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  • Subtitle Focus Review of 5 Under 35 Feature
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  • Published Date December 2018
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online

I always look forward to seeing what Plume Poetry is going to bring to the table with their Featured Selection each monthly issue. This month, they bring readers five poets under the age of thirty-five: Caroline Chavatel, E.G. Cunningham, Emma DePanise, Ella Flores, and Kimberly Grey. John A. Nieves briefly interviews the five as introduction to their respective two poems.

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  • Issue Number Volume 12 Issue 2
  • Published Date Winter & Spring 2018
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

“You should read while you can,” urges the speaker in Luke Brekke’s poem “Bottom’s Poetics.” This issue of Poetry Northwest offers a number of wonderful pieces that can make any reader appreciate the opportunity to read. Staying true to their mission, the Winter & Spring 2018 issue entices its readers with “the promise of discovery” as it presents both poetry and visual art. The editors Aaron Barrell and Erin Malone note that this issue offers “a communion of eye and ear.” Indeed, careful readers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a hybrid of visual and textual formats such as poetry comics by Bianca Stone, Colleen Louise Barry, and others.

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  • Issue Number Number 16
  • Published Date Autumn 2017
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

I absolutely loved the August 2017 issue of PULP Literature! If the quality of the short stories within this issue is any indication of the overall quality of the publication, then I cannot wait to pick up the next issues! PULP Literature contains everything I love in short stories and novellas from my favorite genres of fiction: science fiction, fantasy, mystery, history, thriller, and chiller.

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  • Issue Number Number 26
  • Published Date 2017
  • Publication Cycle Triannual

Founded in 2006 by Brigid Hughes, A Public Space is considered one of the finest literary journals in the country; its stories frequently grace the pages of The Best American Series and The Pushcart Prize, and its editor has won the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing. The mission of the journal is to “seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines,” which it certainly meets in Issue Number 26. This current issue features a syllabus for an architecture studio, an art manifesto, the transcript of a deliberately unreadable speech by editor and writer Gordon Lish, letters to Saul Bellow, an essay on audience and performance, a proposal for a new means of displaying art in museums, notes on Main Streets across the country, and a travel journal, among the usual fiction and poetry contributions.

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  • Issue Number Issue 127
  • Published Date January-March 2018
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online

The phrase “prime number” is one that generally gives me the chills, reminding me of past days of math classes and the frustration tied to them. However, Prime Number Magazine manages to have the opposite effect: it’s a fun and quirky online journal with a lot to offer readers.

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  • Issue Number Volume 211
  • Published Date December 2017
  • Publication Cycle Monthly

Harriet Monroe founded Poetry magazine in 1912 with the aim to “print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written.” Now, over a hundred years since its inception, Poetry has stayed true to Monroe’s vision, following the art in whatever form it takes, lending pages to the words that need them most. Far from blindly crashing into the future, though, Poetry remembers its history. Volume 211 begins with a tribute to Richard Wilbur, who passed this past year.

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  • Issue Number Volume 43 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2017
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

I was delightfully surprised as I delved into this 2017 Summer issue of Ploughshares, a journal filled with fiction and nonfiction stories and essays from a variety of writers. While I recognized the names of several of the authors here, I was also introduced to other writers that I found very interesting.

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  • Issue Number Volume 91 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2017
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

The Fall 2017 issue of Prairie Schooner is both slim and muscular, like the wrestlers in Sean Prentiss’s “Pantheon of Loss,” an essay about self-torture (high school athletics), discipline, and the drive to win despite the consequences. Twenty-two years after his wrestling career ended, when family members ask whether the starvation, pain, and risk of death were worth it, Prentiss still says, “Yes.” Wrestlers, he argues, are driven not by health and common sense, but by the desire to be the last man standing. He writes, “We starve to win.”

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  • Issue Number Issue 32
  • Published Date 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Post Road Number 32 is a complex mix of storytelling that bobs and weaves, delights, and, in some moments, disappoints. The cover piece, a bland, semi-abstract digital drawing by Henry Samelson, is one such low moment, contrasted, incredibly, by the remarkable work of Charles McGill, which sits just inside the issue, seventeen pages away. McGill, who repurposes vintage golf bags to critique class inequality and racial injustice, exhibits a powerful aesthetic that would have made for a much stronger point of entry.

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  • Issue Number Number 90
  • Published Date Spring 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

If readers aren't hungry before reading the Spring 2017 issue of Poetry East, they will be by the time they are done. The Food themed issue, dedicated to James Reiss who passed away in December 2016, is organized in seven sections for the seven courses of “the perfect meal.” Images throughout the issue, taken by the journal’s editors, feature Mary Jo McMillin’s “perfect meal,” and every other aspect fits the theme: the table of contents is a menu, recipes end each section, and paintings of food and meals adorn glossy pages. Like introducing a friend to your favorite dishes at your regular restaurant, let me tell you my favorites in the Spring 2017 menu.

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  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date 2017

PANK publishes work that plays with form and expectations to confound readers with possibility.

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  • Issue Number Issue 44
  • Published Date 2016-2017
  • Publication Cycle Annual

It is no surprise that the Paterson Literary Review was named the best journal in 2008, and has been in publication since 1979. The journal shares the talents of many amazing poets, prose writers, reviewers, interviewers, and memoir authors. I particularly liked how the poetry section often provides more than one poem from each poet so that the reader can experience a variety of work from each poet. In addition, this issue includes the poems from the 2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.

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  • Issue Number Volume 11 Number 1
  • Published Date Summer & Fall 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Co-editor Aaron Barrell asks “And what force can a magazine of poetry have in this world?” and later promises that “each poem in these pages will offer sustenance.” I am inclined to agree. I would add to that the visual art on the pages of this issue of Poetry Northwest. Commanding and stunning, the images strike with a bold knowledge of beauty, joy, and heartbreak. Joe Wankelman’s photograph “Lines” arrests with cautious veracity. The works of photography and artwork in this issue are acute in their understanding of different realities.

