just looks like fun. It features Untitled (Hunterdon County, NJ) by Meredith Moody from about 1984.

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 This cover of The Fiddlehead features the work of Deanna Musgrave's acrylic on canvas, Crown.


Published January 15, 2014
The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review's Winter 2013 issue is exciting, right from glancing at the cover. When I received the NewPages copy, I had to look closely. Is that Sharpie on the cover? I flipped right to the editor's note, and saw this:

"And isn't this, we could say, 'uncontrollable' element of art one of the things that makes it so indispensable? I think so. When we publish the magazine each year, it is no longer, literally, in our hands, but in the hands (and eyes and ears) of our subscribers and readers. To that end, this year's cover is something rather unusual. Each copy of this issue has an individually illustrated cover. Some may be signed, others may be anonymous. The artists range from professional illustrators and visual artists to college students, to academics, to elementary art school teachers to elementary school students themselves. They've all been done in a the simple medium of a permanent marker or two . . ."

Nathaniel Perry goes on to say that just like you can't control what will be on the cover of your copy, you can't control how you will read or react to any of the poetry. But here are the writers you can expect to find in this issue: Claudia Emerson, Maria Hummel, Christopher Howell, Robert Wrigley, and more.
Published December 20, 2013
Meaty Gonzales writes in this "bones" issue of Meat for Tea: "This issue will get under your skin and cut through the fat to get to the very bone. Bones. To get to the bare-boned truth, to reveal the skeletons in your closet, to sip a healing broth, bones evoke many conflicting emotions and memories . . ."

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The 2013 issue of The Idaho Review features Bill Carmen's "The Earialist" which is a 5x7 acrylic on copper made in 2010. It's slightly creepy, unsettling, but oh-so-interesting to look at!

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Read this about the latest Tin House cover: "This issue's cover art, Yellow Book, is about connections forged through books. [The artist, Sophie Blackall, says] 'So many of the missed connections I read [on Craigslist] mention books, 'You were on the F train, reading As I Lay Dying . . .' but lots of us have also found friends and lovers through books. The only thing better than a beloved book is a book shared with a beloved.'"


Published December 13, 2013
This cover of The Missouri Review's Fall 2013 issue is a photo by Beth Hoeckel titled "Tip Toe." This is a special "transcendence" issue, featuring Nick Arvin, Claudia Emerson, Jane Gillette, Jason Koo, Dorothea Lasky, and more.

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In general, I just love The Common's cover designs; they always feature a common object. And just as they aim to "find the extraordinary in the common" for their writing, they follow the same example with their covers. It just makes sense.

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And speaking of covers that just make sense, check out the recent cover of Iron Horse Literary Review. Does it really need any explanation? The artwork is metal sculptures located at Landmark Bank, N.A. in Kingston, Oklahoma, constructed and designed by Doug Owen.


Published December 06, 2013

This cover of Gulf Coast is part of a collection by Mary Reid Kelley called The Syphilis of Sisyphus. Jenni Sorkin writes in the introduction to the pieces, "Shot by collaborator Patrick Kelley in high-definition video in a stark palette of black and white, there is a mournful quality to the hand-drawn stage sets and highly stylized actors. Reid Kelley herself takes on the role of Sisyphus, yet all the characters are only recognizable as archetypes, hidden by bulging golf balls for eyes."

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A storm-trooper clone doing ballet. I'm sorry, but what is there not to love about this? The cover art for The Literary Review is titled "Corps de Clone" by Rebecca Ashley. "The work in this exhibit brings my worlds of dance, parenting, and photography into one sphere where, like a dancer on stage, belief is often suspended and being in the moment is all," she writes.

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The latest cover of Graze, a literary magazine centered around food,  features different items of food hanging out in a library. An ice cream sandwich lays in the middle of the floor reading a book. And on the back, there is also a melting popsicle, a book-reading piece of pizza, and other assorted foods. The art is by Kyle Fewell.

Published November 08, 2013

Transference is a brand new lit mag out of Western Michigan University that features translated work. The cover image is by Er
Published November 01, 2013


"Even in the digital age, the letter exerts a mysterious pull . . . ," write the editors. "But for the young girls on our cover [of Poet Lore], walking to the mailbox was a serious rural ritual, the day's post a lifeline linking farm routes and cities, family and friends . . . What kind of lifeline does poetry offer, what kind of 'news'?"

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I found that the colors on this issue of Cutbank are stunning, and if you look closer, you realize it's a collage of birds. It's a mixed media painting on canvas titled "The Birds of Wonderland" by Nanuka Tchitchoua in 2009.

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Lost in Thought's new cover (and the design of the issue as a whole) is definitely eye-catching. Unfortunately, I can't locate the artist of the cover image, but it does indicate that the issue contains art by Haley Friesen and ink work by Nobuhiro Sato.
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