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  • Issue Number Volume 22 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Jude Nutter’s starkly eloquent “16 October, 2009, 17.55 PM: Little Elegy” is illustrative of the issue’s approach and strengths, with its description of life with horses, somehow both intimate and personal, yet distant, a portrait of another life:
  • Issue Number Issue 9
  • Published Date Winter 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Like a still life painting, the fiction pieces, poetry, nonfiction, artwork, interviews, and illustrations gathered in this issue are artfully placed to bring each piece into the best light. With no distinct sections, the flow of one genre into the next allows us to savor the changing role of food from work to work. Beginning with the cover art, “Pie Wrangler” by Marilyn Murphy, which depicts a cowboy of sorts struggles to keep the massive piece of pie he has roped from carrying him skyward, this issue is interested in the everyday and sometimes playful mixture of food and experience, the various forms of appetite and consumption, and food memories we attach to the senses.
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  • Issue Number Number 61
  • Published Date 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Perhaps the best editors are prescient, equipped with a literary sixth sense that allows them to provide readers with apt reflections at the right moment. So it was that I found myself clipping an article on the necessity of craft in memoir (as opposed to mere emotional regurgitation) by the current editor of AGNI, Sven Birkerts, out of a recent issue of Poets & Writers even as I was reading it, so exactly did it articulate thoughts I’d been having. A similar sensation attended my reading of an essay by AGNI’s founding editor, Askold Melnyczuk, in the current issue of the magazine. Seventy pages earlier, I’d been reading Ben Miller’s “Romancing the Dankerts” and reflecting on what it was about his prose that made it dense and stunningly lyric, lush in a way that made me want to taste it (and all this in piece ostensibly about trash and trashy neighbors who object to the trash!). And then there was Melnyczuk, ruminating on the same question: “I’m curious about why certain sentences read quickly, why others force us to slow down...” and quoting Susan Sontag: “Every style is a means of insisting on something.” I must insist that editors of this ilk are the reason AGNI consistently dazzles. Volume 61 is no different; I starred so many pieces as worth mentioning that I can’t mention them all. Birkerts may begin this issue by lamenting that with Sontag’s death, he lost his “ideal reader,” the person he felt he was editing for, even if she’d never seen a copy of the magazine, but I have a feeling that even without her guiding presence, AGNI will continue to deliver what readers are looking for–even if they don’t know it yet.
  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Upon entering the first page of Alice Blue you encounter tiny square shaped images of odd looking stuffed animals that, when touched with clicking mouse, turns into a word denoting each distinctive section of their website. With issue number 8 of Alice Blue you are reminded of E.E. Cummings at his surrealist best with a healthy swath of absurdist tendencies incorporated into a mix of short prose pieces and poems ranging from experiments in form, language or both.
  • Issue Number Number 16
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
While poetry and short story collections provide more in-depth exposure to the vision of a single writer, they don’t offer the same opportunity to unexpectedly stumble onto your next obsession like a good journal can. Able Muse, with its eclectic blend of fiction, essays, book reviews, art portfolios, artist interviews, as well as its focus on metrical poetry, provides readers with a bevy of opportunities to do just that. In fact, Able Muse even manages to offer a bit of an extended look at the work and processes of a featured writer and artist in each edition. This issue features poet Jehanne Dubrow and photographer Peter Svensson.
  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date May 2013
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online
The first step into the third issue of Apeiron Review is Jenny Taylor Moodie’s poem “I Am,” which speaks to not being the “perfect” looking woman, the one “dipped / in smooth cold plaster / filling all [her] cracks and hiding every insolent flaw.” Instead:
  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Summer 2004
As numerous literary magazines are focusing on flash-fiction and other short writing forms, At Length stands out as the only magazine I know of devoted entirely to long form work. Each issue features a long story or novella and a long poem. The story, “Small Mercies,” in this issue is by Tim Winton, whom I’m informed has “won every major award in Australia.” Frankly, at only 28 pages, it was not as long as I would have imagined, which is no problem since the story is great. It revolves around a man moving back to his hometown with his son after his wife’s suicide and manages to end in an unexpected direction. This particular issue also features a series of minimalist sketches by William Cordova titled “BADUSSY,” which I thought were excellent. I’ve never found poetry to work very well in long form, but Anne Winters’ narrative poem “An Immigrant Woman” held my interest till the end. 
Contributors' notes and their remarks take up fourteen pages and while writers' comments can enrich the work or detract from it, these comments are both useful and interesting. This is especially true for the poetry, extraordinary work by fourteen gifted poets, including student prize winner Kat Darling. There is much variety here, work that ranges from lyrical to edgy, all of it strong and original. In his remarks, James Jay lets us know that his poem was inspired by a 19th century Muslim poet from India, a poet whose confidence he humbly professes to envy, though "Today Let's Call Ourselves Gahlib," is the work of a poet who deserves to have confidence in himself: "Ghalib, dig up that cougar your father / buried at the beginning of summer. / He wants to teach you about biology. Go find that corpse, // less cleanly picked / than his science / had hoped…" I must single out poems by Jendi Reiter, Christina Hutchins, and Richard Kenefic, too, although there isn't a poem in this issue I would want any reader to miss. Michael Petracca's essay, "Plover Mind," about his work in the Snowy Plover Docent Program in California, is marvelous, part science lesson, part personal essay, part primer on haiku. 
  • Subtitle A National Journal of Undergraduate Literature
  • Issue Number Volume 22
  • Published Date 2004
What comes to mind when you think of undergraduate writing? Overwriting? Sentimentality? Fuzzy thinking? Certainly I had my doubts when I cracked open the cover of Allegheny Review, an annual devoted to the work of undergraduates. Yet, although I found one or two examples of overwriting, I was pleased to find my doubts largely ungrounded. The writing in Allegheny is clear—so refreshingly clear that some of our more mature poets could take a lesson. A stark sonnet on a woman’s abortion blows any notion of sentimentality out of the water.
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  • Issue Number Volume 69 Number 4
  • Published Date Fall 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