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  • Issue Number Volume 111, Number 3 / 4
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2016
  • Publication Cycle Semiannual

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Robert Frost knew all too well that home is not always the place where one has chosen to be but is the place where one is, if not welcomed, at least allowed in. The poems in this issue of Poet Lore were meant to be together and fall under an umbrella theme of home; they deal with relationships of people and places inspired by or in reaction to the word home and all of its connotations. They explore the many manifestations of home in memories and observations tinged with bitter nostalgia, unapologetic and raw.

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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Leave logic at the door when you step inside stories laid out for you in this issue of Pacifica Literary Review. They have just enough normality to allow you to accept the absurdities.

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  • Issue Number Number 37
  • Published Date 2016
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Passages North is a vade mecum. A canon. A bible for literati. An authority. A serious digest. A volume that induces wallet-cracking extra-baggage charges. This annual journal sponsored by Northern Michigan University publishes short stories, fiction flashes, modular and traditional essays, and poetry—loads and loads of poems of every possible breed: ghazals, sonnets, pantouns, free-verse, coupleted-cantations—diversity in form, theme and content receive open-armed welcomes at Passages North. From Pushcart winners to first-timers, from experimental to toe-the-liners, this volume is hefty hefty hefty, and by following the editorial compass of publishing only what deserves “merit,” they have produced a book to please the masses. If you can’t find something that thrills and rocks your sacrum, email me, and I’ll give you the number of my therapist, or maybe we can photoshop your name onto my prescriptions.

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  • Issue Number Volume 45 Issue 1
  • Published Date Fall 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

“A short story should always move forward in time!” and “Use strong action verbs” and “Only leave the words that do the most work emotionally” are phrases former students of Alan Cheuse may have heard often. “He pushed for more drama, more emotion, fewer words,” writes Phoebe Editor-in-Chief Amanda Canupp Mendoza. “He wanted us to live up to our full potential not only as writers, but as humans.” In July of 2015, Alan Cheuse passed away and this issue, in collaboration with Alan Cheuse Literary Review, opens with a special section dedicated to the late George Mason University professor.

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  • Issue Number Issue 10
  • Published Date June 2016 online

Carl Heyward’s “Box/SING” is featured as the cover art for the 10th issue of Posit. The colorful, chaotic mixed media collage has been aptly chosen to greet readers, representing the work found in the new issue: the poetry, prose, and art all sing while pulling no punches.

  • Issue Number Volume 101 Number 3/4
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Editor of Poet Lore Rick Cannon describes the sound of a poem’s beauty as “a steady hum.” I don’t think he could have described it any better. A consistent vibration sounds through the pages of this sleek, perfect-bound journal.

  • Subtitle The Paris Review
  • Issue Number Volume 48 Number 179
  • Published Date Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

There’s a division in literary magazines that’s becoming more pronounced as time goes on – there are those that treasure new voices and are a beacon of hope to the unpublished, and then there are those that serve as a seemingly untouchable golden palace upon a hill to be envied from afar. Both are viable, and as journals proliferate, this division was inevitable and necessary. The Paris Review is one of the most blindingly golden palaces in all the land, with a statue of George Plimpton standing watch, perhaps in the uniform of his Paper Lion days.

  • Issue Number Volume 2
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Practice is a beautifully designed journal, an elegant compilation of literary (prose and verse) and visual work (photography, paintings, and graphics) that successfully mines the past and present. The creators preface their work as well as being prefaced themselves with that ever-present brief bio. Most artists and authors are presented through multiple or multi-part works.

  • Issue Number Volume 53 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle Triannual

The 50th Anniversary issue of Portland Review offers a mixed bag of poetry, fiction and photography. The editors favor prose poems and unpretentious narrative verse, which is of varying quality. The fiction, however, is quite appealing, including “Plenty of Room in Heaven” by Jonathan Evison, which kick-starts the journal. The narrator writes of a depressed former philosophy professor: “He even went so far as to devise what he called the Sweats to Pants Ratio (S.P.R.), by which success was measured relative to the number of days a week one spent in casual versus formal attire, formal being anything with pockets.”

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  • Issue Number Volume 89 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2015
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga—if you are reading or dare say, published in Prairie Schooner’s Winter 2015, then you’re playing in the big leagues; say good-bye to the minors, enjoy your box-seats, and greet Natalie Diaz as the guest commissioner.

  • Issue Number Volume 4
  • Published Date 2005
  • Publication Cycle Annual

“For genius, at least where poetry is concerned, consists precisely in being faithful to freedom,” Dean Young quotes from surrealist poet Yves Bonnefoy in the latest issue of POOL. Although this quote comes from Amy Newlove Schroeder’s interview with Young in the back pages of POOL, it might as well be the magazine’s credo. From the Natasha Sajé’s prose poem “B” to Jeff Chang’s “Things to Forget”—“Under the skin is another layer. / We call this baby skin. // Under a baby’s skin, / snowflakes.”

