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  • Issue Number Volume 17 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2017
  • Publication Cycle Annual

As a journal published by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, The Healing Muse has a commitment to encouraging healthcare that is personal and compassionate. In a time when our access to healthcare in America is being regularly threatened, the work done by this journal is essential as ever. Featuring work that centers exclusively on the body and illness, The Healing Muse is a shining example of the power of medical humanities.

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  • Issue Number Issue 78
  • Published Date Spring 2017
  • Publication Cycle Annual

The cover of Hiram Poetry Review’s 78th issue features a photo of two young men who look like they are turn of the century bohemians, one holding a mandolin in his hands, the other with an open book, neither looking into the camera or at each other. They look kind of baffled by their own existence, like they’re thinking about the passage of time. Maybe I’m projecting a little, but regardless, I felt it captured the themes of this edition nicely. The pieces in this edition seemed particularly interested in growing older and how we change or fail to change.

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  • Issue Number Volume 54 Number 2
  • Published Date April 2017
  • Publication Cycle Five Times

The Hollins Critic is a unique literary magazine focusing on a serious survey of a contemporary writer’s work, while also sharing book reviews and poetry. Each cover features a unique portrait image of the writer made especially for the publication by Susan Avishai.

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  • Issue Number Number 21
  • Published Date Spring 2017
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Published out of Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), this issue of Hunger Mountain is themed Masked/Unmasked: the perfect umbrella to explore the uncomfortable and jarring side of literature. The poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction pieces unmask us, forcing readers to tackle our culpability and shame in order to approach art with greater humanity, vulnerability, and an open mind.

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  • Issue Number Volume 69 Number 3
  • Published Date Autumn 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

Since 1948, The Hudson Review has served as a platform for emerging authors and poets in a wide variety of genres, appealing to many aspects of American literature and culture. The Autumn 2016 issue shares poetry, fiction, essays, review, chronicles, and comments, each one truly unique and showcasing a wide variety of talents.

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  • Issue Number Issue 58
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Semiannual

Chelsea Hickock, editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review dedicates this issue to ego. As Hickock explains, writers must be gutsy to believe that someone cares enough to “sit down with our words for hours at a time and live inside the worlds we create.” For all the ego these authors must have in their words, the heart of this issue is told through silences. It takes ego to believe what you write matters, but it takes greater ego to believe what you write will be heard in a pause and understood in a lack of words.

  • Issue Number Volume 42 Number 5
  • Published Date December 2005
  • Publication Cycle Five issues per year

The Hollins Critic publishes a single, digestible piece of criticism in each of its five issues per year. This issue George Garrett examines the genre of the Hollywood novel with special attention paid to the work of Bruce Wagner. The journal’s economy and presentation, rather like a chapbook, makes the sometimes unenviable task of reading criticism more palatable. This is only aided by Garrett’s easy-going prose and obvious love of Wagner’s work. Garrett argues that the Hollywood novel, defined as “stories about movies and movie people,” is a “conventional, self-reflexive, allusive arrangement and rearrangement of various versions of itself.”

  • Issue Number Number 8
  • Published Date Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Ruth Stone Prize in Poetry judge Nancy Eimers, prose guest editor Victoria Redel, and poetry guest editor Roger Weingarten have selected strong, original work for this very satisfying issue. Poet and novelist Redel offers a short and fabulously poetic introduction to the “rigorous fictions” she has chosen in which she praises “the surprise and heart-stopping happiness of a sentence.” I don’t know if it is by coincidence or design that she has selected several pieces by excellent poets who, like herself, are also successful prose writers, including work by Sheila Kohler, Terese Svoboda, and Richard Katrovas.

Some lovely work here from Hawai'i and beyond, with an emphasis on poems about the natural world, although strong poems and stories consider other subject matter, as well. I was happy to be introduced to poets whose work I had not read before, above all, Joseph Stanton, professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawai'i in Manoa, whose poem "The Hospice Flocks of St. Francis" moves with the quiet, self-assured power of a flock of birds: "The thought of them lingers: flecks of tiny,dark-chocolate birds, / dressed for mourning but full of staying alive,  / ecstatic mouths filling with seeds / and unsolvable small songs." The most unusual, and for that reason, the most fascinating piece in this issue is short fiction by the prolific and talented Wendell Mayo, "Twice-Born World." I'm tempted to call this a prose poem or perhaps poetry prose, although it might also be categorized as sudden fiction, a burst of lyrical tension and a small, tense plot-less plot unfolding inside language that is as finely crafted as poetry: "Stay—and by the double light of the cleft and cowardly moon, we will raise a split ladle to the cold, numb mouth of the twice-born world." 
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  • Issue Number Issue 47
  • Published Date 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Harvard Review began life in 1986 as a four-page quarterly called Erato. Today it’s a 200+ page, perfect-bound semi-annual. Many Pulitzer Prize writers have been featured over the years, and this issue contains two Pulitzer nominees: Martín Espada, a 2006 finalist, who writes a tribute to his father in “The Shamrock,” and Cornelius Eady, a 1992 nominee. His poem “The Death of Robert Johnson” has these skilled, telling lines: “That that gal I kissed, / And her husband seeing that, / Was the fine print, / The way things get / Paid off.”
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  • Published Date September 2015
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online
Delving into the latest issue of Hippocampus Magazine, I was reminded of You’ve Got Mail  and the moment Meg Ryan’s character is told “I remember when your mother gave me Anne of Green Gables. ‘Read it with a box of Kleenex,’ she told me.” So, readers, let me pass on the same warning before checking out the September 2015 issue of Hippocampus: grab some tissues, or at the very least, be prepared to have a lump in your throat for longer than comfortable.
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  • Issue Number Issue 56
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
How do you define chaos? Perhaps as a series of simultaneously occurring events tossing ripples into reality’s pond? Trying to love someone who wants to change every aspect of your existence? Finding purpose in a traveling circus, performing death-defying stunts?
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  • Issue Number Issue 30
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Hamilton Stone Review, like most online literary magazines (and literary magazines in general), is compiled by a small staff, but that isn’t to say that it’s a small publication, by any definition. It’s not small in size (five fiction, five nonfiction, and more than 20 poems), and it’s not small in quality. This issue of Hamilton Stone Review is bursting with crisp language, powerful tones, and lustrous imagery.
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  • Issue Number Volume 3 Issue 3
  • Published Date April 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