The 70th anniversary issue of The Antioch Review is mammoth. This 385-page issue serves up the best of the past ten years of The Antioch Review. Some of the luminaries chosen for this issue are Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Bell, Clifford Geertz, Aimee Bender, Gordon Lish, Benjamin Percy, Eavan Boland, and Federico García Lorca. This best-of celebration is a wonderful place to turn for any who are looking for interesting pieces by established writers.

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  • Issue Number Number 74
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This stellar, solemn issue of Agni begins with Sven Birkerts’s “The Golden Book,” a lament about certain things that have been lost in time, and certain things that can be rediscovered through writing, photography, and books. At the forefront of what has been lost, he implies, is the bookstore—in this case, a Borders that provided him with his first post-college job in Michigan. What can be gained from reading and looking at books is a sense of immersion, that each time one returns to an image, line, or story, there is more to be sensed, more meaning to be wrung out of it.
  • Issue Number Issue 6
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

This is the most beautiful literary journal I've read recently, possibly ever. From the text layout to the colored paper stocks behind the illustrations, each detail contributes to a visually striking book.

  • Issue Number Volume 25 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Alaska Quarterly Review is nice and thick and full of great writing. Of the fiction, my favorite story was “B & B” by Celeste Ng, a coming of age tale featuring a main character who suffers from pica, the urge to eat things the rest of us don’t consider food. I will never look at chalk in the same way again. I also enjoyed Shao Wang’s story, “One Voted No,” a melancholy piece about an aging Chinese widow whose life is disrupted when the town must elect a mayor.
  • Issue Number Number 155
  • Published Date Autumn 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
This issue includes the Great Blue Heron poetry and Sheldon Currie fiction first, second, and third prize contest winners, poems from an additional 20 poets, three short stories, short book reviews, a review essay, and what is classified as an “article,” an “academic” style analysis of poet Anne Compton’s award-winning poetry book Processional. Solid and satisfying reading from cover to cover.
  • Issue Number Volume 11 Number 1
  • Published Date February 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
With the presentation of this volume, Amarillo Bay is celebrating its eleventh year of existence, certainly a notable accomplishment, and welcomes the reader to browse its archives which contain over four hundred works. The latest edition has four short stories, one piece of nonfiction, and six poems to choose from.
  • Issue Number Volume 13 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The poems in this issue of The Aurorean focus on the outdoor wonders experienced in spring and summer, giving various perspectives on the natural beauty of these two seasons. This issue is a testament to The Aurorean’s goal that their poems inspire, uplift, and are meditational.
  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date June 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Anti-(poetry) is a poetry journal that flouts the rules of poetry by saying they search for poems that are contrary to traditional standards and different than other journals and current conventions in the genre – and to be sure they have an anarchist’s glee about them in the modes of expression they utilize. They publish two full issues a year while featuring different poets every two weeks.
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