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  • Issue Number Volume 2
  • Published Date October 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
For Polychrome Ink, the goal is simple: prove that “diversity is not a niche market.” The contributors and their content exhibit diverse sexuality, gender, religion, race, ability, and more. The authors featured dig into the intersection of power and vulnerability to tell stories where people are diverse, but most importantly: where people are people.
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  • Issue Number Issue 5
  • Published Date Fall 2015
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Phantom Drift is an annual journal of slipstream writing: fiction, nonfiction and poetry which experiment with fantastical and realist elements. The work published in Issue 5, Navigating the Slipstream, is unapologetic and unseats us from our perceptions of reality.
  • Issue Number Volume 42 Number 1
  • Published Date Fall 2003
Sometimes clichés are true: this issue of Prism International illustrates the concept that good things do come in small packages. The journal contains poetry which ranges from Bernadette Higgins’ traditional poem, “Short Wave,” describing language, music, and thoughts which tease and cross on the air late at night, to a strong contemporary poem by Matt Robinson, “why we wrap our wrists the same each time,” exploring a hockey player’s quest to “do anything” to beat his “jinx.” Ouyang Yu translates four Chinese poems from the 8th and 9th century, which are beautiful in their simplicity and complexity.
  • Issue Number Volume 25 Number 1
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2004
Weighing in at two-hundred and eighty pages, this issue of the long-lived Passages North is a hefty journal not only in terms of the writers it publishes, but also just sheer size. That page count allows them the leeway to do what many literary journals cannot: publish a short series of poems by the same person so that it’s possible to gain a wider feel for the poet’s work. Bob Hicok and Jan Bailey, for example, enjoy a run of five poems each. The only complaint I had about the poetry is that there’s so much good stuff here, it’s difficult to focus on one poem or poet to the exclusion of the others.
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date Fall 2004
It's nearly impossible not to pick up this issue of Pebble Lake Review, with its almost hypnotically vibrant cover photograph of a sun-dappled graveyard. Fortunately, the contents of this slim, unassuming journal don't disappoint. The poems tend to be short and straightforward; no experimental rambles here. Likewise, the fiction moves quickly, and there is a handful of various art works by seven different people.
I was immediately impressed by the overall presentation of this issues of Pleiades, beginning with the cover artwork by Julie Speed and following with the overall heft of the issue itself. The contents are pretty evenly divided between one hundred pages of creative writing and one hundred pages of book reviews.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Fall 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Before even opening the first issue of Prodigal, its matte cover felt comfortable in my hands, inviting, like a good handshake at the front door of an unfamiliar residence. Inside, the journal is rich with traditional and experimental poetry that plays with form, structure, and even grammatical conventions. There are poems broken into parts, prose poems, and poems that demand attention in different spaces across the page. The issue also includes a few prose pieces, an interview with political theorist Wendy Brown, and translated works from Søren Kierkegaard, Juan Benet, and Bertolt Brecht.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date Autumn 2015
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Created by three women in Vancouver—Melanie Anastasiou, Jennifer Landels and Susan Pieters—the hybrid PULP Literature “publish[es] writing that breaks out of the bookshelf boundaries, defies genre, surprises, and delights,” according to their website. “Think of it as a wine-tasting . . .  or a pub crawl . . . where you’ll experience new flavours and rediscover old favourites.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 41, Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2015
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Ploughshares has returned with their much anticipated annual fiction issue, which features work from the likes of Lydia Davis and Daniel Pena, as well as some new writers coming into their own. In the introduction, Guest Editor Lauren Groff says she is “hungry for voices that speak to me with real emotion; because real emotion is always new.” One can see that influence in the latest installment, which includes a wide-range of narratives where the characters are dealing with unexpected and sometimes strange incidents that showcase little slices of humanity.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Weirdness attracts weirdness, unless of course, you are the kind of reader that is repulsed by the idea of dinosaur pornography written by an elementary-aged girl. (More on Benjamin Drevlow’s story later.) I am not that kind of reader, and neither are the editors of Profane. This journal aims to unsettle minds and bring to the page tales that are, “sacred, profound, heartfelt, raw, quirky, and, at times, a little weird.” Aside from its peculiar content, Profane also includes a raw soundtrack of the authors reading their work on its website. Not all writers are professional recording artists which makes listening to the text all that more interesting as the “authors’ very lives have bled into these tracks.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 22
  • Published Date Winter 2015
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
A Public Space fits neatly into my hands with its fine matte finish and folded flaps for bookmarks (in case there are no café receipts handy). The shade of magenta coordinates warmly with Lee Satkowski’s photograph—a writer in his studio, mosquito net surrounding his workspace, 50s checkered tile below his feet—providing a vibe that one would find in a coffee shop in Williamsburg. Its cream-colored pages are easy on the eyes, making it an ideal read under the sun or florescent lighting. Although designed with an aesthetic I am partial to, A Public Space provides content that fits neatly into your palms, but untidily in memory.
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  • Issue Number Volume 206 Number 2
  • Published Date May 2015
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
The May 2015 issue of Poetry prompts us to ask questions, and to observe without judgement the ways in which we act and operate as humans. In the opening poem, Frank Bidart’s “The Fourth Hour of the Night,” a young boy murders his half-brother for stealing a freshly-killed lark, and after, justifies his actions: “He looked / around him. Human beings // live by killing other living beings.” The poem positions us in a setting filled with slavery and brutality, a ruthless desire for power, and the search for immortality. Here, the boy acts based upon what he observes in a world that caters to those “stronger, taller, more / ruthless than you.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 35
  • Published Date Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Quite notable in the 35th issue of Passages North is a section called Hybrid Essays that pushes creative nonfiction to daring forms of inventiveness and complexity. Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’s hyper-short, personal pieces are exercises in compression, gleaming with economy and calculation; each less than a page long, one might mistake them for flash-fiction pieces, such as “In Gratitude to the Dream Sequence,” which meditates on power in the confines of the bedroom against power in the confines of the boardroom: “Afterward, be glad because she will not turn into your boss and tell you you’re fired.”
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  • Issue Number Fall/Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The slim, new issue of Parcel is filled with experimental poetry and fiction, about half and half. The magazine’s website, however, says it has “international aspirations and an interest in a broad range of poetry, prose and art.” And though this issue has no essays, the editor’s note: “we have a special interest in lyric essays and essays that explore innovative forms and structures.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 88 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Without question, Prairie Schooner is one of the top American literary magazines, as measured by quality, presentation, and longevity. It began in 1926, and it continues as a print quarterly and online blog at the University of Nebraska, in Lincoln. Poet Kwame Dawes is editor-in-chief, and the magazine has a staff of 47 assistant editors, editorial assistants, and alumni readers. A well-established publication indeed. The current issue musters an impressive roster of contributors, most with advanced degrees, publications, awards, and residencies. More than a few teach writing at a college or university.
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  • Issue Number Issue 14
  • Published Date 2015
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Oh literature, oh the glorious Art, how it preys upon the marrow in our bones. It scoops the stuffing out of us, and chucks us aside. Alas! ~ D.H. Lawrence
The works of poetry, memoir, and story in the 2015 issue of PMS: poemmemoirstory aspire to and achieve Lawrence's requirements of literature. The pieces are finely crafted, yes, but, more, are significant in that they strive to reach readers on deep levels. This journal, publishing women writers for fifteen years, continues to showcase literature that is art, and that matters to readers of any persuasion.
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  • Issue Number Issue 35
  • Published Date Spring 2015
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
Per Contra promises that readers will find contrast in the range of work they publish, from fiction to scholarly essays, and they deliver in their Spring 2015 issue. Variety isn’t limited to the types of genre they provide, but can be seen in the individual pieces within each genre as well. The fiction section varies from “Things We Do To Keep From Dying” by Dominica Phetteplace, which follows a woman reclaiming her life and safety after being raped as her fear centers on dogs in the days after the attack, to “Unfunny” by Stephen Delaney, in which a man’s flubbed joke leads him to the uncomfortable task of facing his faults. However, a few stories stuck out as sharing a common element: the relationship between mothers and daughters.
If you have ever visited the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California, you likely noticed a ping-pong table. This table, nestled amidst towering redwood trees, brings the library’s many visitors together in a single place, with a single purpose: ping-pong. It is appropriate, then, that the Library’s literary journal, Ping•Pong, unites a wide array of voices and works in a single volume, and to common purpose.
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  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Pacifica Literary Review embraces stories dealing with concepts that represent the reality of the world in which they are written. This is evident in the poetry, prose, and art of this issue. The things people wish they could say, or experiences that they may have had but never talk about, find their way onto the page in bold, eye-catching print. Individual poems, stories, and images work together to form a collective narrative of the ever-changing world in which we live.
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  • Issue Number Volume 46
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Dysfunctional families, human nature, and the forces of Mother Nature are all prominent topics in this issue of Pembroke Magazine. While stories with happy endings, delivered with bows on top, are often sought after in today’s culture, it is refreshing and entertaining to read essays, stories, and poetry that have no real resolution.
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  • Issue Number Volume 36 Issue 1
  • Published Date Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Permafrost is an unusually entertaining collection of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, drama and art published in “the farthest north literary journal in the United States.” All of the works provide perspectives that are fresh and introduce a broad variety of creative talent that doesn’t often appear in the same place. If there’s one characteristic throughout the entire collection, it’s the detailed imagery.
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  • Issue Number Number 82
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Poetry East is absolutely a pleasure to physically handle. Every page is of glossy finish, it is roughly the dimension of a medium-size paperback, and it is lightweight enough to pack anywhere without being in the way. No page numbers in this issue make it difficult to reference where to locate some of the poems I found most enjoyable. Linear structure seems to have lent itself to the editor's preference in selecting which works to include. Most of the poems included follow a very reasonable, almost philosophic arc toward endings that do not surprise so much as fulfill the reader. In response, since it feels good to go against the grain sometimes, I am going to employ reverse linear structure in presenting this review.
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  • Issue Number Volume 204 Number 4
  • Published Date July/August 2014
  • Publication Cycle Monthly

