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Published August 29, 2016
new orleans reviewThe newest issue of New Orleans Review is a special tribute to Shakespeare. According to Guest Editor Hillary Eklund, "The primary motivation for this issue is that 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, and we wanted to commemorate that by looking at Shakespeare's 21st century literary afterlives."

The original call for submissions was: “Four centuries after William Shakespeare’s death, his name ennobles a variety of cultural institutions, from libraries and endowed chairs to summer camps and rubber duckies. Even as these structures—both lofty and lowly—rise and fall, we bear witness to the greatest power Shakespeare described: that of poetry itself to preserve without rigidity, to endure without sameness, and to inspire without dominance. Beyond the array of institutions that bear his name, what conversations do Shakespeare’s eternal lines animate now?”

"We welcomed submissions that riff on, respond to, reimagine, or recast any of Shakespeare’s works in any genre," says Eklund, "including short fiction, poetry, image/text collections, creative nonfiction, and scholarship. The response was great. We had submissions from poets, fiction writers, essayists, and scholars. We especially relished the opportunity to put creative work in direct conversation with scholarly work; few journals have the license to do that, and the result is, I think, quite exciting."

Hillary EklundEklund herself is a scholar of early modern literature and Associate Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans. She has published articles and chapters in Shakespeare Studies and in essay collections on early modern literature. Her book Literature and Moral Economy in the Early Atlantic: Elegant Sufficiencies came out in 2015 with Ashgate Press, and she has a collection of essays, Groundwork: English Renaissance Literature and Soil Science, forthcoming from Duquesne University Press.

When I asked about the experience of editing this issue, Eklund responded: "The experience has helped me to focus the chatter around Shakespeare, who this year more than ever seems to be everywhere, and I hope it will have a similar effect on our readers. As we take stock of the many commemorations and celebrations of Shakespeare in 2016, the pieces in this issue help us think through the question of what we gain from Shakespeare today – what, if anything, reading or thinking about Shakespeare is good for. Some of our contributors have taken up Shakespeare's enduring themes and respun them in modern contexts. Others have used contemporary contexts to rethink some of the problems Shakespeare's work presents, particularly problems of gender and race."
Published August 23, 2016
main street ragIn his Welcome Readers Summer 2016 column, Editor M. Scott Douglass begins, "It may have gone unnoticed since we didn't make a fuss about it, but The Main Street Rag recently experienced a milestone." Having started in May of 1996, that milestone is 20 continuous years of publishing MSR, beginning as Main Street Rag Poetry Journal. "We've gone through many changes," Douglass writes, "taken advice from notable people like Dana Gioia who advised me to diversify our content and broaden our audience. We did and it did. So did the workload."

Douglass comments on the efforts of many committed individuals who have supported the publication through the years - with blood, sweat and tears, and "who work specific projects for cheap, sometimes for beer and/or Chinese food." Sounds like literary publishing as we know it. But Douglass has built quite a publishing house, producing "as many as 200 titles in a single year, but now averages between 100 and 120 titles per year, when you include our titles, this literary magazine and those we produce for others, and the books we produce as a contractor."

I'm sure there are hundreds of individuals, if not in the thousands by now, who owe some thanks to The Main Street Rag for having given them the opportunity to be published and read, and certainly in those thousands, those who have appreciated being able to read from this publishing house over the past 20 year. MSR has been a mainstay in the literary community. We congratulate them on two great decades of dedication and commitment to literary publishing, and wish them many, many more years of good work.
Published August 22, 2016
coleman barksThe Summer 2016 issue of The Georgia Review includes a special feature on Coleman Barks. In addition to an introduction by Editor Stephen Corey, the section includes several poems and a prose piece by Barks. The prose, an essay titled "Figures from My Boyhood," begins, "Steve Corey asked me to do a prose piece (on my influences, he suggested) for The Georgia Review. But I seem to have more energy for childhood obsessions. Sorry to be so self-absorbed." Exactly what we would expect from Barks.

Other authors whose works in tribute to Barks are included: Ty Sassaman, Hugh Ruppersburg, Jody Kennedy, Ravi Shankar, John Yow, Norman Minnick, Gulnaz Saiyed, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lisa Starr, and Gordon Johnston. Several of the works, including one of Barks poems, can be read online here.
Published August 17, 2016
new letters2The newest issue of New Letters (v82 nos 3 & 4) includes a special section of Cuban & Cuban-American Writers & Artists co-edited with Mia Leonin, author of Braid (Anhinga Press) and Unraveling the Bed (Anhinga Press), and a memoir Havana and Other Missing Fathers (University of Arizona Press). Leonin currently teaches creative writing at University of Miami. The introductory note by Editor Robert Stewart reads:

"Humans don't wait for revolution or democracy in order to live their lives," says Mia Leonin...Her point underscores both the force of literature and art, and the hope found there. The impulses to generalize about certain groups, to categorize and perhaps condemn--to indulge in the quality of discourse imposed on us by many critics and politicians--find their antidote in literature. "The poems, stories, and essays in these pages," Leonin continues, "remind us that Cuba is not an idea or ideology, a photo op or a news line. Likewise, its diaspora is neither offshoot nor derivative. Whatever its temporality, literature is the present moment unfolding, and these writers carve out each moment with authenticity and vision."

