Celebrating ten years and thirty issues of Still Point Arts Quarterly, Founding Editor Christine Brooks Cote's introduction to the Summer 2018 issue reads like an advice article for anyone with the idea to start up a journal.
Among the things she figured out along the way was what made for publishable submissions. She came up with these three criteria: "1) they have to be so interesting that I can't stop reading until I get all the way to the end; 2) they have to be well written - I shouldn't have to reread a paragraph or a sentence several times, or even twice, to figure out what is being said; and 3) they have to strike just the right chord inside me and make me feel that what I just read should be read by everyone."
Over this years, she notes, this search for quality submissions has not changed, nor her "aim to present them as respectfully and tastefully as possible. Each journal is a creation, a work of art."
Cote admits one thing that has changed over the years: "my respect, admiration, and gratitude for the artists and writers whose work we publish has grown exponentially. I never imagined when I started this work that I would have the pleasure of connecting with so many thoughtful and inspiring individuals who produce work that regularly stops me in my tracks. Truly, connecting with the people who contribute to this publication has been immensely joyful and fulfilling, and I've learned so much from them. That part I didn't expect - indeed, unexpected gifts are the best."
May Still Point Arts Quarterly enjoy another ten years - and more - of giving such beauty and joy to readers as well as receiving!
The long depressive curtain, the castle
stone limned in green, the thin insistent
incursions of rain that scarify the mortar,
what are they if not a promissory note,
the slung burden and authoritative bell
of dreams we take, in dreams, for dead.
The yellow eye wakes, and death’s antagonist—
let us call him scientist, father, creator, god—
draws back in shame and horror from his one
creation. He sees in him a miracle confusion,
drenched in the bile that is our birthright,
and says, in silence, hell. What did I expect.
Cover art "Dimming Superstition" collage on a book cover by Hollie Chastain.
The Spring 2018 issue of The Bellingham Review includes two features: Who Are These Assembled Nations?: New Poems from Palestine with works from Sheikha Helawy [pictured], Najwan Darwish, and Anwar Al-Anwar, and Unbidden Stories: New Writing from Israel with fiction by Orly Castel-Bloom, Anat Levin, and Liran Golod, poetry by Shimon Adaf and Anna Herman, and a hybrid text-image collaboration between Etgar Keret and Neta Rabinovitch. Credit for this curation goes to international consultant Liran Golod who worked with S. Paola Antonetta to bring these collections to readers.
In addition to its regular content of poetry, the Summer 2018 issue of Rattle includes a Tribute to Athlete Poets. "The stereotypes about athletes and poets might make it seem like an odd combination, but poetry lives everywhere, and stereotypes need to be broken," comment the editors.
Rattle does this by bringing together twenty-two poets that include professional athletes from the NFL and NBA, tennis pros, soccer players, weightlifters, and marathon runners. Add to the mix an interview with semi-pro basketball player (did you know that?) and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn.
Athletes whose poems appear in this issue include: James Adams, Elison Alcovendaz, Chaun Ballard, Erinn Batykefer, T.J. DiFrancesco, Stephen Dunn, Peg Duthie, Michael Estabrook, Daniel Gleason, Tony Gloeggler, Alex Hoffman-Ellis, A.M. Juster, Benjamín N. Kingsley, Laura Kolbe, Michael Mark, Tom Meschery, Jack Ridl, Laszlo Slomovits, Brent Terry, Martin Vest, Arlo Voorhees, and Guinotte Wise.
In addition to its twice-a-year print publication of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reviews, translations and now plays-in-progress, The Cincinnati Review features free online content, inviting writers published in their print issues to contribute to their blog. "We're especially interested in posts that can include an audio, visual, or video element, but we're open to everything."
One of those "everythings" is a beautiful recipe for scones shared by Siân Griffiths [pictured], which is as much personal narrative as it is recipe: "Let your mind wander as you sift and press the flour and butter in your fingertips. Remember the girl who told you that it doesn’t count as being the daughter of an immigrant if your immigrant father was only British. Remember the precision of your grandmother’s back garden with its perfect border of perfect flowers. Wonder why you even own that stupid pastry cutter."