This issue had a lot going on in it, and I am quite frankly left feeling run through the ringer. A full-length chapbook by Colin Winnette, titled “Follow Through,” was stuck right in the middle of this issue! It was intriguing work comprised of short, paragraph style prose poetry, but it completely distracted me from trying to understand the issue as its own piece of work. (I found out, after researching the press, this chapbook placement is a common practice with Heavy Feather Review.)

“If this were another country, somewhere / in Latin America, say, or Eastern Europe, I could write lines like, / My country, take care of your light!, as Neruda did, / I could write, I am begging you the way a child / begs its mother, as he did… Oh, to live among those writers / who make unabashed use of vodka / and exclamation marks!” This is how Eleanor Stanford’s “Political Poem” goes, and it begs to be anthologized for its treatment of motherhoods and motherlands. James Tate and Dara Weir, two poets in constant conversation, are also interviewed and their poems prominently placed.
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  • Issue Number Issue 75
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Whether written in traditional free verse or veering off into experimental territory, the poems in the latest issue of theHiram Poetry Review are frank, high-spirited, and self-assured. Featuring twenty-one poems from nineteen different poets, this slim volume benefits from a clear editorial vision favoring “poems that exhibit excellence with flaws rather than general competence.”
  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
In a note from the editor, Elizabeth Quinn says that her “inspiration for High Desert Journal was to create a platform for artists and authors living in and inspired by a place that is often times overlooked for its cultural resources.” This journal accomplishes her intent: it shows that art takes place and that artists live outside major metropolises.
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Helix is a biannual literary magazine run by students of Central Connecticut State University and is comprised of drawings, paintings, photographs, prose and poetry. Like helical strands of DNA, the art and literature printed in The Helix represents vast permutations of human experience and possibility.
  • Issue Number Number 2
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hanging Loose, the press which gave Sherman Alexie his start as a poet, opens this volume with two of Alexie’s poems. Alexie, as usual, is simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. Quoting a section won’t give him justice. Read these poems, cry (from sadness and laughter), and know that Alexie still recognizes, despite his fame, that good poetry demands attention and vulnerability to the world.
  • Issue Number Issue 72
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Here are 18 poems by 18 poets, all written at a level of craft that makes them pleasurable to read. Only one is strictly “formal,” a grave and successful rhymed villanelle by John Blair entitled “I Am the Trees Before the Sun.” Two other poems share a similar commitment to make use of repeated lines. Nancy Dougherty’s loosely rhyming “Video or Car,” an ironic poem about two teens killed in a car wreck, picks up the second and fourth lines of each four-line strophe to become the first and third lines of the next. Stephanie Mendel adopts the same pattern of repetition in an unrhymed longer poem about a premature infant, “1965.” In this poem, the repeated lines give a sense of the speaker attempting to gain control of painful thoughts by revisiting them and placing them in new contexts.
  • Issue Number Issue 37
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2005-2006
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
HFR presents a mix of fresh voices, unusual poetry, fiction, cool photography, and works in translation. I enjoyed almost everything here, but was particularly taken by all the very different stories featuring young protagonists. Robin Kish's "In the Experience of One Girl" presents modern-day mythology in an awkward high school girl whose hair is turning into snakes. "Canticle," by Kevin McIlvoy, takes place in a near-future in which the Patriot Act has degraded America into a totalitarian regime, as a pair of young revolutionaries are on the verge of both exposing a nefarious plot, and having sex for the first time. And then there's Matthew Cricchio's "All in Together," in which a young soldier in the Middle East struggles to overcome thinking too hard about the consequences of firing on his enemies and to "unconsciously do as he was trained." 
Hanging Loose, a lovely and inventive poetry and fiction journal out of Brooklyn, may very well be the source to consult for contemporary poems of the most living kind.
Don’t let the unapologetic academic tone of the Hudson Review scare you off. The long essays, which take up the bulk of the journal and at first may seem daunting, are fascinating, particularly the essay on Darwinism in the Humanities by Harold Fromm and another on Madame Pompadour by Tess Lewis.
Harpur Palate is a sharp little journal featuring a center section of striking and surprisingly well reproduced visual art: otherworldly photography by Robert Kaussner, architecturally inspired drawings by David Hamill, gloriously colorful mixed media images by Michael Sullivan Hart, and an intriguing, surreal ink and paper study by Joseph Hart.
  • Issue Number All-Vermont Issue Number 4
  • Published Date Spring 2004
With new editors each time, Hunger Mountain can be vastly different from issue to issue, and that unpredictability can be exciting. Guest editors Syndey Lea's and Jim Schley's vision for this all-Vermont special edition to "keep the door open" led them to the discovery of writers they had not known, a celebration of writers who seem "insufficiently applauded" and to what managing editor Caroline Mercurio calls "a few treasured Vermont favorites" (Ruth Stone, Hayden Carruth).
  • Issue Number Issue 13
  • Published Date Winter 2008-09
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hunger Mountain is a sophisticated, grown-up journal that commands attention, respect, and serious consideration. Fiction contributions are fully formed, adeptly crafted examples of storytelling, full-blown narratives with characters whose trajectories we want to follow. Poems are an inspired blend of small philosophies couched in indelible images. A portfolio of paintings, an artist’s statement, and descriptions of the paintings mimic a visit to the finest art gallery.
  • Published Date Winter 2008
