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  • Issue Number Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This is a fledgling literary journal published by Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, named after a river that runs through it. The fall issue features fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and essays. The editor, Dan Albergotti, quotes Robert Frost’s observation, “There is nothing as mysterious as something clearly seen,” and says Waccamaw is looking for “work that is at once clear and mysterious.”
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  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
The Wag’s Revue certainly offers something different, writing and art that you won’t find in most journals. In the editors’ note, they say, “What we’re saying is what art has always said: insert yourself (fingers, tongue, then pulsing heart) through us to discover what warm depths lie beyond. We just want to get your brain wet. Call us crazy for trying.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 38 Number 2, Fall 2014
  • Published Date Fall 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The first issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal appeared in the spring of 1977 and has enjoyed regular quarterly publication ever since. This latest issue focuses on noted Stevens scholar Helen Vendler, who published her initial Stevens study On extended wings: Wallace Stevens' longer poems in 1969This was the first book of her criticism proper after trade publication of her PhD dissertation on Yeats in 1963, just of her many writings upon Stevens, demonstrating how central Stevens has been to her critical work as both reader and scholar of American poetry. Vendler's contribution to the world of Stevens readers as well as to all poetry readers is undeniably immense. She has published dozens of critical studies and edited several important popular anthologies. Yet as Bart Eeckhout's contribution here notes, "this special issue is not primarily a festschrift, however, but a scholarly attempt at continuing a critical dialogue along the lines of inspiration drawn by Vendler."
  • Issue Number Volume 33 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The less legible meanings of sounds, the little reds
Not often realized, the lighter words
In the heavy drum of speech, the inner men
Behind the outer shields, the sheets of music
In the strokes of thunder, dead candles at the window
When day comes, fire-foams in the motions of the sea
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  • Issue Number Volume 36 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
In the poem “A Figure Half Seen,” published in the latest issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal, Dennis Barone writes that, when Wallace Stevens left an exhibition of the work of the artist Jean Arp,
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  • Issue Number Volume 40 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) is getting a lot of attention lately in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper’s and other publications featuring reviews of Paul Mariani’s book The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevens. So what better time to check out The Wallace Stevens Society’s publication titled—you guessed it—The Wallace Stevens Review, which not surprisingly carries a review of Mariani’s book.

  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date Summer 2003
Though this is the summer issue of Washington Square, its fiction and poetry is pervaded by cool autumnal temperatures. The six artful stories here, while engaging the reader in the indefinable dramas of urban singles or the troubled lives of the patrons in an Amsterdam pub, tend to maintain an impassivity that is eerily uniform. For the most part, these characters seem to have mastered an air of indifference toward their world.
  • Subtitle Inaugural International Edition
  • Issue Number Issue 18
  • Published Date Summer 2006
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Washington Square is edited by students in the New York University Graduate Creative Writing Program, which includes among its faculty members E. L. Doctorow and Philip Levine. This issue contains work by writers of sometimes dual national backgrounds, among them Kurdistan, Romania, Australia, India/Hong Kong, England, Bulgaria, Japan/Germany, Lebanon/France, Spain (Kirmen Uribe of the Basque region), Palestine/USA, Palestine, and USA—fitting for an issue proclaiming itself the Inaugural International Edition.
  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The Table of Contents had me pretty excited: poems from John Yau, Molly Peacock, and Paul Muldoon (among many others); fiction from Steve Almond; a “conversation” between Alice Quinn and Adam Zagajewski. And the issue lives up to these names’ promise, but I was just as excited by the work of those whose names I did not immediately recognize: Suzanne Buffam, whose translation of Paul Eluard’s poem “Pour Vivre Ici” matches the original’s deceptive simplicity syllable for syllable (“Like the dead I had but one element”); a sardonic epistolary short story by Rudolph Delson, “An Open Letter to John E. Potter, Postmaster General,” comparing his Van Brunt postal station to the far superior Park Slope station; an amazing portfolio of black and white drawings, so different from each other it’s hard to believe they were done by the same artist, Andres Guzman, a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and a lyric of taut little quatrains, “Sabina,” by Olivia Clark.
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  • Published Date Summer/Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The cover art of this issue is from Dan Hillier’s collection of altered engravings, four which appear inside the magazine. Hillier’s pictures are odd, collaging the real with the imagined. Many of his engraving show humans with animal features. For example, the engraving on the cover depicts a woman in Victorian dress whose skirts branch out into octopus tentacles. This weirdness seems intentional and thematic for the issue as a whole.
  • Issue Number Volume 30 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
For their 30th anniversary edition, Watershed’s editors decided to choose one selection from each of the years 1977-2007 and arrange these selections in chronological order. While reading these pieces, I traveled both through the history of Watershed and also through the history of our nation and the world. Many – though definitely not all – of the poems respond to or refer to current events. For example, Greg Rappleye’s “Letters to Yeltsin” is a response to NPR’s statement that Boris Yeltsin suffers from weariness: “Word arrives in the steamy depths / of the American summer, / the torpor so general / I cannot rise from my couch. / I share your struggles, comrade.”
  • Issue Number Volume 33
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
California State University’s student-edited journal Watershed is cohesive in its content and approachable in its length. This collection of poetry, prose and photography centers itself around recollections of childhood and of family, bringing the past and present together—illustrating through apt detail the way people live, work and connect with one another. While slim, only 66 pages, it shouldn’t be rushed.
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  • Issue Number Issue 3 Number 1
  • Published Date 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Watershed leans in the environmental direction, at least in this issue. Given that it’s a journal celebrating the Susquehanna Watershed, this makes sense. The issue includes poetry, narrative nonfiction, and an oral history focused on contemporary Native Americans living in Pennsylvania, a state that doesn’t currently recognize any existing Indian tribes within its borders (yes, there’s some bitterness there, as expected). Black and white photos dress up the text of this slim volume.
  • Issue Number Volume 9
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Water-Stone Review is a veritable kaleidoscope, spawning with colors to amaze your keen literary eye. Plus it offers a smattering of striking, disciplined photographs that capture a specific subject very poetically – such as a pink bed, clothes on a mattress, a boy staring, a man posing on a rock, paper on fire – all ordinary scenes captured in an extraordinary way, enhancing the mystique of this volume.
  • Issue Number Volume 12
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Named after the Philosopher’s stone used in alchemy to create gold and unite matter and spirit, the Water-Stone Review does exactly what its name suggests – with paper and ink, it unites language and soul, words and spirit. This multi-genre review is diverse, fresh, artful, and exceptionally crafted. At the risk of sounding the fluff alarm, I have to say that the Water-Stone Review is truly golden.
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  • Issue Number Volume 18
  • Published Date 2015
  • Publication Cycle Annual

