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Published May 31, 2013
You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but it doesn't mean the cover can't be appealing. Here are a few magazines that came in this week that made me stop to think, say "wow," or simply announce to my coworkers, "Hey, check out this cover!"

I simply had to include both the front and back cover of the volume 10 year of Ninth Letter. The cover perfectly captures the quirky and fun issue, filled with all sorts of goodies. Plus: cat. Meow.

Well, actually I have to include both the front and back of AGNI also. Here are the details: Fabio D'Aroma, Retrochrionica, 2011, oil on canvas, 30" x 56"

And I guess while I'm at it, I should include the front and back of Beloit Poetry Journal as well. This was actually Casey's pick, but I have to agree with him here.

Published May 24, 2013
You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but it doesn't mean the cover can't be appealing. Here are a few magazines that came in this week that made me stop to think, say "wow," or simply announce to my coworkers, "Hey, check out this cover!"

Main Street Rag's new cover features a hallway, and at the end, there is an exit sign, pointing left and a sign below indicating poetry is to the right (pointing, of course, to where you must open the journal). Which way will you choose?

Gulf Coast's "Issues" cover features a selection of books of issues: Oversharing, Essay Tests, Abandonment Issues, God Complex, Drug Issues, Control Issues, and, largest and dead center, Mom Issues.

The Southern Review's cover features a library, taken over by disaster, with the dome of the ceiling ripped out to reveal a beautiful skyline.
Published January 31, 2013
Toad Suck Review's third issue comes with a pair of 3D glasses. Why? Well because the cover, of a shark and a toad, jumps out in 3D. "I messed around with Photoshop and a tutorial on YouTube, and this is the result," says Editor-in-Chief Mark Spitzer. "Thank you, thank you, I am also amazed and amused."

He goes on, "More importantly, though, is what these images happen to frame, particularly our flagship piece, 'Underground in Amerigo.' This is a monumental lost work by Edward Abbey, which even the most seasoned scholars of the Master Monkeywrencher (aka, Cactus Ed, the Father of the Modern Environmental Movement, etc.) don't know jack about. . ."

Contributors to this issue include Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, Ed Sanders, Gerald Locklin, Antler, Jean Genet, Jesse Glass, Rex Rose, Molly Kat, Skip Fox, Tyrone Jaeger, Sandy Longhorn, Dennis Humphrey, Mark Jackson, Chris Shipman, Andrew Hill, Just Kibbe, Drea Kato, C. Prozac, Ben McClendon, and more.
Published June 19, 2012
In addition to having a stunning cover - "Ragnarok'n'Roll" by Jen Mundy - the newest issue of Indiana Review (34.1) features the winner of the 2011 Indiana Review Fiction Prize: "Mud Child" by Becky Adnot-Haynes; and the winner of the 2011 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize (entrants limited to 500 words): "When You Look Away, the World" by Corey Van Landingham.
Published September 22, 2011
Just when I thought I'd seen my fill of doll head art comes this newest issue of Rain Taxi, and for some creepy reason, I just can't stop staring back at this one-eyed Kwepie winker.

If not already on your regular reading list, do add Rain Taxi Review of Books, both in print and online. Fall 2011 online edition features an interview with novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell and the featured essay Ghost Crawl through the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. The print issue features interviews with Peter Grandbois and Adam Hines, and reviews of books by Grant Morrison, JoAnn Verburg, Ron Hansen, Siri Hustvedt, Juan Goytisolo, Will Alexander, Kabir, and more.
Published August 01, 2011
Palooka: Issue 2 - cover art, "Flying Clowns Descend on the Schoolyard" by Joe Harvasy (2008). I have a friend who is deathly afraid of clowns who would find this cover stunning in a very literal-psychological sense. I find the colors (great reproduction) and style to be the stunner; the clowns themselves - well, there's some dark humor at work here I can appreciate. Havasy comments on the artwork: "The flying clowns painting was originally a print I did for a show titled 'They're Out to Get Me' about childhood fears. I wanted to show clowns doing everything scary possible. Four years later the Alcove Gallery was having a show titled 'Circus,' and I decided to do a gigantic 2' x 3' painting of the clowns. The painting currently resides in Oslo, Norway, in the collection of Nicholas Paulik."
Published March 31, 2010
Do you think the bookstores will cover up this cover of Granta when it hits the shelves? Will Granta have to wrap it in brown paper to send it in the mail? It reminds me of the 'soft-core porn' cover on Fence a few years back that garnered so much discussion about using sex to sell lit (or was it selling lit as sex?). Wheres Granta's issue is themed "Sex," I don't recall the content of Fence having a direct connection with the cover. It was simply used to help "sell" the mag. Did it work? I don't know, but I figured there were going to be some pretty disappointed young boys who most likely would have stolen the magazine out of the bookstore only to find it filled with - poetry?! Or, who knows, maybe it's covers like these that will someday be credited for having, well, turned some young readers on to literature.
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