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The Hampden Sydney Poetry Review offers up an eclectic mix of familiar names (David Wagoner, Moira Egan, Lyn Lifshin, Philip Dacey, Cathryn Hanka), and lesser-known poets, though most have published widely – 43 in all in this issue. Two poets’ bios stand out for their unusual claim to fame. Meredith Picard “has published more poetry than any other American geologist.” (Her poem does consider the natural world but is not geology-themed.) And Fred Yannantuono “who was fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, and who once ran 20 straight pool balls, insists that Paul Newman claimed to have known him for a very long time.” His poem, “Frog World,” is about ridding oneself of the “money, the gardener, the rankness, the murk” required to provide frogs who have inhabited one’s yard with the means to thrive.
  • Issue Number Number 16
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual and Online
Hunger Mountain is a beautiful, elegant journal. It offers a wide assortment of reading experiences. The usual fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction are here, but there is also a young adult and children’s literature section, which includes a long poem by Heather Smith Meloche entitled “Him.” It’s a clever, visually enticing poem; its form varies in the length and structure of lines, and, paired with the poet’s apt use of white space, it creates a journey for the eyes. The poem recounts a simple teenage romance, but the wonderful use of imagery and rhythm breathes new life into the old story:
  • Issue Number Volume 11 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
No other compilation of creative writing has ever touched my heart in quite the same way as this issue of The Healing Muse. I read page after page of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry all living up to the to the editor’s introductory note: “This issue [bears] witness to love and faith, to people dedicated to shepherding loved ones through procedures and side effects, through altered bodies and weary minds.” The journal, and certainly this particular issue, beautifully portrays the “ravages of cancer” as promised by the editor. The Healing Muse tells tales of life and death, hurting and healing.
  • Issue Number Volume 1
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Hawk & Handsaw – “The Journal of Creative Sustainability” – “was born out of a deceptively simple pair of truisms: first, reflective sustainability is crucially important to the collective health of our planet; secondly, figuring out how to be successfully sustainable requires a lot of thought and no small amount of patience and whimsy.” This first issue focuses on home – “no attempts at the grand statement, but rather, close observations of the particulars that sustain us.”
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2003
The eerie black and white cover photograph ("Drunken Dream, Fatigue, 1936" by Koishi Kiyoshi) of Hotel Amerika sets the self-conscious tone for this issue.  Only the sophomore issue from this new publication out of Ohio University, it includes poetry, fiction, translations and essays from a broad mix of emerging, mid-career and mature poets.
  • Issue Number Number 95
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hanging Loose always does a good job of mixing it up: a combination of established poets and newer voices, along with the fresh work of “writers of high school age.” The youthful poems are particularly appealing this issue, more mature in their insights than one has a right to expect from such young writers.
  • Issue Number Issue 32
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2003
Always satisfying, this issue is intensely exciting with a "Special Section" on "sublimation," defined in chemical terms. The editors have selected work that considers the "questions of expansion, collision, and revelation" — categories of inquiry and exploration as rich and provocative for the arts as they are for the sciences. And the work here is indeed rich and provocative.
  • Issue Number Issue 71
  • Published Date Spring 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Issue number 71 is a slender volume of poems that act as a slice of American life, with a focus on entertainment. Since entertainment is such a heavy influence in American culture, it seemed fitting, though sometimes oddly juxtaposed to the poems that focus more on rural life in America and to the cover image, the letter and photograph of a Civil War Soldier.
It would be difficult to find another journal this spring that demonstrates the immense possibilities of poetry more clearly, blatantly, and provocatively than The Hiram Poetry Review.
This lovely issue of Hanging Loose features the amazing high-school-age poet Nathan Resnick-Day: “Listen to me as one listens to the rain. / It has been twenty years since the gas lamps flickered in Paris during a monsoon that took the beards off men. / [...] / I was given a birdsong that loved me for what I was not” (“The Discourse of Hermeto”).
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  • Issue Number Number 18
  • Published Date Winter 2013/2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Hunger Mountain announces itself quietly. The cover looks like a mixture of a chess piece and a road map. Reading the issue’s first poem, Annie Lighthart’s “White Barn”, prepares me for pieces featuring a home on the range, or of lives lived under a guise of simple lives and simple times. There are no flashy mechanics to the journal itself—the art is in black and white, the poetry and fiction well-worded and sometimes blunt, and the creative nonfiction as well as the young adult offerings all carry voices frank and honest. Fiction editor Barry Wightman even states it in his foreword letter: “You may ask yourself, ‘what’s this all about?’ . . . Horses. Horses. Horses. Horses.” I was prepared for horses. But what I received was much more than that.
  • Issue Number Number 9
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hobart # 9 takes us back to our youth when video games were black and white, hookers were a few keystrokes away, playground ballgrabbing was cause for nasty nicknames, and mothers left fathers. The stories in this collection are as addictive as the games their characters play – pool, Scrabble, chess, poker, Jenga, blackjack, and Magic: The Gathering.
  • Issue Number Volume 8 Issue 1
  • Published Date Summer 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The fiction and poetry in this issue of Harpur Palate seems focused on examining the familiar through an exotic lens, and vice versa. In “Squander,” Jenny Hanning does interesting work with her reverently Kafka-esque premise. Katherine, a junior high English teacher and mother, wakes up as the family cat after a fatal car accident. Hanning makes good use of the material. She allows the playfully named Katherine to truly be a feline (she gifts her former husband with half-digested animals), and balances this with observations provided by her residual human perception.
  • Issue Number Issue 15
