The most recent issue of Michigan Quarterly Review (Winter 2018) opens with Associate Editor Keith Taylor's "What is Found There: Poetry at Michigan," commenting on this issue's special feature. He recounts the Spring 2017 200th anniversary celebration at University of Michigan, which included a day-long conference entitled "Poetry at Michigan." This was a "continuation of two symposia done over the previous few years: one on Theodore Roethke, and the other focising on Robert Hayden and his work."
This issue of MQR has now become the even larger discussion of poets and their connections to UofM, including: Donald Hall, "an important professor" at UofM for almost twenty years; an unpublished interview with Seamus Heaney "a regular visitor for almost a quarter of a century, both before and after his Nobel Prize"; Francey Oscherwitz, and undergraduate at the university thirty-five years ago; Hannah Webster, "a recent graduate of the Zell Writing Program," who "writes about her experience with the Prison Creative Arts Project," including works from Michigan prison students; and Bob Hicock, not a UofM grad, but who lived in Ann Arbor for some twenty years, has contributed "a provocative essay on the necessary and inevitable changes happening in contemporary American poetry."
FIELD Magazine Editor David Young writes:
"As FIELD 98, our Spring 2018 issue, arrives, it's time to let you know that just two more numbers are scheduled: #99, Fall 2018, and #100, Spring 2019. Many have expressed dismay at learning that FIELD will close down, but both David Walker and I feel the need to free ourselves from the burden of editorship. Nobody thought, when the magazine began in 1969, that it would last this long and become such an institution. All good things eventually terminate, however, and fifty years and one hundred issues make for good round numbers.
"We're hoping to organize a farewell event at next year's AWP meeting. Meanwhile, we're very grateful to our fellow editors, our contributors, and our subscribers for their support and enthusiasm. Also, of course, to Oberlin College for its hospitality. It isn't easy to say goodbye. Thank you for caring and for loving FIELD all these many years."
Thank you David Young (top photo), David Walker, and all the staff, writers, and readers through the years who helped make FIELD a vital voice in our literary community.
AWP’s Small Press Publisher Award is an annual prize for nonprofit presses and literary journals that recognizes the important role such organizations play in publishing creative works and introducing new authors to the reading public. The award acknowledges the hard work, creativity, and innovation of these presses and journals, and honors their contributions to the literary landscape through their publication of consistently excellent work. The award includes a $2,000 honorarium and a complimentary exhibit booth at the AWP Conference & Bookfair in the year following the recipient’s recognition. The prize is given to literary magazines in even years; Creative Nonfiction was a finalist in both 2014 and 2016.
Creative Nonfiction founder and editor Lee Gutkind said, “It’s really nice to be recognized in this way. Creative Nonfiction’s small staff is incredibly dedicated, and does so much with so little. And thanks go to our contributors—the writers and artists whose work makes the magazine possible. Twenty-four years ago, we brought the very first issue of Creative Nonfiction to this conference, and I was so nervous … but we sold every copy. So, thanks go to AWP, too, for all their support over the years.”
Creative Nonfiction is true stories, well told. Each issue of the quarterly features original essays and illustrations; writing that pushes traditional boundaries of the genre; notes on craft; micro-essays; conversations with writers and editors; and more. Almost every issue includes a writer’s first publication, and the editorial team emphasizes a thoughtful editorial process and rigorous fact-checking as vital elements of the organization’s overall educational mission. Visit creativenonfiction.org to learn more.
The Editor's Note in New Orleans Review Issue 43 (Themed: "This Hustle Is Not Your Grandpa’s African Lit") contained the following announcement:
"Since its founding in 1968, New Orleans Review has had the pleasure of including in its pages the work of hundreds of writers, poets, essayists, critics, celebrities, and artists from around the world. We take particular delight in having published numerous 'first-time-in-print' authors as well as offering eclectic volumes on a range of topics and forms – from Alexander Pope’s 'The Rape of the Lock' to Post-Structuralism, from Spanish-language film to Czech writing in translation, and from Science Fiction to a set of seven chapbooks enclosed in a slipcase. As the journal enters its 50th year, this special issue on contemporary writing from Africa celebrates our final printed volume. Both honoring its past and embracing its future, New Orleans Review will continue to publish new work in an expanded digital venue, which will also include free access to all 50 years of print issues."
