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.
Published by the Department of English and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the College of Charleston, the cover image of Crazyhorse Fall 2017 is "Blue Hole," a digital photograph by Shane Brown.
Annelisa Leinbach's vibrant art is featured on the home screen as well as in a portfolio for the Winter 2017 issue of The Writing Disorder online literary magazine.
The fall 2017 print issue of Schuylkill Valley Journal includes a special section of poetry written by men imprisoned at Graterford Prison in Philadelphia. Fran B. provides an introduction to the section entitled, "A Poetry Workshop at Graterford Prison," which begins, "In January, 2017, I started a poetry workshop at Graterford Prison. I had wanted to do this for a long time, several years, and my semi-retirement enabled me to think that I finally had the time to devote to the project." Fran explains how he worked with the Prison Literacy Project of Pennsylvania and a group called Lifers, Inc. in Graterford Prison to get the workshop started, building a rapport with the inmates, and developing guidelines for their sessions. Fran shares some of the prompts he developed and the responses these elicited from participants.
Contributing Writer Eric Greinke provides an editorial comment on the works selected: "Although all of the poems that were submitted have merit, this particular group of five poets display special talent and affinity for poetry. Poetic talent can appear anywhere, under any circumstances, because it is the result of the inner human drive to evolve and connect. These five poets transcend situational concerns and rise to a universal level that communicates to our shared humanity. Their poems have in common an emotional intensity but each poet sings with his own unique voice."
Included are ten poems by five poets: Reginald L., Terrell C., Ben C., Aaron F., and Eduardo R.
In these turbulent times, we can't help but wonder just exactly how words do matter, in the sense of "for good" instead of what we see so much of bandied about in terms of knee-jerk thoughtlessness. World Literature Today provides the perspective "Words Matter: Writing as Inspired Resistance" in their January-February 2018 issue. In addition to its regular content is "Treasuring the Tradition of Inspired Resistance”: A Conversation with Maureen Freely by Michelle Johnson, poetry by Iossif Ventura and Anna Maria Carpi, an essay by Liliana Ancalao, three audio poems (online) in Mapuzungun, Spanish, and English, by Liliana Ancalao, a web exclusive interview “Breaking Open Gates: A Conversation with Emmy Pérez,” by Norma Cantú and Chelsea Rodríguez.
Readers can access five articles per month without a subscription; WLT is a paying market for writers and encourages subscriptions.
Ecotone's mission is to publish place-based work exploring "the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought." The Fall/Winter 2017 issue is themed on "Craft" and opens with Editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell's "From the Editor: The Craft of Editing," which includes the insightful list of eight "Guiding Principles for Ecotone Editors."
Content includes fiction by Jill McCorckle, Alexis Schaitkin, and Farah Alie, nonfiction by Ellie A. Rogers, Andrea Mummert Puccini, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ben Miller, and poetry by Cortney Lamar Charleston, Nina Sudhakar, George David Clark, Jessica Guzman Alderman, Dawn Manning, Lauren Camp, Cate Lycurgus, Lynne Thompson, David Macey, Athena Kildegaard, and Molly Tenenbaum. Each contributor also offers one sentence on craft, "what hopes and concerns about craft, writerly and/or otherwise, the writers and artists who are part of the issue might have."
The gorgeous cover and bookmark insert for this issue deserves recognition: designed and printed by Rory Sparks at Working Library in Portland, Oregon, with text hand-set in Lining Gothic, Franklin Gothic, And Garamond Italic, and printed on Mohawk Superfine Eggshell 100lb on a Vandercook Universal I AB P.