Because the Poetry Foundation’s website is such a fixture of my online reading, buying an issue of Poetry always make me feel like I’m donating to public radio. Lifting an issue from the bookstore shelf and leafing through it, I can almost hear the faintly accusatory voice of a pledge drive broadcaster playing the guilt card, asking, “How often do you find yourself enjoying the vast resource that is the Poetry Foundation website, or sending the articles and poems you find there to friends? Isn’t that worth $3.75 a month to you?

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  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online

Pretty Owl Poetry is a brand new online quarterly that publishes poetry and, in opposition to the title of the journal, flash fiction. The poetry is very accessible, not overly complicated or using fancy language.

Take, for example, Clare Welsh’s “Almost Exorcism,” a poem broken into three pieces about children’s reaction to a lump “on the ribs of a dog.” The first part have the children imagining it as a second heart...

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  • Issue Number Volume 109 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

This was the first issue of Poet Lore I have ever read, and it will not be the last! Well over 100 pages of outstanding poems, poetic history, interviews, and reviews made this more than just another issue to review; they turned it into an outright gripping read. While most of the works were brief (under one printed page), large-scale themes of loss and death are woven throughout. The editors did an outstanding job of finding beautiful poems that also highlighted positive moments in life through the pain. I am not lying when I tell you how a couple of pieces nearly brought tears to my eyes.

  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
In the 64 pages of this issue, John Zheng gives us 27 poets and 49 lyric and narrative poems; not surprisingly, one page is often enough to include the entire poem. Brief bios of contributing poets appear at the end, along with a page to mention a handful of noteworthy books of poems published since 2007 in the U.S.
Prairie Schooner is one of the few journals with impeccable credentials, having disappointed few writers and readers. This issue is no exception.
I sensed what Anis Shivani’s argument would be in his essay, “Why is American Fiction in Its Current Dismal State?” before I flipped to it: lack of risk-taking fiction. Shivani’s tone in the essay is not sad, which saves the essay from becoming victim of its own subject. His attacks are scathing – “Fiction writing is the way it is because America has turned it into the last great Fordist model of production.” Elsewhere he argues that “the decline of American fiction is a sign of the decline of elite liberal consensus. The vacuum in political ideology is being filled today by an anti-politics, of personality and charisma…”
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  • Issue Number Volume 34 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Pinch is so expressive and excellent that I’m confident any instance that I pick up this issue I will open it and begin reading something great. Publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art, and the winners of the 2013 Pinch Literary Awards, this issue is just brimming with work you need to read and art that deserves your attention.
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  • Issue Number Volume 43 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Though I’ve read several issues of Phoebe before, I’m always impressed by how diverse the journal is in terms of genre, aesthetic, and style. This issue features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comics, and art—a wide range of content that makes for an entertaining mix of reading and viewing material.
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Number 2
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Prick of the Spindle is a journal that fills its literary itinerary with almost every literary genre imaginable. It is one of the most comprehensively complete journals in terms of its subject matter as well as its devotion to the concept of representing large intellectual and culturally diverse writing communities. One unifying image of the type of writing that they publish is a merging of a chaotic and energetic prose flowing rapidly but with a structure grounding each piece in a specific style or meaning.
  • Issue Number Volume 28 Number 2
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
If ever there were reason to reject the age-old adage never judge a book by its cover, this issue of Pleiades would be it. Amy Casey’s marvelous “upended,” an acrylic on paper, which reflects her perception “of the nervous state of the affairs in the world,” certainly upends that advice. Casey’s images of a world suspended make me believe there are wonders, marvels, and fresh perspectives ahead, and this is absolutely true. Tom Fleischmann’s essay, “Fist,” is one of the riskiest pieces of creative nonfiction I’ve seen in a long time, a meditation on fists that is linguistically and sexually provocative, without being forcedly edgy, odd, or experimental.
  • Issue Number Volume 7
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Annual