The Cincinnati Review online also includes miCRo, a weekly highlight of flash fiction or nonfiction or poem under 32 lines each. Recent contributors include Cady Vishniac, Kelle Groom, Becky Hagenston, Joshua Kryah, and Lisa Fay Coutley. Submissions for this feature are open year-round (excluding during contest submissions).
The Kenyon Review will be accepting submissions during their open reading period (Sept. 15 – Nov. 1) for a special issue “to engage the possibilities, as well as the limits, of Literary Activism,” with guest editors Rita Dove and John Kinsella. “They share a belief that literary writing offers one of the most effective means for interrogating and challenging social oppression, inequality, and injustice,” writes David H. Lynn in the May/June 2018 issue. “Their goal will also include presenting a range of responses to a world whose soil and water and air are under grave threat.”
Read Lynn's complete Editor’s Notes: Literary Activism and the World We Live In.
Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction blog for May features an interview between Sarah Einstein and Sven Birkerts, "On Writing, the Distractions of Technology, and Iota."
Einstein checks in with Birkerts on what may have changed in how we are impacted by technology since just 2015 and the publication of his book Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age.
"If you spend much of the day free-styling between platforms, what do you have to work with in the soul-making department, and what will you use to make your art, if art is what you make?" Birkerts comments.
The two also discuss how we can (if we can) regain "access to the sublime through art" and what exactly Birkerts wishes people would pay more attention to and less attention to in our daily lives.
Birkerts will be a workshop leader for the Iota Conference in mid-August, where he hopes "to use exercises and conversation to help the writers get closer to the urgency and insistence of their respective projects."
Read the full, and brief (of course), interview here.
The Common is a print and online publication of The Common Foundation, "a nonprofit dedicated to publishing and promoting art and literature that embodies a sense of place" with an emphasis of publishing new writers from around the world. Issue #15 includes a special portfolio of Arabic stories and artwork from Jordan.
Authors featured (translated by) in this issue: Mahmoud al-Rimawi and Haifa’ Abul-Nadi (Elisabeth Jaquette); Ghalib Halasa, Jamila Amaireh and Fairooz Tamimi (Thoraya El-Rayyes); Ja’far al-Oquaili, Mufleh al-Odwan and Majidah al-Outoum (Alice Guthrie); and Elias Farkouh (Maia Tabet).
TEACHERS: The Common also provides discounted classroom subscriptions, desk copy, and lesson plans to accompany the specific issue, as well as an in-person or Skype visit from Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker or a participating author. Click here for more information.
In addition to poetry and book reviews, the Spring 2018 issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal is a special issue: "Re-triangulating Yeats, Stevens, Eliot" edited by Edward Ragg and Bart Eeckhout. Content includes:
“Pages from Tales: Narrating Modernism's Aftermaths” by Edward Ragg
“Yeats, Stevens, Eliot: Eras and Legacies” an Interview with Marjorie Perloff
“Atlantic Triangle: Stevens, Yeats, Eliot in Time of War Ireland” by Lee M. Jenkins
“Crazy Jane and Professor Eucalyptus: Self-Dissolution in the Later Poetry of Yeats and Stevens” by Margaret Mills Harper
"’Where / Do I begin and end?’: Circular Imagery in the Revolutionary Poetics of Stevens and Yeats” by Hannah Simpson
"’Dead Opposites’ or ‘Reconciled among the Stars’?: Stevens and Eliot” by Tony Sharpe
“The Idea of a Colony: Eliot and Stevens in Australia” by Benjamin Madden
"’We reason of these things with later reason’: Plain Sense and the Poetics of Relief in Eliot and Stevens” by Sarah Kennedy
The Spring 2018 issue of The Bitter Oleander features an in-depth interview with European Editor, poet and translator John Taylor. Editor and Publisher Paul B. Roth delves into a variety of issues and interests with Taylor, including influences on his writing; his bout with polio and interest in mathematics in his youth; the value of "slow" travel - trains being a particular favorite mode of transportation and thought/work space for Taylor; the situation of being an American writer living abroad and the concepts of 'foreignness' and 'otherness'; and the "subtle positivity" of Taylor's writings. The interview is accompanied by over a dozen pages of Taylor's work.