The Florida Review Editor and Director Lisa Roney in the 41.2/2017 issue Editor's Note writes in a recurring thread about the U.S. prison culture, her early experiences knowing young people who went in and out of jail, and - of all things - changing the publication's submission policy to accept traditional postal submissions from those without Internet access, "whatever the circumstances might be." This, of course, would open submissions to our nation's incarcerated population who are not allowed access to the Internet.
About the Special Section on Prison, Roney writes, "we include writing by prisoners, as well as their family members and friends. It is the presence of this Triumvirate (victims, prisoners, family and loved ones) that testifies to the widespread tragedy that violence, addiction, and poverty and their results have become in this country - and our constant sense that there must be some better way. Writing, of course, is one of those better ways."
Readers may already be familiar with The Massachusetts Review, the quarterly print journal founded in 1959, but did you know they also have digital projects available?
Working Titles are e-publications of prose which are too long to be printed in the quarterly. Published bimonthly, there are three ways to purchase and download Working Titles. Recent publications include Table for One by Yun Ko Eun translated by Lizzie Buehler, The Keepers of the Ghost Bird by Jenn Dean, The Leader by Nouri Zarrugh, and more.
Readers can also find Digital Chapbooks, showcasing art and poetry from past special sections and art inserts throughout the years of the journal. These features are free to read and easy to access, a good way to spend some time.
While you’re checking out the current “Truth” issue of The Massachusetts Review, be sure to see what digital offerings are up for grabs.
I was relieved to see it wasn't just me who heard the Bee Gees in my head when I saw the cover of Bennington Review Issue Four themed "Staying Alive." Editor Michael Dumanis opens the "Note from the Editor" with these two lines from the 1977's classic, "Life goin' nowhere, somebody help me / Somebody help me, yeah, I'm stayin' alive."
Dumanis explains, "As we were reading the poems, stories, and essays submitted to Bennington Review in 2017 for this, our fourth issue, we noticed a word that come up with remarkable regularity - the verb 'survive' in all its various permutations. In Issue Four, it occurs - frequently as a directive, occasionally as the noun 'survivor' - twenty-eight times. The word 'living' can be found twenty-one times, an the word 'alive' shows up an additional twelve."
A "tonal shift" from their previous issue, themed "Threat," Dumanis notes that "something has shifted in the cultural landscape. An acceptance of threat has bred a series of reactions - resistance, perseverance, even a measure of optimism . . . there's now a restored sense of agency."
Readers can find works by Patrick Williams, Erin L. McCoy, Marco Wilkinson, Ian Stansel, A. Molotkov and many more, with several contributors' works available to read online.
Stayin' alive? I'm all for it.
In addition to its regular content of 'extremely brief' (under 750 words) nonfiction, Brevity's regular feature of Craft Essays in its first issue of 2018 features Chelsey Dyrsdale's "Transforming an Essay Collection into a Memoir," Annelise Jolley's "Capturing the Numinous: Mary Karr's Sacred Carnality," and Felicia Rose Chavez's [pictured] "The Mental Load: Honoring Your Story Over Your To-Do List." All of Brevity's content is available online for free. No reason not to stop on by.
In "The Godfather Speaks," 3QR: The Three Quarter Review interviewed Lee Gutkind on the two-decade anniversary of the controversial Vanity Fair article, in which critic James Wolcott “accused creative nonfiction writers, of memoir in particular, of ‘navel gazing’ . . . lambast[ing] the form itself as: a ‘sickly transfusion, whereby the weakling personal voice of sensitive fiction is inserted into the beery carcass of nonfiction.‘" Wolcott labeled Gutkind as “The Godfather behind creative nonfiction.”
Gutkind reflects on what could have been devastating to some in their careers: “The Godfather label—the positive aspects of it—stuck. From that point on, emboldened, I was much more in an offensive rather than a defensive mode when it came to creative nonfiction.” And for this, we are all grateful to The Godfather.