If I had to pick one word to describe Water~Stone Review #18 it would be: Story. Regardless of genre, nearly every piece in this issue has some sense of narrative, of back story, of foreshadowing; there are stories told to us, shown through careful detail, and trolled through symbolic imagery by the many authors in this hefty annual—which is a factor also worth note. The editors of Water~Stone have a unique sensibility in their selections as an annual publication. It’s almost a shame from the review standpoint to have to read the entire publication in a short period of time, because I felt I should slow down and let each piece sink in before moving on and, in some cases, reread and re-reread works that deserve the attention—even with so much new waiting to be read. That speaks to good submissions as well as good editing in selection.

  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
An unpretentious magazine like Weave might be overlooked for its small, chapbook style format, but to pass this issue by would be a mistake of literary consequence. Subtitled “Writing •Art • Diversity • Community,” the editors of Weave could not have thought of anything better than these words, for they are all to be found within the magazine’s covers.
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  • Issue Number Issue 6
  • Published Date June 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
When I received my stack of magazines to review this month, Weave felt the best in my hands. It’s a smaller journal, thin and light-weight, but that’s not all that separates it from “the big boys.” Weave opens its sixth issue with a stitched in supplement called The Clothesline. Here’s what founding editor Laura E. Davis has to say about it:
  • Subtitle The Contemporary West
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  • Issue Number Volume 33 Number 2
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Weber: The Contemporary West, published by Weber State University, highlights literary and artistic talents from its home state of Utah and along the Wasatch mountain range. Among outstanding work included in this season’s issue is David Lee’s lengthy poem, “Postmortem: After the Obsequies,” which blew me away.

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  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date June 2016
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online

weirderary is that kid in high school who, when called weird, would smile proudly and say, “Thanks.” weirderary is the weird things you do at home when you think no one’s watching. weirderary is exactly the kind of read I’ve been looking for.