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Sometimes you need some literary chow. Your brain gets to feeling a bit peckish—in need of a good read. If so, this issue of Hunger Mountain will provide you with a veritable reading buffet. Take care that you don’t stuff yourself too quickly.
  • Issue Number Volume 47 Number 5
  • Published Date December 2010
  • Publication Cycle Five Times
The Hollins Critic is one reason why print publications must never be allowed to perish. You simply cannot duplicate, imitate, or recreate this type of pleasure online. Just 24 pages, a sleek, understated experience of intelligent reading. One full-length essay; a few short reviews; a few well-chosen poems. You can read it one sitting, though you may wish to make it last longer. This little publication always reminds me of the adage “less is more.”
  • Issue Number Number 97
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Always a great balance of established and lesser-known poets and fiction writers, this issue’s more recognizable contributors include Philip Dacey, D. Nurkse, Simon Perchik, David Trinidad, and David Wagoner. Their work is strong, as always. Dacey’s offerings are consistent with his by-now-long-and-respected tradition of creating poetry of the biographies of famous artists of many genres—dancers and writers this time in “American Choreography” and “Vaslav Nijinksy on Walt Whitman.”
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  • Issue Number Number 39
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
“Unpredictability” is the word editor Nathaniel Perry chooses to describe what unifies the many poems in this year’s issue of The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review. And whether you’re reading quatrains about pay phones, a narrative about catching dinner in a water hazard, or an inscrutable ode to the beauty of inscrutability, the narrators encountered in the new issue are an undeniably unpredictable bunch. Boasting over one hundred pages of poetry, poetry reviews, and conversations about poetics, the staff of the review have done their level best to tide readers over until next year’s issue arrives in the mail. The issue’s unpredictability even extends to its individually illustrated covers, a refreshingly communal touch from such an established magazine. Nearly forty years on, the review is still finding new ways to spice things up under its covers as well.
HGMFQ is not only a fiction journal, but a wealth of scholarly articles on gay literature and academic history.
I wasn’t sure what kind of experience to anticipate from a journal named HazMat, but I was pleasantly surprised by most of what I found between the perfect-bound covers. Not every piece is a hit, but the ones that don’t make it fail for lack of craft rather than heart.
Most of the poems in this issue of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, with its cover picture of a dove with a peace sign and a giant “PEACE” announcing its theme, have to do, surprisingly enough, with peace.
  • Published Date September 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
This issue of Halfway Down the Stairs, the “Chaos” issue, features poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that have been written, as Editor Joseph Murphy says, by overcoming “chaos, distraction, frustration and more.”
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  • Published Date Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
This issue is titled “Sustenance and Survival,” and while the editors claim that the most direct connection would be through stories about food, the pieces “expand our definitions of nourishment.” Editor-in-Chief Leigh Thomas writes, “this selection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry offers up a feast of ways to envision sustaining ourselves that have very little–if anything at all–to do with food (at least as we normally imagine it).”
  • Issue Number Number 35
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
A great balance of prominent poets (Carl Phillips, Lawrence Raab, Kate Daniels, Jim Daniels, David Wagoner, John Burnside) and lesser knowns (Rhett Iseman Trull, Jessica Greenbaum, Luke Hankins, Martin Arnold). Editor Nathaniel Perry categorizes these poets’ work (“the poems that really began this thing, and they are still the boss of it”) as poems that “come to my door thundering and insistent, or quiet and strong, or sneaky and sidelong,” and I’d say all of these types make an appearance in this issue, along with two new features, book reviews and 4x4, in which four of the issue’s contributors answer the same four questions, resulting in “a hybrid between essay and interview.”
  • Issue Number Number 37
  • Published Date Winter 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
A good poetry journal is like one of those good coffee-table photography and art books. You can open them to any page and find something so thought-provoking that you are carried away and forever changed (NOTE: This is one great challenge of a paperless world). The editors of the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review have certainly accomplished this. HSPR has been around for more than thirty years and has had just two editors. Since 2008, the review’s second editor, Nathaniel Perry, has done an excellent job of picking up where Tom O’Grady, the founding editor, left things when he retired. In the past, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review has published the work of a Nobel Laureate, several Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners, and two U.S. Poet Laureates.
  • Subtitle A Diaspora Journal
  • Issue Number Number 5
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This journal, by choosing a different international city with a substantial Jewish population for each issue, examines the effects of Jewish culture on its surroundings as well as its own evolution. In the Moscow issue, the brooding Russian presence digs deep into the Jewish cultural consciousness. Themes of loneliness, death, estrangement, emigration, and abandonment permeate much of the writing. However, hope and redemption also lurk. The journal itself is book-sized, with a brilliant night photograph of Moscow on the cover, and is less than 200 pages.
  • Issue Number Volume 56 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2005
At a time when many of its academic colleagues are revamping themselves with colorful up-to-date looks, The Hudson Review remains the same monochrome-cover journal with solid helpings of criticism and literature from the high establishment.
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  • Issue Number Volume 66 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