In this very last print issue of the journal POOL, which will become an online journal only at www.poolpoetry.com, the cover greets with two 1950’s children wearing star shaped sunglasses about to come out of a swimming pool, doused with the varying reflective colors produced by rippled water as a result of the sun. This image is joyous and playful and humorous and although not entirely reflective of every poem comprising this journal, it does represent a large portion of them. Whether the poems here are playing with the toy of language or the sounds it often emits, there is a kind of fun here at work, with an underlying seriousness of purpose or meaning jolting us back into reality.

  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date August 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual online
Poecology, for me, was a return to the earth, to nature. The poems, dealing with crops, rivers, apples, bugs, sparrows, and summer squash, made me want to go outside, lay down in the grass, and breathe in the fresh air. Of course, instead, I sat in my house, cuddled with my cat, and finished reading and writing from a digital screen, but for brief moments, it was nice to be transported to a place outside my suburban home.
  • Issue Number Number 21
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Post Road offered me surprises that I don’t believe I have actually seen in other magazines. For instance, during my first official flip through, my thumb stopped on a page where Micah Nathan reviews The Stories of John Cheever, claiming that, although not a “titan like Hemingway or Faulkner . . . there’s room in the pantheon for gods of all types. We reserve a temple for him.” I can’t recall how many reviews (celebrations?) of Cheever I have read in modern literary magazines—because I don’t believe that I ever have. And then on the page opposite began Asad Raza’s review of the 1983 Lizzie Borden movie Born in Flames, a movie that, according to the author: “makes most New York movies seem like sentimental fawning.” These two pieces represent the eclectic, brilliant choices the editors have made in putting the magazine together, which I think is its greatest strength. It caters to many different tastes, and, according to the magazine’s website, each submission is read by three different people before accepting or rejecting it—thus ensuring a strong collection with each biannual issue.
  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Fall 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
It’s possible that the mark of an evolved soul is the ability to pass at will into whatever state of consciousness is useful or appropriate at any given time. Over twenty distinct such states have been observed, with names like reverie, lethargy, trance, and rapture. The question of when such states are useful or appropriate is the subject of story and song from time immemorial. That they are essential to our lives if we are ever to be whole is the conviction behind a compelling new journal whose title hints at this ability I’ve described: Phantom Drift.
  • Issue Number Issue 36
  • Published Date 2008-2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
In a brief introductory note, editor Maria Mazziotti Gillan reveals that the journal receives 10,000 submissions annually. I wish there were as many people regularly reading and subscribing to these sorts of reviews as there are submitting to them! We are lucky that dedicated editors like Mazziotti Gillan are willing to do the challenging work year in and year out to keep journals like the Paterson Literary Review alive. Selected recently by Library Journal as one of the ten best literary magazines in the country, the review continues to offer readers the best of well-known writers and those “whose work is so fine it should be better known” – a much more apt and respectful phrase than “emerging” or any of the other terms used to define writers whose reputations are not as impressive as their work.
The Editor's Note for this issue suggests, "Texts, like lives, are precarious projects." And Iranian ex-patriot Moniru Ravanipur, whose writings are banned in her homeland, interviewed by Miranda Mellis, reminds us that, "Stories are a testament to their time, especially in countries like mine." Ravanipur knows too well the vital connection between writing and living. She describes how, "The short story for me is like a mirror that reflects different worlds—worlds that already exist, or worlds that could be or should be." No matter what else, writing allows for confronting and challenging any established order.
  • Issue Number Volume 5 Number 1
  • Published Date May 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
I was immediately drawn to Plain Spoke. Poetry in plain language, I thought. Yeah, there we go. The subtitle only made it better: A Literary Speakeasy. Oh yeah. My kind of language in my kind of place. I imagined straight, honest poetry like bourbon served neat in a drinking glass—edgy, not quite legit. I couldn’t wait to get started.
  • Issue Number Volume 101 Numbers 1/2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2006
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I don't say this kind of thing very often, but flip to the back and read the essay first. Merrill Leffler's "Poetry: What I Want of It" is a thoughtful exploration of topics many poets struggle with: why am I reading and writing poetry; aren't all these "I" poems just navel-gazing; and what should poetry, ultimately, do for language?
  • Subtitle Story. Place. Spirit. Witness
  • Issue Number Volume 28 Issue 1
  • Published Date 2003
New publisher and editor Peter Anderson has saved the day! Long-time publishers Jack and Marcia Barstow retired last year, offering the magazine at no cost to anyone who would carry on the tradition of "personal reflective writing." Anderson has moved the operation to Crestone, Colorado where, if this first issue in the journal's twenty-eighth year is any indication, Pilgrimage will continue to delight and inspire us. According to Anderson, Pilgrimage serves an "eclectic fellowship of readers, writers, poets, naturalists, activists, contemplatives, seekers, adventurers, and other kindred spirits…" On encountering the moving and thoughtful writing here, one certainly wants to be belong to this "widespread community." About half the pieces in this issue are reprinted from other publications, but many are from independent presses or sources with which readers may not be familiar.
  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date 2006
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Pool is a great name for a poetry journal—all those denotations, connotations, symbols, and similes. Spanning a wide range of styles, this volume contains multiple poems by Gareth Lee, Bob Hicok, Elizabeth Horner, James Haug, Amanda Field, Paul Fattaruso, Tony Hoagland, Campbell McGrath, and Mary Ruefle, as well as single poems by three dozen others. Although many of the poems in this issue fell flat (belly flopped?), I enjoyed the playfulness of Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s language in “In Pursuit of the Original Trinket” and “Mosey Is as Mosey Does.” Corey Marks’s long poem “Lullaby” is this volume’s graceful dive from the high platform. In it he demonstrates skillful interweaving of avian imagery and symbolism with a fairytale motif and modern medical dilemma:

. . . your body
unstitched our trust in it, thread by thread, pocking
itself with blood that no longer knew to contain itself
capillaries split and spilt across your face and hands
into a map of a country you’d never thought to visit.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 3
  • Published Date Summer 2006
  • Publication Cycle annual
I love it when I open a journal and serendipitously the first piece I read is a winner. This recently happened when I picked up Pebble Lake Review and turned to Ted Gilley's poem "Password," which begins "Young Dewey's head / was shaped like a melon. / His password was I'm ripe. / His brother Matthew's was / I blow up mailboxes. / Mine was just ignore me." Although it includes several book reviews and works of fiction, including Dave Housley's hit-the-nail-on-the-head, slice-of-life piece, "Where We're Going," this issue focuses on poetry. It includes poems by Denise Duhamel, Kelli Russell Agodon, Judith Skillman, C.J. Sage, Dan Rosenberg, Barry Ballard, Paula Bohince, and some two dozen other poets. For their wonderful imagery, I recommend "Measure Twice, Cut Once" and "House Diptych" by Bernadette Geyer. I also suggest that readers visit the journal’s website, where they can listen to selected audio files of the authors reading their own works—a great addition to the print journal.
  • Issue Number Volume 195 Number 5
  • Published Date February 2010
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
Martha Zweig’s poem “Carolina” could be an ars poetica of sorts, or a Poetry manifesto, or the platform of a new (and possibly more satisfactory) political party, or a prayer: “Won’t somebody please start / something other & oddball soon // narrow her down out of folly /& trivia to destiny?” Or perhaps she is (without knowing it) responding to Robert Haas, who begins “September Notebook: Stories”: “Everyone comes here from a long way off / (is a line from a poem I read last night).” Maybe they are both responding (without knowing it) to J. Allyn Rosser’s “Impromptu”: “as if something I could say were true, and every / moment from now on would be my cue.” And all of them would have to ponder, with Joshua Mehigan what it means to be at the “Crossroads”: “This is the place it happened. It was here. / You might not know unless you knew.” Clive James seems to want to help them sort it out in the concluding lines to “A Perfect Market”:
  • Issue Number Volume 78 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2004
There is always something for nearly every serious reader in Prairie Schooner. It's not because Raz lacks a consistent editorial vision. On the contrary, issue after issue the journal feels whole and unified. It's more because her vision is large and generous. The prose is especially strong this issue, with a tender and memorable story by Tamara Friedman ("Stealing Sherisha") and a fine example of literary journalism by David A. Taylor, "Nailing a Freight on the Fly: The Federal Writer's Project in Nebraska." Taylor's essay is a solid and pleasingly humble combination of competent research, travel writing, and literary history.
  • Issue Number Volume 42 Number 2
  • Published Date Winter 2004
This issue features the winner of the magazine's 2003 Maclean Hunter Endowment Award for literary nonfiction, an essay contest judge Andreas Schroeder calls "beautifully calibrated."
  • Issue Number Issue 4
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I’m not easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, but it’s hard not to skip right to Harry Gamboa Jr.’s fotonovela (photo story). The fotonovela is a two-dimensional take on the popular, highly successful, and always melodramatic Latin American telenovela (soap opera). Aztlángst – which, I think, is Gamboa Jr.’s invention and probably means Azatlán-style anxiety (Azatlán is the Chicano term for the US states that were once a part of México) – is a narrative that unfolds in black and white photos of various dimensions with text-box dialogue. The story is introduced with the cast of “actors” and a photo of a man face down on the sidewalk who turns out not to be dead, as one might suppose, but has collapsed in response to financial disaster (the angst in Aztlángst). “The entire system is based on panic,” Serpiento says when he’s told, “Whatever you do, don’t panic.” What is there to panic about? Bank swindling, living beyond our means, gangs, vigilantes, corporate socialism, dirty bombs, no credit, possessions repossessed, and rich war profiteers, all in four pages. The photos are hysterical; the text is an entertaining combination of irony and melodrama. I can’t wait to read the next installment (this is No. 1).
  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Fall 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
After nearly five years of being solely an online quarterly, Prick of the Spindle has finally released its first print issue. The goal of the journal is to “both recognize new talent and to include those who have a foot planted in the writing community.” It was satisfying to see this journal continue its goal by taking its first step into the print world with a display of impressive literary work.
  • Issue Number Volume 11
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Poemmemoirstory, also known as PMS, is both written and edited by women writers. This annual magazine includes exactly as its name suggests: poems, memoirs, and stories. Many literary journals have a certain aesthetic or style of writing that remains consistent throughout the pages; however, I thoroughly enjoyed how diverse each piece was. In addition to various topics being discussed, the approach to writing and how it looks on the page changes with each writer.
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  • Issue Number Volume 41 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Phoebe “prides itself on supporting up-and-coming writers, whose style, form, voice, and subject matter demonstrate a vigorous appeal to the senses, intellect, and emotions of [its] readers.” I found this issue to be proof of that: with each turn of the page, I found more new and exciting forms and subject matter. As a writer who can’t seem to hit a creative bone without form, I loved reading each and every one of these pieces—sifting through the forms and pondering on how each one opens up something new to the story or message.
  • Issue Number Issue 15
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
PEN America is the journal of the PEN American Center, and so has access to a venerable stable of contributors for each issue. This issue, the theme of which is “Maps,” is no exception. It contains many short pieces, some less than a page long, by a number of esteemed writers. Writers were asked to respond to a prompt: “We hope you’ll allow us to accompany you as you reencounter a world you’ve come to know through literature . . . Or, if your mood is more essayistic, tell us about maps that guided or misguided you as a writer.” As one might imagine, the responses are quite varied, highly personal, and mostly interesting.