Sitting down with a hot mug of coffee and looking at the landscape-style, bright green literary magazine sitting flat on the table in front of me, my first thought was, I hope I don't stain this. My second thought on the cover, after having read through the pages between the two covers, was that the content was just as strange and delightful. Well, most of it. Some of it was more strange than delightful, and some more delightful than strange. Still, I'm glad I didn't stain it.
There is only one word for this journal: superb. This fall/winter issue features a dazzling array of top-notch poetry that includes Matt Zambito’s “The Word on the Street,” John Surowiecki’s “Imaginary Seascape with Literary Orphans” who “dream of making sail / for some island where they’ll find no word / for themselves and where the most valuable gift / anyone can give them is indifference,” Nancy Van Winckel’s “The Very Monday,” and many, many others.
  • Issue Number Number 57
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2005
  • Publication Cycle Annual
West Branch, published by Bucknell University's prestigious Stadler Center for Poetry, isn't a poetry journal, but poetry clearly lies at the heart of its editorial tastes. Clocking in at 134 pages and cloaked in a vibrant, gorgeously weathered oil painting cover, this issue boasts 19 poems, 4 stories, one essay, 2 book reviews and 2 translations. The nonfiction is a transcribed lecture, "On Sentimentality," delivered at Vermont College in 1994 by poet Mary Ruefle—literary minutia to some, but likely many poets' bread and butter
  • Issue Number Number 65
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of West Branch contains a single piece each of fiction and nonfiction, and the work of eighteen poets. To begin, this excerpt of Kelle Groom’s nonfiction manuscript City of Shoes is particularly frantic and gripping. Groom – a mother who gave her son up for adoption – yearns for her now-dead and buried boy with a childlike fear of loss and faith in re-finding. She asks her own father, “‘Can we go to Brockton today, to Tommy’s cemetery?’ I wouldn’t say grave.” Her father resists, worried (Groom thinks) that in asking the adoptive parents for directions, “We’ll remind them I gave them Tommy, and Tommy died.”
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  • Issue Number Number 67
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
A terrific issue! Strong, memorable poems, including translations from the Italian by Martha Cooley and Antonio Romani of the work of Gianpiero Neri; a great essay by Katie Ford “Writing About the City: New Orleans, Destruction, and the Duty of the Poet”; a satisfying story by Urban Waite, “No One Heard a Thing in the Night the Chicken Died”; thoughtful book reviews; and Garth Greenwell’s “To a Green Thought” essay, this issue’s “Marginalia,” one of the journal’s most original and appealing features, which focuses this time on recordings of poems.
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  • Issue Number Number 69
  • Published Date Fall/Winter 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
West Branch, the semiannual publication from Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry, features twenty of today’s hottest writers in its Fall/Winter 2011 issue. The literary journal “takes pride in its openness to a wide range of literary styles and in its pairing of new and established voices,” and this issue is no exception. Featured within are nineteen poems, four short stories, one nonfiction piece, and one translated work, all showcasing the publication’s literary range. Also included are eleven book reviews and recommendations from the editors, a regular feature of West Branch.
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  • Issue Number Number 73
  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Two strains run through this issue of West Branch: personal interiority and power. Most of the poems, with nonlinear narratives, seemingly unrelated images, and a variety of traditional and more unorthodox forms, are concerned with the former. It’s harder for these private and original forms to reach the reader, and so I find myself more interested in the latter theme explored in this issue: what happens when people become aware of their relative weakness in the world they live in.
  • Issue Number Number 56
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The poets of West Branch have something to say, and though the imagery may be beautiful and the lines carefully crafted, there is nothing excessive, artsy, or difficult for difficulty's sake. This observation hit me as I read Yona Harvey's wonderful "Turquoise," in which the poet bluntly tells a young female student that "wearing turquoise jewelry & Frida Kahlo skirts / doesn't make women artists."
  • Issue Number Number 62
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
West Branch is the semiannual poetry publication of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, though the journal does not restrict itself to poetry. This issue’s prose includes a beautiful essay by J. Malcolm García, and a short story by Christopher Torockio. García’s contribution, “A Good Life, Cowboy,” is the story of his saving a puppy in Afghanistan from a deadly, staged dogfight. As a journalist, García has a reporter’s eye for detail. As an essayist, he has a creative nonfiction writer’s gift for pace and timing. Torockio’s story, “Weights,” is a family story told in the authentic and appealing voice of a teen-aged boy, the kind of sturdy, traditional narrative that can be extremely satisfying. Torockio, happily, has a book of short stories coming out soon from Carnegie Mellon.
  • Issue Number Number 64
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
It’s the range – and, in some cases, the combination – of tones, voices, and diction that make this issue of West Branch exciting. Poems from Christopher Weese’s series “Marvels” will help me illustrate my point about diction. Here is an excerpt from XXII:
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  • Issue Number Number 78
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2015
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
West Branch is back with another issue and deserves the attention generally reserved for a select few. Editor G.C. Waldrep and his staff consistently serve up some great writing, and their latest installment is no different.
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  • Issue Number Volume 3
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Ah, Marin, county of my heart. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge north from San Francisco, veer west toward the ocean, and keep driving through oaks, hill country, and sea. Who wouldn’t love its rural beauty, or the loyalty to earth and humanity of the independent souls who choose to live there? The bio of Catherine David, whose delightful short essay “Amateurs are First-Rate Lovers” opens this issue of West Marin Review, identifies her as “an artist, journalist, and pianist living in Paris who visits West Marin whenever she can.” That love of place, that desire to be in this land of “seashore and woodland” infuses every work of word or art in this fine book.
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  • Issue Number Volume 5
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Annual
I ended the review I wrote of West Marin Review 3 (2010) by saying I loved everything in it, even the ads, and I still do, so I will spend the first of my 25-or-so sentences here extolling the commercial plugs in Issue 5 as well: “Spirit Matters: [A Store Providing] Oddities and Deities in the Heart of Inverness Park”; the Point Reyes Music Center, where “Your creativity is our business”; “Flower Power Home and Garden,” with its whimsical blossomy heifer logo;
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  • Issue Number Volume 6
  • Published Date 2015
  • Publication Cycle Annual

West Marin Review’s 2015 issue Editor’s Note draws attention to the journal’s lack of overall theme, though readers will quickly see Volume 6 is tied together by the social climate and by strong, absorbing writing, with lots to love in both poetry and prose.

