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  • Issue Number Volume 21 Number 2
  • Published Date Winter 2017
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online

There’s something unassuming about The 2River View. They reject the flashy for a simple, quiet website. This doesn’t work against them, though. Instead, the simplicity is welcoming and calming, the homepage pointing readers in the direction of whatever they seek: an issue archive, information about their “2River Favorite Poem Project,” and, of course, the current issue. The current Winter 2017 issue is paired with three images of winter, the scenes whited-out with snow. Many of the pieces found in this issue coincidentally left me with the chills, fitting choices for inclusion in a winter issue. In addition, each poet provides a voice recording of their poetry, resulting in a complete, cohesive collection as it intimately connects reader to writer.

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  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Annual

In her extended interview with George Guida featured in this volume of 2 Bridges Review, poet Kim Addonizio references Macbeth’s speech about how life is a poor actor, strutting and fretting about the stage for his brief moment of fame before fading away to nothingness. With these words, Addonizio seems to have set the unifying theme of this volume; on its pages, beginning with the cover, readers find writers and artists exploring the ways in which people strut and fret.

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  • Issue Number Volume 1 Issue 3
  • Published Date Winter 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

“Authors, take note,” suggests John Gillikin. “Write. Submit. Rinse. Repeat. Hone your craft [and do] not be ashamed of a rejection letter.” This piece of advice appears in a long editorial “From the Corner Office” at the end of the Winter 2016 edition of The 3288 Review, a lit magazine still in its infancy and boldly asserting its preference for works written by West Michigan authors. As a Michigan native myself (though not West Michigan), I was prepared to trudge through yet another literary forest of deer hunting tales, great blue herons reigning over marshlands, lake lore, fish lore, winter lore, how a tree is a metaphor for everything and the spirituality of an autumn leaf, or the typical boy-meets-woods-meets-boy-meets-a new version of himself on the journey and now he has written something equal to Thoreau’s Walden.

  • Subtitle A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry
  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date October 2003

This new-ish journal (only on its third issue) has already generated lots of positive talk among poetry insiders and continues to showcase a wide variety of writers: experimental, traditional, narrative, lyric – name a style, and you’ll probably find it in here. A feeling of whimsy and humor pervades this issue; in the editor’s notes, Ian Randall Wilson confides that they used a “Dada” method to organize the submissions. But the felicitous juxtapositions created work in the reader’s favor.