“As Han-shan observed, / sometimes there is no Zen, / only hermits plodding up and down Cold Mountain.” These opening lines from Dick Allen’s brief poem “As Han-shan observed” nicely paraphrase a key question at the heart of several essays and reviews in The Hudson Review’s latest issue. Allen’s memorable poem from the current issue not only describes the human tendency to find dogma where none exists, it also calls into question the degree to which an accurate portrait of a person’s interior life can ever be drawn from the exterior evidence available to others.
  • Issue Number Volume 6
  • Published Date December 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Focusing exclusively on poetry, the editors of this privately supported journal offer readers a wide selection by such varied poets as Nicole Sprague, Marion Boyer, Richard Levine, Hal Sirowitz, Constance Norgren, Janice Fitzpatrick Simmons, Maria Terrone, Donald Lev, and Billy Collins. Indeed, there is something for everyone. For example, in “Guardrail,” Kathleen Flenniken captures an anxious thought to which many are prone, while in “Trash,” Ruth Bavetta meditates on how difficult it is to be rid of non-human and human garbage. Wendell Hawken’s “Trophy Buck” had me so drawn into the drama of the scene that I exclaimed aloud when I read the last line. Of course, being a writer who can panic at the blank computer screen, I found “Writer’s Block” by Matthew Spireng touching—and perhaps instructive. In it he depicts that bane of writers as a bat “hanging motionless in the light.”
  • Issue Number Volume 61 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
This issue marks The Hudson Review’s 60th anniversary, which is an impressive feat in and of itself, especially in the impermanent world of literary journals. It features two stories by Penelope Fitzgerald who died in 2000. For readers unfamiliar with her work, she won the Booker Prize in 1973 for her novel Offshore and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993 for The Blue Flower.
  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date April 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online
Hot Metal Bridge, the innovative and fiercely imaginative online literary magazine of the University of Pittsburgh, publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and criticism that will cause such an extreme variety of reactions that by the time we are done reading, we will be so spent and drained that we will have to go home, rest, dive into a hot vat of peanut oil perhaps, before attempting to peruse any more of its wacky literary experiments.
  • Issue Number Volume 6 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
What struck me first about Hotel Amerika was its gorgeous design and layout. Its pages are taller and wider than most journals – it looks and feels like a trade magazine. Prose is printed in two wide columns of text, while poetry roams freely across the page.
  • Issue Number Number 33
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Harvard Review is not a first pick among reviewers, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps the name scares some away – too high falutin’? However, in reading this issue, I felt not the least bit shut out of the content, and if anything, found much to access and some enjoyable challenges.
  • Issue Number Issue 46
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I’m warning you from the get-go: I will never be able to do this volume justice in a one itty-bitty little review. This is one big, bold, brilliant effort. From Brian Dettmer’s “New Books of Knowledge,” full bleed front and back cover art, to Halina Duraj’s essay, “The Company She Keeps,” the last piece in the magazine, this is surely one of Hayden’s Ferry Review’s most exciting issues ever.
  • Issue Number Number 42
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Reading the Harvard Review was a pleasure. I could read this journal anyway I liked. I could freefall, flipping forward fifty pages at a whim, and know whichever piece I landed on would catch me. The obvious wow-factors include Spain’s poet laureate, Vincente Aleixandre; Antoni Tàpies, a Catalan painter whose work has been displayed at the most prestigious museums around the world; and Charles Simic, a Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Fellowship recipient.
  • Issue Number Volume 10 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
This tenth anniversary issue of this journal, dedicated to creative explorations of health and healing, includes more than 120 pages of poetry; nonfiction contributions by 14 essayists; five short stories; and more than a dozen pages of appealing and memorable artwork.
  • Issue Number Volume 45 Number 1
  • Published Date February 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quintannual
This issue of the Hollins Critic focuses on Milton Kessler. The front cover features a portrait sketch and an excerpt from his poem “Tiny Flashes Always”: “To sing was the only way through High School and life.” Liz Rosenberg’s essay lauds Kessler as a teacher, a poet, and a human being. He had an eclectic teaching style in which he would ask random questions and make poets post their poems around the room. Although he wrote a lot of poetry, he rarely sent his work out to be published. He also “helped [poets] with their personal lives and health and finances,” so that his actions spoke as loudly as his poetry (4). Rosenberg’s essay celebrates Kessler’s life and poetry, and the two dozen excerpts included make the reader want to read more of Kessler’s work.
  • Subtitle Focus on Sarjaevo
  • Issue Number Number 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Years ago, I was watching a newscast of a California wildfire. Eyewitness news brought me to a refugee shelter, where overfed mountain-people lounged on cots. The newscaster explained that a local Wal-Mart “had responded to the disaster by providing blankets, food, and videocassettes.” This last item shocked me. But did Sarjaevo, symbolic epicenter of modern ethnic cleansing, have the same problem? According to Jakob Finci, Jewish community leader, the city’s most urgent issue during the 1993-5 siege was not a lack of food or medicine, but of stimulation; cooped up indoors, people were, frankly, bored. Apparently Sarjaevans took to learning languages – “the optimists learn[ing] English, the pessimists learn[ing] Arabic.” Habitus, a new journal which takes Diasporic writing one city at a time, consistently discovers the details that separate stimulating journalism from mere recitations. A Korean cover band elicits municipal pride, an anonymous medieval manuscript becomes the nation’s most prized national treasure.