Let me tangle
  • Issue Number Volume 3
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
“A literary journal from the Hudson to the Sound” (that’s the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound in New York, where Westchester County is located. These suburban communities make up one of the wealthiest counties in the country, bordering one of the poorest). The annual invites submissions from writers living, working, or studying in Westchester. I hadn’t heard of any of this year’s contributors, but it’s clearly my own limitation, not their lack of credentials. About half of the issue’s writers have published a great deal, including poet Llyn Clague of Hastings-on-Hudson whose fourth book is just out; Kevin Kegan of White Plains whose published five novels; David Hellerstein of Larchmont, a physician and writer whose essay collection will be published by Kent State University Press; poet Joe Landau of New Rochelle, whose third book is due out this year; Boria Sax, author of numerous volumes; poet Rachel M. Simon, whose Theory of Orange won the Transcontinental Prize from Pavement Saw Press; and Mark Wisniewski, whose fiction has appeared in such prestigious journals as Poetry, TriQuarterly Review, and Southern Review and appeared in Best American Short Stories 2008.
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  • Issue Number Volume 7
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Writing is ordinarily a solitary pursuit, but the result of all that lonely work makes us part of a proud community. The Westchester Review takes the concept of community very seriously, collecting the poetry and prose composed by “established and emerging writers living, working, or studying in New York State’s Westchester County area.” Founder JoAnn Duncan Terdiman and managing editor Naomi L. Lipman tap a deep pool of talent, offering us some very good work that manages to transcend the geographic limits of its submissions policy.
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  • Issue Number Volume 47 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Western American Literature, currently housed at Utah State University but seeking a new institutional home, regularly publishes ten or so book reviews plus three or four critical essays on the culture of the American West in each quarterly issue, to an audience focused on critical analysis of the literature and culture of the American West. No fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction is presented here.
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  • Issue Number Volume 51 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

After reading the Fall 2016 issue, I can certainly see why the Western American Literature magazine is a “leading peer-reviewed journal in the literary and cultural study of the North American West.” This magazine provides a wealth of information, such as studies on emerging authors, a collection of book reviews, and essays that analyze literature or new theoretical approaches in literature about the American West.

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  • Issue Number Volume 45 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Published quarterly by the Western Literature Association at Utah State University, Western American Literature is a small scholarly journal with critical articles on “any aspect of literature of the American West,” book reviews, and artwork (reproduced in black and white) related to the region. This issue is comprised of three essays, Katie O. Arosteguy’s deconstruction of the myth of the cowboy in Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Stories; Kirsten Mollegaard’s analysis of Louis Sachar’s Holes; “Down the Santa Fe Trail to the City Upon a Hill,” by Andrew Menard, a consideration of the city of Santa Fe in American literature; 18 short reviews of works of criticism, fiction, and creative nonfiction; and paintings, photographs, and drawings by 9 artists.
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  • Issue Number Volume 66 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Western Humanities Review is the literary journal of the University of Utah’s Department of English. This special issue, the product of collaboration between the Western Humanities Association (WHA) and the University of California Global Health Institute Center for Expertise in Women’s Health and Empowerment (CEWHE), “represents the intellectual work of contributors as well as the exchanges and discussions at both the annual WHA conference meeting [and] CEWHE colloquia seminars.” There is no fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry in this issue. Instead, five scholarly essays discuss “the intersection of women’s empowerment, health rights . . . and new science and technologies that are transforming health and health-care in an increasingly globalized world.” Singly and collectively, these arguments are consummate examples of passionate, knowledgeable, logically persuasive prose. The attentive reader is well repaid for her diligence with timely interrogations of political, economic, and ideological assumptions driving global programs allegedly dedicated to women’s empowerment and health.
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  • Issue Number Volume 64 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
When I read for pleasure I want to be transported to another place: another world, another time, another headspace. But it is a particular treat when I am able to get a fresh perspective on the art of writing and storytelling itself.
  • Issue Number Volume 61 Number 1
  • Published Date Winter 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

A rich, resonant read, WHR’s academic foundations are never far from the surface. I’m torn between wanting them to be flaunted shamelessly, and keeping it in check with a list of self-conscious characters (character formation found, it seems, in the world of realism). In both cases, the world is defined by a set of objects; for example, DaVinci = academic; Guns n’ Roses = quotidian.