  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
32 Poems could have taken a more minimalist approach to poetry, as its design and layout would suggest, but instead it touches on every fundamental poetic theme—life, sex, change, death—with the varied imagination of the finest journals around. With a book binder’s precision, each poem is designated to one page, never longer.
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  • Issue Number Number 9
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The idea behind 3Elements Literary Review is a fun one. Each issue, writers are provided with—you guessed it—three elements which they need to incorporate in their piece. Discovering the different (and sometimes similar) ways in which the writers implement the elements is like exploring a treasure map with the three chosen words as a compass. The Winter 2016 issue required writers to get imaginative with the elements ‘mania,’ ‘tower,’ and ‘exposure,’ taking readers on a whirlwind journey through poetry, fiction, nonfiction, photography, and art.
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  • Issue Number Number 32
  • Published Date Summer 2015
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
6X6 #32 begins with Lyn Hejinian’s “Illogically; Grievous,” a lengthy prose poem that ventures to ask “Where rest the increments of a human being’s life that’s not now soot in a circle?” It’s an apt place to begin the Summer 2015 issue, which reminds readers that we are small. Our lives are short. Our memories are mortal. And while the editors likely didn’t set out with the purpose of making readers feel inconsequential, there is a common (and often comforting) vein of self-awareness running through the issue.
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  • Issue Number Volume 3
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
2 Bridges Review is a young journal that consistently shows a lot of promise; it is apparent that the staff works hard to find the best work from both new and established poets. This issue puts forth poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography where “the real and the imagination fuse.”
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  • Issue Number Number 11
  • Published Date Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
The title is utilitarian, the cover resembles vinyl, the pages are held together by a large snug red rubber band and the price is sexy ($3). And the poets run six deep and publish six poems each. If that isn’t good enough for you, then the top-right corner is cut diagonally. Plus, there’s the John Ashbery effect. This isn’t wrong though. For instance, opening act Christina Clark says in the first lines of her fourth poem, “Vous avez les shoes of august / fine-willed and waning.” And Sue Carnahan writes, “The midwife parks in the pond while the breech baby / is turned birthed slapped.” That it whirls the chorals and courses plodding along in the overhead is just part of my sympathies. But, listen to these lines from the sad-eyed recovery poems of Rick Snyder, collectively titled “The Memory of Whiteness.”
  • Issue Number Volume 1 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Published by the New York City College of Technology, 2 Bridges Review is a new magazine that seeks to publish both unknown and established writers and artists. The magazine is named after the East River Bridges that connect downtown Brooklyn with downtown Manhattan. Editors Kate Falvey, George Guida, and Yaniv Soha say that “between these bridges a community of writers and artists has found a home in the former warehouses and factories of New York’s most literary outer borough.”
  • Issue Number Number 21
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
How is it that there have been 20 issues before the one I’m holding—die cut corner, rubber band binding, and all—in amazement of this charming and worthwhile little journal and I had not heard of it or seen it anywhere? Published by Ugly Duckling Presse, 6x6 features the work of just 6 (of course!) writers (in this issue: Julie Carr, Marosa di Giorgio, Farid Matuk, Amanda Nadelberg, Sara Wintz, and Michael Barron) in an innovative, but low-key design that is original, clever, but unassuming. The poetry is paramount. And it deserves the attention the design enables.
  • Issue Number Issue 7
  • Published Date 2005
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Experimental poetry can be a challenge: of the pieces you enjoy, it's difficult to say what moved you so. Of the pieces you don't like, you want to ask why nobody's telling the emperor to put some damn pants on. The poetry of 580 Split left me feeling a bit of both, but is sure to be enjoyed by those who appreciate avant-garde literature.
Reading the contributors' prior publishing credits creates a kind of funky experimental poem of its own—Can We Have Our Ball Back? 10 Tongues, slapboxing with jesus, Pie in the Sky, baffling combustions, doomdarling.com, Good Foot, The Sour Thunder, Da Word, A Very Small Tiger, Skanky Possum—a reflection of the journal's irreverent and innovative tendencies.
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  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
If Miya Pleines’s “These Orbits, Crossing” is the first thing you read from 1966 (it’s the first piece in this issue), I promise you’ll continue on. Mixing research about flying and falling, alongside memories of her grandfather, Pleines crafts an essay that isn’t just a memoir; it connects to all of us:
  • Issue Number Issue 9
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
580 Split calls itself “A Journal of Arts and Letters.” If there is any overall theme to its roughly one hundred and thirty pages of poetry, short fiction and single interview, it can be “seeking.” Many of the poems and characters in the prose seem to be searching, not necessarily for something, but in an existential manner. The poetry is quite modern. Derek Pollard’s “Vine Street Lightens the Streetlights Out” is arranged visually in something of an octagon, with words overlaid to the point of unreadability, yet readable enough to pass on a message, which manages to be stronger than the striking visual impact.