Authors and artists whose works are featured: Chantel Acevedo, Alfredo Zaldivar, Ruth Behar, Lisiette Alonso, Cristina Garcia ("Berliners Who, two stories" can be read here), Orlando Ricardo Menes, Ana Menendez, Laura Ruiz Montes, Pablo Medina.
  • 57 /

    A Mariel Epistolary, fiction

    , Chantel Acevedo
  • 61 /

    Utopias, poems, translated by Margaret Randall

    , Alfredo Zaldivar
  • 62 /

    For Three Months I Am Alone in La Habana, poem in English & Spanish 

    , Ruth Behar
  • 66 /

    Three Poems

    , Lisiette Alonso
  • 69 /

    Berliners Who, two stories

    , Cristina Garcia
  • 79 /

    Two Poems

    , Orlando Ricardo Menes
  • 83 /

    Two Essays: The Rooster That Attacked My Sister & Wandering Creatures

    , Ana Menendez
  • 94 /

    Two Poems, trnaslated by Margaret Randall

    , Laura Ruiz Montes
  • 96 /

    That Dream Again

    , Pablo Medina
  • Published August 15, 2016
    river teethThis week's covers just say "summer" to me, starting with this Spring 2016 issue of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. The cover photo is of Chipmunk Creek, Richland County, OH by David FitzSimmons.
    gettysburg reviewThe Gettysburg Review Autumn 2016 issue features The Letter A, detail by Alexandra Tyng, 2012, oil on linen. The publication also includes a full-color portfolio of eight of his works.
    ragazineThe online publication Ragazine features Castles in the Sky, oil on watercolor paper by Laura Guese, and also includes an interview with her in the issue here.
    Published August 03, 2016
    It's been a while since we've done some cover art features, so thanks to you readers who let us know how much you appreciate this post!
    colorado reviewIrresistable: Colorado Review's Summer 2016 cover image is just so summery with this full-cover-wrap photogray by Lenny Koh of Lenny K Photography.
    themaThema's Summer 2016 cover is reflective of this issue's theme: "Lost in the Zoo." Cover photograph by Kathleen Gunton.
    cimarron reviewAlong with Cimarron Review's Spring 2016 issue, I almost had a whole cat theme going. This one taps my appreciation for whimsy with Sabrina Barnett's photo "Greens (2)."
    Published July 28, 2016
    michael ananiaValley Voices Spring 2015 is a special issue on Michael Anania, guest edited by Michael Antonucci and Garin Cycholl, who write, "Anania's space is the river, the imagined city - a Chicago of relentless modernity, one capable of reinventing itself and making itself for sale again and again as the waters rise and fall. From here, the poet observes and reflects on this Chicago on the make - a sprawl of fresh water and wind, candy and steel."

    Featured in the volume is an interview with Anania as well as several of his poems. Also included are essays on Anania's work: "Modernist Current: Michael Anania's Poetry of the Western Rivers" by Robert Archambeau; "'Out of Dazzlement'...Chiaroscuro Revisited" by Peter Michaelson; "'Energy Held in Elegant Control': Vortex Anania" by Lachlan Murray; "Another Italian-American Poet in Omaha: Italy in Michael Anania's Poetry" by William Allegrezza; "Michael Anania's The Red Menace: A Study in Self-Production" by David Ray Vance; "'Like Hands Raised in Song': Proper Names in Michael Anania's 'Steal Away'" by Lea Graham; "On Michael Anania's In Natural Light" by Reginald Gibbons as well as several more.

    "This collection of essays and original work," the editors write, "offers a set of moments in lands (and waters) surveyed by Anania. That land pretends a relentless modernity - one that Anania has evidenced for readers, colleagues, and other artists page by page, line by line. Charles Olson argued that the poet either rides on or digs into the land. This collection of essays and Anania's writings attest that he has done both."
    Published July 26, 2016
    Each issue of Spoon River Poetry Review print jounral concludes with “The SRPR Review Essay,” which editors identify as "a long analytical essay (20-25 pp) that blurs the line between the short, opinion-driven review and the academic article. Each review essay is written by an established poet-critic who situates 3-5 new books of contemporary poetry within relevant conversations concerning poetry and poetics. At least half of the books discussed in the review essay are published by small presses." The most recent issue (41.1) features "The New in the News: Poetry, Authenticity, and the Historical Imagination" by Bruce Bond, and includes critical reviews of The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out: Poems by Karen Solie (Farrar, Straus, and Girous, 2015) and Emblems of the Passing World: Poems after Photographs by August Sander by Adam Kirsch (The Other Press, 2015). A list of recent SRPR review essays can be found here, with some excerpted as well as full text.
    Published July 19, 2016
    POETRY MOONWell, this is a first for me in all the years I've been working with literary magazines. The July/August 2016 cover of Poetry is a special treat for those who can access the print version. Artist Chris Hefner has created a glow-in-the-dark moon to celebrate the “moon poems” by Federico García Lorca, translated by Sarah Arvio. The issue features "Two Evening Moons," "Of the Dark Doves," and "Ballad of the Moon Moon." Read more about the translations as well as a statement from the artist about his work and several other images from his collection here.
    Published July 11, 2016
    nimrod internationalMirrors & Prisms: Writers of Marginalized Orientations & Gender Identities is the title of Nimrod International's Spring/Summer 2016 issue. Editor Ellis O'Neal writes in the editor's note:
    Mirrors & Prisms feature the work of writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual, or anywhere under the umbrella term MOGAI (marginalized orientations, gender identities, and intersex). While Nimrod has always published the work of such authors (and indeed James Land Jones, Nimrod''s founder, was himself gay and fought for gay rights in Georgia in the 1970s as a professor of literature), we have never before devoted an entire issue to LGBTQIA writers. To do so now, we believe, is not only to continue Nimrod's tradition of bringing less-heard writers to the literary forefront, but to make clear what Nimrod has always known: that LGBTQIA writers have stories that can make a differences to all readers, of all sexualities and gender identities.
    See the complete table of contents here with links to some works which can be read online.
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