  • Issue Number Volume 63 Number 1
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“This issue of WHR brings together several papers from ‘Critical Renovations,’ a symposium held at the University of Utah in November 2007. The symposium invited scholars of English working in a wide range of periods, genres, and media to reflect on, revisit, and perhaps recycle our scholarly past.” Hold onto your hat. Here comes some serious lit crit, cultural studies, scholarly stuff. I mean I. A. Richards, and Eve Sedgewick, and Saussure, and Leo Spitzer, and Ortega y Gasset, and Fredric Jameson, and Paul de Man. I mean “critical gestures,” and an “oblique gloss” on methodological problems, and “developmentalist narratives.” But, don’t despair! There’s something valuable in every one of these dense, academic essays.
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  • Issue Number Issue 58
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Whiskey Island is a good one. In fact, it inspired me to buy a subscription to the magazine. And I'm stingy, so that should tell you a lot.
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  • Issue Number Issue 62
  • Published Date 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Whiskey Island is the literary magazine of Cleveland State University, and, according to their website, the name comes from a neighboring peninsula that has gone through several metamorphoses over the years: “it has been a dump, a US Coast Guard Station, a ship graveyard, and a predominantly Irish immigrant shanty town.” This peninsula now shares the name with a magazine that is rich with strong fiction and poetry.
  • Issue Number Issue 2
  • Published Date Summer 2007
White Chimney – “The Creative Arts Journal” – hails from England. The slim, magazine-size, thirty-page journal packs a punch. The cover art, by Christophe Reme, harks back slightly to the psychedelic sixties’ art, with fantastic smoke emerging from a building, and skulls peering from a cloud; bare trees in the foreground, jagged hills in the background – an incongruous yet interesting rendering that mimics the variety in this journal. It contains two literary interviews, six drawings or photographs, seven poems, and six short stories – my personal high point. The art is first-rate – engaging and well-chosen. Margaret Murphy, a crime-fiction writer, and the poet Jacob Sam La Rose, are both interviewed capably by Caroline England and Chishimba Chisala.
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  • Issue Number Issue 10
  • Publication Cycle Annual
If you hadn’t considered traveling to New Zealand, White Fungus will make you want to go. Not because this New Zealand-based magazine provides a picture of the landscape, though the cover is a lovely and unconventional painting of flowers in the park at Wellington, Aotearoa; and not because the inside cover graphic depicts the ocean in its sparkling turquoise glory; and not because the many ads for art galleries show that the visual arts are flourishing there. But because the poems, interviews, fiction, and essays here will let you know that New Zealand is a place for serious thinking about politics, cultural realities, social dilemmas, historical realities, the arts, and the power of language to render these subjects with a kind of dynamism and urgency that can often be missing in literature as in life. (And the design and graphics are terrific, too.)
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Issue 1
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“Our goal is to add a new voice to the increasingly sprawling network of artists and writers in the interior American West and beyond, wrap it up in mountain culture, and do it even though it doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons,” explains editor Brian Schott in this journal from Montana. One of the journal’s most appealing aspects for readers, and most useful for writers, is to publish excerpts of forthcoming and unpublished full-length works: passages from a new book of creative nonfiction by writer and filmmaker Annick Smith, Crossing the Plains with Bruno; excerpts from a new work of nonfiction, Why I Came West, by Rick Bass, whose work here is preceded by a brief interview; and a segment from an unpublished novel by J.R. Satterfield Jr. titled Soon You Will Cry. I am looking forward especially to Smith’s book on Bruno, her Labrador retriever, and also to Why I Came West. Bass is at his best, I think, when he brings together his considerable talent for storytelling with his keen observations of place and the social conditions that inform it.
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  • Issue Number Volume 6 Issue 1
  • Published Date Summer 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Whitefish Review takes their readers away from the comforts of civilization and into the wilderness with this issue. Editors Cristina Eisenberg and Brian Schott made a call for submissions that “explore the untamable and wild in astonishing ways.” Over 40 writers, artists, and photographers answered this call, offering literature and art that “explores wildness in all its incarnations and paradoxes.”
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  • Issue Number Volume 8 Number 1
  • Published Date Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Whitefish Review carries a constant byline of “Art, Literature, Photography.” This particular issue carried a special theme of “fire,” and some of its words will continue to smolder inside me for a long time. Poetry, fiction, and visual imagery all have some very bright spots, but the nonfiction entries take the cake! Every page felt like it was making the most of itself to give pertinent information while remaining entertaining.
  • Issue Number Volume 3 Issue 2
  • Published Date Winter 2009-10
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Big skies. Big mountains. Big bears. Whitefish Review is an ambitious magazine that operates out of Whitefish, Montana, a place of natural beauty and wonder, harsh winters, and glorious summers. The magazine’s mission is to give its readers a hearty dose of mountain culture and an appreciation of the natural world. Whitefish Review publishes emerging and established writers, as well as art, essays, interviews, and book excerpts, and the work featured in its pages is mostly concerned with nature and our place in it. Montana is a place of stark beauty, and Whitefish Review seeks to explore and emulate this type of beauty. It is both rustic and thoughtful.
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  • Issue Number Volume 5 Issue 2
  • Published Date Winter 2011/2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The subtitle on the moonlit cover of this issue is “Illumination from the Mountains.” If you’re from the West (Whitefish is in the northwest corner of Montana), if you love mountains, if you’re not afraid of a worldview from the rougher edge of the country, this is a magazine for you. Look for “illumination” throughout.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online