  • Issue Number Volume 65 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The Hudson Review is more thoroughly an academic/cultural review journal than many of the magazines reviewed at NewPages. Its essays, “Chronicles,” “Comments,” and the six pieces actually categorized as “Reviews,” are all provocative, erudite reviews of literature and the arts, aimed at an audience of well-educated, well-informed critics equal in measure to the authors themselves. This is a serious, high-minded journal well worth your time if your interests include analysis of the dramatic verse of Ben Jonson, the music of Philip Glass, or the autobiographical fiction of Gregor von Rezzori. Flawlessly edited and professionally impeccable, the writing here is secular, humanistic, and strong.
  • Issue Number Number 100
  • Published Date 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hanging Loose marks its 100th issue with a demonstration of why it’s been around so long. “Couldn’t put it down” is usually reserved for novels, but Hanging Loose keeps you turning the pages, wondering what strong, sly, smart or stunning piece is next.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 2
  • Published Date Winter 2003-4
Jeff Walt has written one of the sexiest poems about smoking ever and Jennifer Perrine makes me want to hold someone’s hand. 
  • Issue Number Issue 73
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The rawness, dissonance and clamor of contemporary American urban life are present in several fine poems in the latest issue of Hiram Poetry Review.
  • Issue Number Issue 50
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Hayden’s Ferry Review announces itself immediately as an important publication, and not just because of its justifiably stellar reputation. This twenty-fifth anniversary issue boasts a top-shelf list of contributors, and the journal itself is heavy and substantial in the hand. This issue puts a special focus on the “artifact,” an object with “unique meaning both within its context and apart from it.” This focus is explicit in the issue’s reproductions of artifacts from notable writers, but is also implicit in many of the poems and short stories that fill the rest of the pages.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 17
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I’m a lifelong city-dweller, and reading High Desert Journal reminds me of one of my favorite experiences in travel: immersing oneself in a new normal. High Desert Journal “is a literary and visual arts magazine dedicated to further understanding of the people, places and issues of the interior West.” The key word is “understanding,” broad enough to encompass myriad means of expression, and at the same time narrow enough to tamper attempts at the pedantic or the exotic. There’s nothing fancy about the journal. The horses, rifles, ranches, and cowboy aspirations in the stories are not packaged as the stuff of artistic ambition, but rather parts of ways of life. The artwork and images bespeak the dedication of the journal to perpetuate the expression of the various understandings of this part of the world. For someone visiting from outside the region like me, High Desert Journal is a proud and easy-going host.
  • Issue Number Volume 4
  • Published Date 2004
When I finished this annual journal of Upstate Medical University, The Healing Muse, I felt I had been on a journey of discovery. Through fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and photography, health care givers and patients explore and express their feelings and thoughts about the roles and relationships they have with each other as well as with illness and disease. The complexity of the works presented reflects the complexity of the personal dramas from each side of bed. Steven Katz in his poem, “The Cathedral,” eloquently describes the situation: “Thrown together in a whirlwind / by hurricane Cancer / Surgeon and patient twist about / With all the awkwardness / Of new dance partners / Having to learn subtle nuances / Indelibly intertwined like sides of a spiral staircase / Vaulting up the bell tower of humanity.”
Hayden’s Ferry Review is, as always, an enjoyable mingle of poems, prose, art, interviews and essays. This issue has interviews with esteemed experimental poet C.D. Wright, acclaimed visual artist James Turrell, whose pieces explore the actions of light (several representations of his work are included with the interview, which I appreciated), as well as poet David St. John, whose poems also explore the nature of light.
  • Issue Number Issue 6
  • Published Date Summer 2006
If Hobart’s Issue 4 was the magazine’s coming out issue (with stories by Aimee Bender, Ryan Boudinot, Rick Moody, and Stephen Elliot bringing a lot of attention to the young publication), then Issue 6 is the one where it fully reveals its own voice with its sixteen stories full of wit and wonder.
  • Issue Number Number 3
  • Published Date Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
With numerous journals and anthologies representing the South’s literary tradition, it's about time the desert got a turn. For those not schooled ecologically, the "high desert" is that gray-green steppe between the Rockies and Cascades. Dry enough for rattlers, high enough for snow, it may not be flourishing farmland, but the sagebrush proves fertile soil for literary abundance.
  • Subtitle The Vermont College Journal of Arts and Letters
  • Issue Number Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2003
Hunger Mountain takes itself seriously. Sophisticated and weighty, it has the appearance and feel of an older, more established journal, something it has managed to accomplish in a mere three issues.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2003
While writing about illness, as well as about practice of medicine, belongs to a long and respected tradition, recently there does seem to be increasing interest in publications that bridge this aspect of the art/science divide. This journal makes a worthwhile contribution to the field.
For this issue, make sure you strap on your rocker boots because it’s all about the rock ‘n’ roll. As their first themed issue, the editors say that this month they have “turned Hippocampus Magazine into a mixtape of creative nonfiction.” In essays and memoirs about rock ‘n’ roll experiences, the contributors write about personal influences of Pink Floyd (“A Piece for Assorted Lunatics” by Anne); concerts of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (“Long Time Gone: September 27, 2010” by Shelia Grace Stuewe); and obsessions with Steve Tyler (“Stone Cold Fox” by Melanie Malinowski). But no matter which rock artist the writer gushes about, one thread seems to bind them all together—the power music has to invoke memory.
  • Issue Number Volume 7 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Wow! The only thing that would do this astoundingly exciting issue justice is to write a transgenre review. What would that look or sound like? It could be structured as dictionary entries like Jim Elledge’s “Mercy,” “Quarantine,” and “Xyloid.” Or perhaps an eight-page piece broken into segments of single phrases and sentences of no more than three text-lines each, alternating between font styles (regular and bold, serif and sans serif, different point sizes) like Lance Olsen’s “Head of Flames,” which begins: “Look: I am standing inside the color yellow.” (If only my review could have an opening this simultaneously luxurious and spare.)