32 Poems once again impressed me, in its inimitable way, with the contrast between its modest appearance and superb content. The 32 poems (yes, hence the name of the magazine) in this issue lean heavily towards the lyric, and most have a playful sense of language that extends, at times, to their subjects. God, language, and poetry itself are interwoven in much of the work, including Heather McHugh’s clever “Ill-Made Almighty” and Lisa Gluskin’s wonderful “De Profundis.” There are so many exceptional poems I cannot quote from all of them. Do check out Daniel Nester’s “Prodigies” on the 32 Poems web site. Here are a few lines from Jill Osier’s melancholy “Kansas”: “The fields sweat into the air, a mild stew. / The ballplayer rolls over. His sheets are wet.
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  • Issue Number Volume 11 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Each issue of 32 Poems is an intimate encounter that is made the perfect size with clever cover art that makes me want to carry it around everywhere. This issue of 32 Poems features cover art from Elliot Walker as well as a humorous back cover titled “32 Things We Really Should Apologize For” by Aaron Alford and Liz Anderson Alford. Literally, this issue of 32 Poems is a must read from front to back.
The magazine 96 Inc. is better than expected. It’s a simple production with the focus squarely where it should be—on the writing. Inside, there are three decent realistic stories and a lot of poetry. Some of it is by young writers, some is by established poets, and all of it is high quality. The mission of the magazine alone makes it worthy of attention. The editorial board of 96 Inc. runs youth programs and is devoted to “the new voice.” Even though these goals are admirable, the writing stands on its own. This is not a pity read. Quality work includes Lyn Lifshin’s poems, and a very nice piece, “What I Didn’t Know” by Judy Katz-Levine. “Her name was one not to be spoken,” the poem begins, and it layers personal recollection with ambiguity. It was the one poem in the magazine that made me write “wow” in the margins. Don’t be put off by the simplicity of the design; this is a good journal. [www.96inc.com]
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  • Issue Number Volume 1 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
300 Days of Sun is a new student-run publication from Nevada State College Humanities Department featuring poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art and funded by a donation from Dr. and Mrs. J. Russell Raker, III in honor of their son Major Jonathan Russell Raker who passed away October 6, 2011 at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. The students have done well to honor the Raker family and have also established their place in deserving continued support from their institution.
The latest issue of 96 INC. is dedicated to the memory of founding editor Vera Cochran Gold and contains her intriguing “Vegetable Monologues: Broccoli, Okra, Fennel, The Pepper Farm, Eggplants.” The suite of short-shorts are experimental in form, affecting mediations on isolation and alienation. 
  • Issue Number Volume 12 Number 3
  • Published Date Spring 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Colorful, penetrating art, theory and a treasure trove of poems is what comprises a major portion of this issue. Before reading these poems (about politics, a chicken, even the floors of a nasty bathroom stall off the New Jersey Turnpike), we are introduced to the artwork of Jackie Skrzynski: startlingly stark paintings of children in various states of action and repose with titles like “Cold Comfort” and “Boy Napping with Bears.” These pieces are a great first course of what is to come when we are presented with audio of the authors reading their poems on the pages ahead.
  • Issue Number Volume 8 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I have always loved the organizing principle of this little journal: thirty-two ways to write (or read) a poem:
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
For such a tiny ephemeral-seeming publication, 5x5 delivers the goods with style. Not only is the publication itself small, but the literary pieces within are short, making 5x5 the ideal magazine to carry around with you everywhere you go. It fits nicely in your back pocket, and you can pull it out and read one or two pieces at a time whenever you have a spare few minutes.
  • Issue Number Issue 19
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2004
  • Publication Cycle online
5 AM is in a newspaper format, but printed on the pages, instead of the latest (mostly disastrous) accounts of the day, are poem after poem – hip, edgy, funny – that are actually a pleasure to read. The tone in this Spring Church, Pennsylvania-based journal is often irreverent, political, or conversational; the names inside may be familiar with fans (like me) of Charles Harper Webb’s anthology, stand up poetry, like Denise Duhamel, Virgil Suarez, Lyn Lifshin, and Charles Harper Webb himself. I especially enjoyed several poems by Shao Wei, who was featured on the front page of 5 AM, and several poems by Reginald Harris, particularly “Dinah James.” Ron Koertge’s work was charming, especially “Lunch Hour in Macy’s.” Here are a few lines from that poem: “…Nearby, the pearly nurses of Dior / talk softly about flesh. Dark Stranger is / this month’s rage. Ten promos show a coarse / but sensitive roughly tender atheist…” This is one newspaper I would be happy to wake up to at 5 am. Let’s pour some coffee and read! [5 AM, Box 205, Spring Church, PA 15686. Single issue $5.] - JHG
  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