After a brief interview with Denise Frohman and a note from Women of the World Poetry Slam Host City Chair, Wicked Banshee Press (a brand new online journal) plunges right into the poetry, and it doesn’t fool around with any feet-wetting. The very first poem sends a strong emotional sting with Tara Betts’s “Throwing Away a Wedding Dress.” Describing it as “dented and dew-dotted, dried / fondant, crumbling and collapsed / in loose folds,” a metaphor for the entire marriage.

  • Published Date December 2009
  • Publication Cycle Weekly
This lit mag specializes in flash fiction and publishes stories on a regular basis nine months of the year. Then they publish their Top 50 selections: fifty short fictions that come from other journals. Several editors from Wigleaf routinely monitor what is being published throughout the country, select the two hundred they like best, and send these stories to another editor who chooses the fifty he judges to be the best of the best. A wearying process to be sure, but it makes for some great reading.
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  • Issue Number Issue 5
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
“Animals take center stage in this fifth issue of Wild Apples,” writes Linda Hoffman, the founding editor of the journal. Humans are a part of this issue too, but more precisely the pieces are about how we fit into the animal world—and even how the animal world fits into us. (In some cases, literally; in “The Animals Within Us,” Greg Lowenberg discloses that four hundred species of parasites live in and on us, including our intestinal tracts.) Thus, the interconnection between humans and other creatures becomes the thematic thread that strings together all the pieces in this issue.
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  • Issue Number Number 14
  • Published Date 2010
Willard and Maple is a literary and art magazine produced by Champlain College.
This thin, glossy little number could fairly be classified as Eye Candy. With full-color art to accompany each piece of literature, it is nothing short of visually stunning. From the dramatically minimalist black and white photography of Neila Kun to the evocative oils of Sergei Silverbeer, the artwork represented here is expansive enough to serve as anyone’s cup of tea. Where literature is concerned, there is a fair mix of quality poetry and prose, tending somewhat toward the scholarly (this is not a market for wildly free-form, experimental verse). 
  • Issue Number Issue 60
  • Published Date Fall 2007
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Willow Springs combines accessible poetry, flash fiction, and a couple great interviews into one volume. I think the tea cup on the cover is symbolic: one could sit down with this journal and tea and finish them both at the same time. Maybe this is a little bit of an exaggeration – the tea might be cold at the end of the volume – but these great poems and stories fly by, one after another.
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  • Issue Number Issue 66
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Willow Spring’s Fall issue’s centerpiece is the Fiction Prize winner “Color by Numbers” by Stacia Saint Owens, the tale of parallel lives with divergent destinies, recounted in parallel columns that merge and then separate again. It’s an effective and appropriate form and an emotionally challenging piece. A long interview “conversation” (multiple questioners) with fiction writer and journalist Jess Walter takes up much of the rest of the issue. Walter is adamant that reports of narrative’s demise are dead wrong, everyone yearns for story, and he’s thoughtful and articulate about his own plots, devices, and creative tendencies.
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  • Issue Number Issue 68
  • Published Date Fall 2011
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Willow Springs Issue 68 is a meal. Maybe a sandwich. But maybe that metaphor is too old. Let’s say lasagna, poetry stuffed between layers of prose, topped with a melted interview. Willow Springs fills you up with poems by Dexter L. Booth, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, and Nance Van Winckel among many others, prose from Clare Beams, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, Jill Christman, and Sarah Hulse, and a conversation with Richard Russo.
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  • Issue Number Issue 70
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Having somehow never heard of Willow Springs prior to this issue arriving on my doorstep, I was excited by the caliber of the authors listed on the cover: Amorak Huey, Kathryn Nuernberger, Roxane Gay, and even an interview with one of my all-time favorites, Tim O’Brien!
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  • Issue Number Number 72
  • Published Date Fall 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Willow Springs is a long-standing literary magazine, publishing works by well-known and up-and-coming writers alike for the past 30 years. The first thing that struck me when I began reading it was that there was not a specific theme noted anywhere or an editor’s note. While the magazine’s goal is to “engage its audience in an ongoing discussion of art, ideas, and what it means to be human,” this is a very general goal that can go in a number of directions. While it isn’t necessary to have a theme, the individual pieces themselves work together in a way to create themes in the reader’s mind; the one that stood out to me was of the things inside us—the hidden talents we aren’t aware of; the twisted desires we will never admit; the work of art we haven’t unlocked.
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  • Issue Number Volume 1 Issue 74
  • Published Date Fall 2014