  • Issue Number Volume 64 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
With this volume of the Hudson Review, the magazine features an exemplary selection of Spanish authors and writings, juxtaposing the modern against the established, such as Edith Grossman, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Lorna Knowles showcased with the likes of William Carlos Williams, Jorge Luis Borges, and Pablo Neruda. Reading almost like a highly compact and sleek version of a staggering anthology, the issue does not aim to define the Spanish identity, but instead to spotlight a variation of strong voices and create a mosaic of cultural and social experiences.
  • Issue Number Issue 13
  • Published Date Spring 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Continuity is the watchword in High Desert Journal’s first number under editor Charles Finn. Founder and publisher Elizabeth Quinn remains at the top of the masthead, but with the title of managing editor. According to Finn’s editor’s note, Quinn continues to be very much a part of the endeavor, but will focus now on “the difficult and necessary job of keeping the magazine financially afloat.” Finn pledges to continue the journal’s dedication to furthering the understanding of the “people, places and issues of the interior West.”
  • Issue Number Issue 48
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The newest issue of Hayden’s Ferry Review melts in the hands. Perhaps this is due to its comfortable size—large, a bit overweight—or the season in which it is published. In reality though, the fiction, poetry, and photography inside enacts the melting. In fiction, “Meet Me on the Moon” by Robert Warwick brings summer and its thematic counterpart growing up to the forefront with effortless prose:
  • Issue Number Issue 15
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Here are five reasons why High Desert Journal continues to be one of the best “regional” literary magazines around.
  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Winter 2004-2005
Now this is a great magazine. Short, quirky writing that takes itself seriously but is not without a sense of humor. Think of it as a McSweeney’s for very short fiction (most of the stories here are between two and six pages). Perhaps the similarities are due to guest editor Ryan Boudinot, a McSweeney’s contributor who includes two excellent Icelandic authors in this issue who also appear in the new McSweeney’s.
The cover means to draw us in by announcing work from Jorie Graham, André Aciman, Honor Moore, Kenneth Burke and theirs is certainly worthwhile. One of the most gifted writers on place, Aciman never disappoints, and I loved this essay on New York. Moore's piece on Lowell is marvelous—she is such a fine essayist I would read her on any subject, but she is especially satisfying when writing about other poets.
  • Issue Number Volume 49 Number 5
  • Published Date December 2012
  • Publication Cycle Five Times
Spare, elegant, and graceful, The Hollins Critic descends like a belle of the upper South on bibliophiles starved for beauty. Fittingly, this publication emanates from the first women’s college in Virginia, an institution with a proud tradition dedicated to creativity and “effective self-expression.” The accomplished artist Susan Avishai, after decades devoted to the international study and practice of art, entered Hollins University in 2001 to pursue a degree in creative writing. Between writing seminars, she painted in Hollins’s studios, and since 2004 has contributed a striking pen-and-ink cover portrait to each issue of The Hollins Critic. Avishai’s art perfectly launches the reader into the fierce economy of its unique format, its passion for literature, and its flair.
  • Subtitle A Journey of Literary & Visual Aids
  • Issue Number Volume 12 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Illness, arguably the direct or indirect source of human suffering, prostrates us all. Accordingly, theories of illness and healthcare form an uneasy truce for such icons as Karl Marx, Pope John Paul II, and Ayn Rand even though their philosophies would diverge on many other topics. Moreover, one might argue that the management of limited medical resources has become the preoccupation of our age. But when you are sick, philosophies fail; you seek mercy, and sometimes the voice of that mercy comes from literature. The Healing Muse, a journal produced by The Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University, offers a platform for such voice. As editor Deirdre Neilen notes in her introduction to the journal, “The land ahead may be unfamiliar territory, but the same humor, resilience and desire propel our poets and essayists and their characters to chance the unknown and to chart the journey for us.”
  • Issue Number Volume 6 Issue 2
  • Published Date Winter 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“There are no more quiet places to read.” This is poem XI, by Joshua A. Ware, and it captures the essence of this issue of Harpur Palate. The journal begs to be read, it shouts, and even nags with lines like, “By now you will recognize / that I have taken some liberties… and that when / I describe the third most / happening bar in town I mean / this one,” from Jeffrey Dodd’s “Translator’s Note.”
  • Issue Number Number 24
  • Published Date Spring 2003
Given the world in which we live, explains editor Christina Thompson, it is not all that surprising to find an "undercurrent of violence" in this issue. The obvious examples are excerpts from a new play by poet Owen Doyle, Heraion, introduced by Robert Scanlan as a "reenactment of the Medea material," and the "prologue" of Don MacDonald's graphic novel, "Machiavelli" with its depiction of a hanging witnessed by Machiavelli as a child. (In many ways, MacDonald's brief description of how he created the comic strip is as interesting as the strip itself and motivated me to take a serious look at it, where I might otherwise have skipped it.)
  • Issue Number Number 4
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This literary journal is dedicated to helping the “15 million children throughout the world that have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.” The proceeds of the sales and submission fees go to various orphanages around the world. To make sure it sells, it uses both “prominent writers and artists with rising stars to produce an eclectic mixture.” How can anyone go wrong with a journal meant for such a worthy cause?
  • Issue Number Issue 44
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Here is an editorial perspective I can get behind:
  • Issue Number Volume 62 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Harold Fromm’s essay “Michael Phelps, Domenico Scarlatti, and Scott Ross,” encapsulates the issue’s most dominant and captivating aspects, the strangely rewarding juxtaposition of the popular and the esoteric; entertainment and sport with the arts; the ordinary and the arch; gold medals (Phelps) and gold standards (Scott Ross).
  • Issue Number Number 37
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I’m always pleased when a Table of Contents includes some of my favorite, but lesser known writers, in this case Mark Conway and Christina Davis. Both are moderately well established (impressive publication credentials), but not entirely familiar names even to avid poetry readers (like Jane Hirshfield or Kim Addonizio, both of whom appear in this issue, as well). Conway’s work is always beautifully crafted, tender, moving, and memorable. While his work often narrates a personal or family story (which interests me less, admittedly, than work of a more metaphysical nature), he always reaches beyond the daily images for something larger and fuller. He has just one poem here, “Scholar of the Sorrows,” but it is representative of his work and I am happy to find him in this prestigious location.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Issue 68
  • Published Date Spring 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
This Hiram Poetry Review has a lot of light poetry for an issue whose cover photo is a gravestone. Greg Moglia puzzles over his ineptitude in the real word in “Burger Days”: “why [did] it seem so difficult? / …here bugs land on burgers / The best worker is an ex-con and / There are answers everywhere / And I know none of them.” David O’Connell discusses zombies in “Symposium” where “Jack’s mourning the death of zombies in American movies / …and I’m all sympathy.”
  • Issue Number Issue 5
  • Published Date Spring 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The oversize High Desert Journal is a seductive collection of prose, poetry, art, and ambience. Michael P. Berman's photography – introduced by Charles Bowden's essay, "Under a Dry Moon": "You learn to love the white light of midday in June when everything is flattened by the molten energy of the sun."
  • Subtitle A Magazine of Midwest Life and Art
  • Issue Number Volume 3
  • Published Date Fall 2005
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The Heartlands is bookended by poetic tributes to Sherwood Anderson, one a reprint, the other an original, both crying for ‘more, more.’ You hear Sherwood, you think Ohio, which is also home to the Firelands Writing Center, the producers of The Heartlands. The audience extends from the southern tip of Lake Erie, out to “Northwest Ohio, Ohio at large, the Midwest and the Nation…around our theme of Midwest Life and Art.” The community-minded publication includes photo essays from community college students to an essay by editor and teacher Larry Smith, who writes that the most important gift of writing is our intention, “If we can get out of the way (of our ego) our presence and our intent will come across quiet and clear. To do this we must be able to slow down and listen.” This idea, this community of sharing, from the classroom to the forest, courses through the black and white magazine-styled journal.
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
An eclectic and sophisticated journal that aims to sustain the past (a posthumous short story from Walker Percy), enliven the current moment (new poetry, fiction, and essays from a dozen writers), represent a range of nonfiction options (from a historical look at the use of puppets to literary criticism), serve as a mini gallery of visual artistic expression (fascinating drawings by Graham Nickson), and serves as an arbiter of current reading (reviews of fiction, poetry nonfiction, and other media by five experienced reviewers).
  • Issue Number Number 5
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Two of the seven works of fiction in this issue are first-publications for authors, suggesting the editors mean it when they state their intent to publish “today’s prominent writers and artists alongside upcoming talents.”
  • Issue Number Issue 66
  • Published Date Spring 2005
It always makes me happy to see a long-running literary magazine still going strong.
  • Issue Number Issue 35
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2004-05
From among the sage brush and juniper (not to mention the sprawling megalopolis that is the greater Phoenix area) Hayden’s Ferry Review continues to prove that dedication to an editorial vision pays off.
  • Issue Number Volume 58 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The spring issue, celebrating fifty-eight years of publication for The Hudson Review, is fiction free, focusing instead on criticism, cultural essays, and poetry.
  • Image Image
  • Issue Number Number 53
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Printed on the back cover of this issue of Hayden’s Ferry Review appears, along with front and back cover art by Carlos Jiménez Cahua, the word “DEPARTURE” broken into three lines: DEP / ART / URE, and I noticed this one afternoon picking up the issue from the coffee table. I had already become somewhat familiar with the contents of the issue, and my brain reversed the fragments of the word, reading from the bottom up: Your Art Dep(artment).
This issue begins, appropriately, with a tribute to founding editor Frederick Morgan (1922-2004). In an interview with board member Michael Peich, Morgan's description of the journal couldn't be more apt: "ongoing intellectual companionship."
Editor Judith P. Stelboum ponders the purpose of a journal "devoted solely to lesbian writing" and concludes that "though some of us are still individually invisible, we must never be culturally invisible." Here are six stories, a half-dozen poems, and some artwork to keep the images and stories of lesbians not only visible, but vivid.
  • Issue Number Issue 42
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Hayden’s Ferry Review is themed “The Grotesque.” It lives up to the name, especially the photographs which include strange human bodies, a bird turned inside-out, and a dog with recent knee surgery.
  • Issue Number Volume 61 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The “translation issue” begins with a tribute to the late Hayden Carruth (1921-2008) by poet David Mason, which concludes: “I wish to remember . . . an understanding of what is centrally important in life, what is truly marginal, and how poetry unites us more than it divides us, how language touches what we love, and how the love remains.” A beautiful tribute to a fine American poet, but also a fitting introduction for considering works in translation.
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