  • Issue Number Volume 104 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“[T]he way you can feel his intelligence moving on the page in the choices and turns he makes.” This is Cornelius Eady describing the work of Gregory Pardlo, the poet whose work he has chosen for “Poets Introducing Poets,” always one of this magazine’s finest features. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a better description of that elusive and spectacular quality that makes great poetry so hard to define and so easy to love. And Eady – who praises Pardlo’s line and his ear, as well as his poetic intelligence – couldn’t be more right about Pardlo. His work is “dense, but it’s never a burden to navigate” (“Kite / strings tensing the load of a saddle- / backed wind”).
  • Issue Number Volume 35 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
I love guest editor Eleanor Wilner’s work, so it is terrific to have a chance to read her picks for the magazine. Some of her choices surprised me; almost all interested and satisfied me for they are unpredictable and wildly engaging in their use of language. Jaswinder Bolina’s poem “Make Believe” merges language that can border on the ordinary with syntax, line breaks, and images that magnify and elevate it: “We will eventually be archaeology, but now in America / I tell my young daughter the new headlights are a bluish-white / instead of the smoky yellow / of my upbringing.” and “It’s that time when I’m alone in America with my young / daughter that she startles / herself realizing the woodpile beneath the black oak is itself / formerly a tree, / and she wants to know whether these trees have feelings.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 47 Number 174
  • Published Date Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
In its 1953 inaugural issue, William Styron, best known for his novel Sophie’s Choice, wrote, “I think The Paris Review should welcome these people into its pages: the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and non-axe-grinders. So long as they're good.” And they are good. This issue finds Liao Yiwu a seeming star, as both interviewer and subject, covering an alarming 35 pages, or about 18% of the issue’s 192 pages. Yiwu’s pieces range from encounters with a professional mourner, an independent public toilet manager, and a human trafficker, with China serving as each interviews’ backdrop.
To my mind (and perhaps those of women all over America), the acronym PMS as it appears boldly on the journal cover arouses thoughts of the combination of discomforts women experience at a certain time of the lunar cycle. So why, when it would have been so simple to scramble the letters into other combinations, is this quality journal called PMS? Title aside, there is much to appreciate in this review, which exclusively features women’s works and is divided evenly between the three genres.
  • Issue Number Issue 35
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The editorial staff dedicated this issue of the Paterson Literary Review to Allen Ginsberg, native son of Paterson, New Jersey. Much of the nearly four hundred pages in this volume are devoted to reminisce of Allen Ginsberg by those who knew him, were mentored by him and were profoundly influenced by him. They call him “bard,” “lover of earth and foe of the fascist state,” “poetry father,” “catalyst of utopia,” and “courage-teacher.” They recount vivid memories, reflect, and describe their sense of loss at his death. The poet Jim Cohn wrote, “Allen’s thinking had a way of causing a roar in your head.” The poet Eliot Katz wrote in an elegy, “Ah, Allen, you gave America a new shape & now you’ve lost yours.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 52
  • Published Date Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Potomac Review publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from a wide selection of established and emerging authors. From the homepage of their website: “Our philosophy welcomes variety, and through it, we create an organic flow of ideas to contribute to the literary conversation.” The conversation in this issue is definitely worth checking out.
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  • Issue Number Volume 202 Number 1
  • Published Date April 2013
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
If any magazine could create a mythology in one edition it would be Poetry. To accomplish this in one issue is next to miraculous, but this is what they have done in the April 2013 issue. Christian Winman and a small cast of editors make their work look effortless, the selections of work by established poets speaking for a larger humanity.
  • Subtitle Empathy
  • Issue Number Number 1
  • Published Date August 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
The Pedestrian is curious. In the best sense. A compilation of essays written by long-dead writers and today’s up-and-comers, The Pedestrian is dedicated to immortalizing what some may view as a dying art, the essay. With the rise of creative nonfiction, the essay has been sorely missing from many modern journals. The existence of this magazine is promising, and, like any good essay, ripe with curiosity, wonder, and philosophy.
  • Issue Number Number 194
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Those who wish to participate in the latest literary world gossip should read The Paris Review. Articles have been written about its new editor, Lorin Stein, for months. Moreintelligentlife.com reports that the 37 year old former Farrar, Straus and Giroux editor is looking for “the best of the best, period—except I don’t really believe in The Best.” According to New York Magazine, Stein’s publishers told him they were looking for “boldness.” The Financial Times reports that “the magazine’s relationship with reportage has ended.” Poets are lamenting the choice of Stein and new poetry editor Robyn Creswell to reject all of the poems previously accepted and slated for future publication. (Many of the rejected poems can be found at The Equalizer.)
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
Psychopomp Magazine, a new online fiction quarterly, aims to publish work that “defies genre and isn’t afraid to go beyond the confines of traditional form.” Their first issue is a testament to that.
  • Published Date 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The newest issue of Post Road is certainly ambitious, including not just fiction and poetry but also essays, book recommendations, a one-act play, photography, an interview, and even an index of all the characters in John Cheever's short fiction. Highlights include Dan Pope's story "Drive-In," about a group of teenagers going to see a porno film at a drive-in, and Ralph McGinnis's essay, "The Omission of Comics," which makes a strong case for the inclusion of comics as modern art and also for their place in history as strong influences on Dadaism and Surrealism.
Poetry Kanto takes its name from the Japanese Kanto plain, but it's hard not to think Canto in the Western sense of the spirited song. This journal, published by an American Baptist-founded university, features four translated Japanese and eight international English-language poets. It refutes the conception that Japan is still the isolated land of the tanka and haiku. Tanikawa Shuntaro, for example, is well regarded for his breadth of knowledge of American pop culture. Yet Kanto also illustrates where the gaps remain.