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Willow Springs has a thirty-year tradition of publishing fine contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. With this edition, the tradition continues with an impressive body of work. This is a strategically compiled collection, replete with recurring thematic and structural patterns. A striking feature in the issue is Jeffrey Bean’s series of “Voyeur” poems. The pieces, which comprise this series, are interspersed throughout the issue, presenting the speaker as voyeur. But his voice is not menacing or threatening. Instead, it is a gentle voice of longing and inquiry.
  • Issue Number Issue 63
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Where have I been for the past thirty years? The older I get the more frequently I find myself stunned by the breadth and depth of my absolute cluelessness. Not knowing about Willow Springs is definitely my latest admonishment. If issue 63 is any indication, Willow Springs’s thirty year publishing history is hard earned and well deserved; from cover to cover, the work in this issue is above and beyond.
  • Subtitle A Journal of Christian Literature
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  • Issue Number Volume 17
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Take note of the subtitle of Windhover. If you’re not a Christian, or if you don’t entertain at least a little curiosity about the claims of the Christian world regarding the salvific message and death-into-life of what Brian Doyle calls “that gaunt rabbi from Jerusalem two thousand years ago,” this may not be the journal for you. Every poem (there are thirty), prose piece (three, and two reviews) and work of art (several color reproductions by each of two impressive visual artists) requires at least some familiarity with the Biblical and cultural roots of Christian thought. Allusions to the life and teachings of Christ and to the tension inherent in faithful living abound in this issue. If you grok these allusions, this journal is an absolute treasure. If you don’t, you might be confused—or you might become a seeker, wandering a step or two toward conversion.
Witness runs a lot of issues with political themes; the theme of this issue was “Ethnic America,” and contributors like Naomi Shahib Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, and Bib Hicok examine the lives of immigrants, of outcasts, of refugees, and of the assimilation of individual cultures. The history of American diversity has not been a happy one, and this issue takes an unflinching look the past and current realities of that diversity.
  • Issue Number Volume 14
  • Published Date 2005
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This issue of Witness focuses on “childhood in America,” a theme richly explored in an impressive selection of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and photography. Much of the work concentrates on transformative moments in childhood—first experiences with death, desire, and discovering the limitations of adult figures—and sketching American landscapes: Maxine Kumin’s Philadelphia corset shop, Lawrence Raab’s nature camp, and the agonizingly familiar territory of high school.
  • Issue Number Volume 21
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
With the tagline “The Modern Writer as Witness,” this publication assembles work by authors from the U.S., South America, Korea, Vietnam and a 10th-century Jewish poet from Muslim Spain.
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  • Issue Number Volume 23
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku’s poem, “After the Evening Movie,” ably translated by Shpresa Qatipi and Henry Israeli, is not part of the issue’s “portfolio” segment (“Captured: Writing About Film and Photograph”), but part of what editor Amber Withycombe defines as the issue’s “adventurous general work.” But, it’s clearly no accident that a poem about the movies opens this volume of what has been for as long as I can remember, in my view, one of this country’s most underappreciated literary magazines.
  • Subtitle The Magazine of the Black Mountains Institute
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  • Issue Number Volume 25 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
Witness is, according to the editors, “an internationally recognized journal that blends the features of a literary and an issue-oriented magazine to highlight the role of the modern writer as witness to his or her times.” A publication of the Black Mountain Institute of the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, “an international literary center dedicated to promoting discourse on today’s most pressing issues,” this issue’s theme is “Disaster.” As the description suggests, the magazine is provocatively responsible (yes! one can be both!), of consistently high quality, and, in this issue, ruthless. The world is more full of disaster than you might want to know.
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  • Issue Number Volume 26 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2013
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Redemption is at the heart of Witness magazine’s latest issue: “Heavy with religious and secular meaning, weighted with emotion, and anchored in morality, redemption is a frequent theme in literature.” This vast theme is examined and exposed in this offering of stories, poems, and essays from an award-winning literary journal.
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  • Issue Number Volume 30 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2017
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Chaos is the theme of this year’s issue of Witness, and there is plenty of it going on. Start with cover photos by Alexandre Nodopaka, who interprets the chaos of the cosmos. Artists use all sorts of unexpected media, but Nodopaka looks no further than a parking lot surface underfoot to discover “cosmic inspiration in seagull guano.” He states, “The guano, in their ethereal impacts on the macadam, up close, portray the likeliness of astronomical photographs of the heavens.” A series of his “highly light-contrasted” photos, some resembling Rorschach tests, are featured within.

