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.
Founded in 2011 by Christine Brooks Cote, Shanti Arts celebrates and promotes Art, Nature, and Spirit. Along with publishing a wide array of books, Shanti Arts also produces Still Point Art Gallery and Still Point Arts Quarterly. The print publication features full-color art throughout, and the website includes the full exhibition of artwork. Nature's Textures is the current exhibit, running through January 31, 2018.
Artists' works honored in this exhibit:
Best in Show
Award for Uniqueness of Concept and Originality
Award for Exceptional Composition and Design
Award for Distinctive Interpretation of Theme
In a double issue (Fall 2017/Winter 2018), The Chattahoochee Review focuses on "Neighbors."
Editor Anna Schachner writes, " Some of our special-focus topics are more wistful than others. This one - Neighbors - certainly is. When our editorial staff chose the topic, I don't think any of us were specifically thinking of borrowed cups of sugar or Christmas carolers at our front door, but, given current national and global events, it's hard not to yearn for that simplicity and purity. Still, most of the work in this issue fluctuates between a kind of yearning for proximity, for connections, and a kind of wry suspicion of it."
See a full list of contributors here.
Prime Number is a quarterly online publication of "distinctive poetry and short fiction that takes readers to new places, introducing them to interesting characters, situations, and observations." A publication of Press 53, the editors enjoy engaging writers in two monthly contests: the Prime Number Magazine Flash Fiction Contest, which is a low-cost ($7 - a prime number) reading fee with a prime number first prize of $251, and the 53-Word Story Contest, which is free (is 0 a prime number?) and comes with a prompt.
Both winners are published in future issues of the publication.
Winners currently featured are Flash Fiction “Interrogation” by Michael Chin and 53-Word Story "Dance on my Grave" by Hannah Ambrose [pictured].