An exciting issue, beginning with Daniel Backman’s front cover “architectonic collage” (“Oakland in Transit”). Backman’s collages, he explains in the note that opens the issue, “envision a city in a constant state of transformation” and exhibit “the themes that have traveled with me throughout my experience as an artist, a designer, and a city dweller.”
In case you were wondering, yes, 32 Poems is just that—a journal of thirty-two poems, one to a page. This issue's works, chosen by guest editor Carrie Jerrell, are mostly of a straightforward, narrative style, with a couple of wryly amusing “list” poems kicking things off. (Having said that, I wonder if Daniel Nester, whose “Queries,” a list of creative writing class comments, begins “Isn't everything tucked always lovingly tucked? / Don't loomers always appear from overhead?” would ask, “Must everything amusing be wryly so?”)
  • Issue Number Volume 26
  • Published Date Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
6X6 is an eccentric little number, a mini-compilation of avant-garde poetry. When you pick up the most recent issue of 6X6, titled “Enough About Pigs,” you know you’re in for a party. The journal is slim and funky, its bubble-gum pink cover accented with red letters and held together by a nifty red rubber-band for the binding. This poetry magazine, published by Ugly Duckling Presse, is a chapbook like no other, displaying the innovative work of six poets.
  • Issue Number Volume 16 Number 4
  • Published Date Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle online
The 2River View’s current issue contains poetry that moves, most of which ends to make me feel unsettled, as if I need to sit there, take a deep breath, and ponder before rereading—because they are definitely worth a second look. S. L. Alderton’s “The Last Gas Station in Iowa” ends, “As she crosses the asphalt / toward the brink of cloud, it seems // that the van could roll a little further, / and fall off the end of the world.” And Peter Street’s “Another Sideline—1957” ends with “he’d throw them in / and I would watch // someone’s pet melt into nothing.” Carrie Causey’s poem about purgatory invokes feelings of being stuck:
  • Issue Number Volume 1 Number 1
  • Published Date Summer 2003
32 Poems is a new literary journal built on the model provided by One Story magazine – every issue contains, simply, 32 poems – no reviews, no letter from the editor, no fiction. It has generated a lot of buzz in the literary community, and for once, the buzz was deserved; this modest little 5 ½ by 8 ½ saddle-stapled journal contained a dazzling array of poetry. Styles leaned mostly towards the lyric and the experimental, but there were some examples of narrative and formal verse as well. To illustrate the range, I have to quote a few lines from Kimberly Johnson’s “Sonnet” and Mary Ruefle’s“The Phantom Ball,” two of my favorites. From “Sonnet:”
  • Issue Number Issue 9
  • Published Date Fall 2004
6x6 first caught my interest with its zine-like appearance. I don’t mean zine-like in the sense of something badly copied at Kinko’s, but zine-like in the sense of a magazine carefully and lovingly put together with limited funds that manages to look much better than most of the big-names. This issue is bound in felt paper and held together with a thick rubber band, yet still looks nice and professional. The name 6x6 refers to the format, which is six poets with six pages of poetry each. This normally means six poems a poet, but not always. Dorothea Lasky, for example, offers up one, long six part poem. The highlight for me was Laura Sims’ minimal and idiosyncratic pieces from the manuscript “Practice, Restraint.” Her poems are extremely short, but suggest whole worlds: “At the east branch- // One empty room / And another / Abandoned /// By Spaniards.” Each of the six poets it working in their own distinct style and yet the whole issue feels strangely cohesive. If I could make one complaint, it would be the lack of biographical information, but overall this is a strong collection of contemporary, avant-gardish poetry, and if that sounds interesting at all to you, why not drop the mere three dollar cover price and give 6x6 a try?
  • Published Date Spring 2007
  • Publication Cycle Triannualish
Ah, yes. Ugly Duckling Presse presents the most fashionable, talented and prescient poetry zine-journal of its time. That is, it will continue to advance the presentation and readability of great poetry. This is 6x6 at its most solid and diverse. Each poet in here is unique, touching and ingenious. Consider the first sentence of the first poem, which also appears on the cover, by Evan Willner: “If all tagalong creation insists on being.” A great enigmatic phrase of lucid abstraction. 
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Don’t let its diminutive packaging fool you: 5x5 packs a punch. Five poets and one visual artist (not counting the cover photo) packed into a saddle-stapled 5x5 journal that somewhat resembles a CD sleeve. It’s perfect to tuck into your pocket and share with others over coffee.
  • Published Date Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online

As a reviewer who regularly decries the sloppy and disorganized presentation standards of many emerging and established online literary magazines, it is refreshing to find one which states openly: “A good online magazine is accessible, intelligently designed, and carefully organized.” They go on to say: “Above all other technical considerations, the writing selected to appear in 42opus deserves a respectful presentation; we strive toward this goal through design that is contemporary, uncluttered, and professional.” Well, bravo, and I am happy to report that they succeed in this endeavor.

20x20 is a new London-based magazine of “visions” (black and white photographs and drawings), “words” (prose and poetry), and “blenders” (hybrid compositions of graphics and text). A note at the end of one contributor’s piece, “Deconstruction of a Failure,” sums up nicely the inaugural issue’s editorial slant. Kiril Bozhinov writes:
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