  • Issue Number Volume 1 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
For those of us fortunate to live in Massachusetts, the name Paul Revere nearly conjures magic, in the fairy-tale sense. Perhaps it was by design, then, that the publishers of this journal’s very first edition would use tales that evoke feelings of long-agos, and far, far-aways. Micaela Morrissette’s tale, “The Glowing Light in the Forest” is the perfect ambassador for Paul Revere’s Horse’s first foray, and the perfect example of magic conjured by pen. Truly, I can give but a hint or two of her ingenious story/poem. For example, “In the cool, damp, dark forest, a princess.” If this seems like a slight tease, then I’ll add one of Morrissette’s devilishly clever lists: “The forest. The princess. The well. The tower. The red rose. The frog. The ring. The dog. The tear. The servant. The key. The mirror. The witch. The disguise.” But that is all I will say. To give you, the reader, more would spoil the surprise that is Morrissette’s writing, and her utterly captivating tale. This imagining would be enough to recommend the journal; it’s that good, but Paul Revere’s Horse has so much more to offer.
  • Issue Number Volume 44 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“What’s this?” Martin Riker, associate editor of Dalkey Archive Press, asks Warren Motte, Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and world renowned critic of contemporary French literature. This first question, in an interview titled “Work and Play,” is a reference to a journal Motte hands Riker when they meet for the interview. The answer (“Something I thought you might be interested in”) turns out be an article about Motte’s quarter-century obsession with mirror scenes in literature. Motte estimates he’s identified (and catalogued on index cards) between 10,000-20,000 of these. His fascination with mirror scenes is, well, fascinating.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
This lovely little literary magazine doesn’t look like it could hold as much purely spectacular writing as it does, but don’t be fooled by its 50 pages. This speakeasy means business. Composed primarily of poems, with one short story, the editors have chosen wonderful explorations of emotions, both joyful and sorrowful, both reminiscent and forward-looking.
  • Issue Number Volume 30 Issue 2
  • Published Date 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I have never been disappointed by an issue of Pilgrimage. In a world that is exceedingly desperate, both on and off the page, this exquisite little journal never fails to soothe and stimulate in equal measure, with intelligence, grace, and authenticity. This issue's theme is "borderlands."
  • Issue Number Number 34
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
I always enjoy uncovering a journal with a history that I had never known existed before. Pearl has a history (34 volumes now) that includes an impressive devotion to special issues. This all-fiction issue marks the eighth time Pearl has committed itself to the genre, and it doesn’t disappoint. Of the 19 stories included, most are under 1,500 words and immediately accessible; they can be tried on by all sizes to see which fit the best.
  • Subtitle A Journal of New Writing
  • Issue Number Volume 30 Number 1
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Let me be honest: I've always had a crush on Pleiades. This venerable journal publishes so much consistently good writing, especially poetry, that it is a pleasure to dive into the words between its covers. At 280 pages, it is bigger than a lot of books being published today; like a good novel, it can be zipped through, or relished over a longer period of time.
  • Issue Number Number 17
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
A Public Space showcases a splendid selection of stories that balance plot, pacing, and literary innovation without sacrificing what makes classic short fiction remain essential. From the first story in the volume, “American Lawn” by Jessica Francis Kane, to the last, a translation, “Something in Us Wants to Be Saved” by Patricio Pron, the reader glides through the narrative. There is enough drive in the stories, metered without sacrificing the thrall of language, to make you read endlessly, wanting to know the end, but letting the powerful pacing direct your review—allowing all truths in its own time.
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  • Issue Number Number 12
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
I hear women’s voices when I read this magazine. I should: this is a “140-page, perfect-bound, all-women’s literary journal published annually by the University of Alabama at Birmingham”; every voice is a woman’s. But I didn’t expect to feel such a bond, such a connection, and I was unexpectedly moved as I read: these writers know how I feel, they live my life, they speak my language. I teach fiction writing, so I went to the story section first. Every story made me smile with recognition and appreciation, and each one left an echo in my mind, an impression I carried around with me as I do with the best literature—a new way of perceiving my ordinary world, no longer ordinary, thanks to these women writers.
  • Issue Number Volume 7 Issue 2
  • Published Date 2003
Porcupine is a fine mix of what you’d expect from a literary magazine, and what you’d never see coming.
  • Issue Number Volume 99 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2004
"Turn each page and imagine yourself out for a nice bicycle ride like the women on our cover," advise the editors.
  • Issue Number Number 11
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2004
More poems than plays, the drama here consists of three short, one-act pieces.
  • Issue Number Volume 33 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2004
This issue of Phoebe delivers a fresh, diverse selection of fiction and poems.
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  • Issue Number Volume 8 Issue 2
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2013/2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
If you read only one issue of a literary magazine this year, let it be this issue of Poetry Northwest, if only to read Stanley Plumly’s gorgeous essay “The End of Keats.” Plumly writes with gentle reverence of the poet who famously died too young, in poverty and failure. Plumly’s writing kept me reading to the end of Keats’ life, and I learned so much. At the end of the piece, Plumly shares his view of Keats’s short life and painful death and writes that the tragedy “lies in the not knowing; or worse, knowing the wrong thing.” He goes on to say that “that is true for most of us: we never know, we never really know the long consequences.” This theme runs through the essay and through many of the poems in the magazine that also deal with truth and the experience of dying and how the living deal with it all. In many of the poems in this issue narrators speak to lost loved ones in sadness and in hindsight at what might have been missed in lives ended too soon. Plumly’s essay is a perfect ending to this issue that deals with endings.
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