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  • Issue Number Volume 1 Issue 1
  • Published Date Winter 2011
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Women Arts Quarterly launches its slender first issue with poetry by Julia Gordon-Bramer and Kelli Allen, a novel excerpt by Jacinda Townsend, nonfiction by Beth McConaghy, an interview with violist Kim Kashkashian, artwork by Ellen Baird and Vanessa Woods, and a music review. The journal “aspires to nurture, provide support, and challenge women of all cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and abilities in their role in the arts and seeks to heighten awareness and understanding of the achievements of women creators, providing audiences with historical and contemporary examples of the work of women writers, composers, and artists.” The inclusion of work about and by composers is unusual and does distinguish WAQ from other publications.
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  • Issue Number Volume 4 Issue 1
  • Published Date 2014
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
WomenArts Quarterly Journal is a peer-reviewed journal published at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is part of the Women in the Arts organization. It publishes a collection of poetry, interviews, and reviews, all created by women, in virtually any field of art.
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  • Issue Number Volume 6 Issue 4
  • Published Date 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

To wrap up 2016, WomenArts Quarterly Journal decided to run an Editors’ Choice issue of the best pieces published in recent years. Among those chosen are two fictions, Midge Raymond’s “Side Effects” and Stephanie Selander’s “The Exchange.” These women couldn’t be more effective in their storytelling.

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  • Issue Number Volume 31 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date 2010
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The Worcester Review (published and edited out of Worcester, Massachusetts) is a bit of a rare bird, regularly combining a “regional” focus with a “Feature Section” on a particular poet of interest with Worcester area ties. This latest issue is a definite delight for readers interested in the poet Charles Olson. While this is not the only worthwhile aspect, it remains the key element which lifts the whole of The Worcester Review above the fray distinguishing it from similar literary reviews published this last year.
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  • Issue Number Issue 13
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

With so much to do in a day and so much to read in a lifetime, I always appreciate a little magazine that I can read in one sitting or fit into the straining seams of my bag. Word Fountain fulfilled my little lit mag needs, the Spring/Summer 2017 Issue a 50-page companion I carried with me for the past week. Produced by the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre, PA, each issue makes sure to feature a portion of regional writers, seven of whom are in this edition.

  • Published Date March 2009
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
This issue has so many good stories, it is a shame that only a few can be singled out. Most interesting perhaps is “An Honest Man” by Doug Rudoff, which begins, “The first thing you should know is that everything that I write here is a lie.” The author then takes us on the journey of a young boy’s life in Mexico, some of which is supposedly true, but we’re never sure what. Another engaging story is “Blink” by Chuck Campbell, about an eighty-one year old widower, his stubbornness, his relationship with his son, and the man’s eroding ability to separate fact from fantasy.
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  • Published Date February 2016
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online
For ten years, Words Without Borders has been publishing an annual graphic novel issue each February. According to Editorial Director Susan Harris in “Graphic Novels at WWB: The First Ten Years,” this issue brings the amount of graphic works on the site to a whopping 174. A link to the entire graphic archive is provided, and after reading this issue, readers won’t be able to resist diving in.
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  • Issue Number Issue 8
  • Published Date June 2012
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Attempting to chronicle a war is a massive literary undertaking, but trying to piece together a cohesive narrative about a half dozen or so combat zones from the poems and short stories of 17 different authors sounds like, well, hell. I’m a Vietnam-Era veteran, and even though I was never in combat, I was close enough to it to know that literature rarely captures the truths of war and the combat zone.
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  • Issue Number Volume 84 Number 1
  • Published Date January-February 2010
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly
Putting together a journal on literature from across the world would be a daunting task, but the editors of World Literature Today have pulled it off wonderfully in the January-February 2010 edition. The journal’s international scope is clear from the cover, which announces its two special sections – one on Taiwanese literature, another on Korean – as well as introducing a poet from El Salvador. The journal further contains an essay from a Croatian writer and Mayan poems, with the Mayan and Spanish versions included with the English translation. A pair of Irish poems and an excerpt from US author David Shields’s forthcoming book round out the range of nations represented here.
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  • Issue Number Volume 86 Number 1
  • Published Date January/February 2012
  • Publication Cycle monthly
In her acceptance speech for the 2011 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, Virginia Euwer Wolff emphasized an enduring dialectic of human existence. She juxtaposed Homo sapiens and Homo ludens—what she described as “man the thoughtful and man the playful.” Daniel Simon picks up this pairing, in his editorial introduction to the January/February issue of World Literature Today, and uses it to frame to the experience of literature, play, identity, and thought—themes central to the work in this issue of WLT. Somewhere within Zapotec poetry, Burmese poetry, notes about post-Fukushima Japanese literature, interviews and book reviews, the reader is reminded that the shared experience of poetry and literature between and across culture ought to be beautiful and mindful.
  • Issue Number Volume 82 Number 4
  • Published Date July/August 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
“Literature Goes Green” is the theme of this issue of WLT, with Laird Christensen’s essay, “Writing Home in a Global Age,” setting a pivotal tone. In it, he comments on the contemporary writer’s focus on local place when there are many more global issues at hand that need our attention. Bill McKibben, for example, has gone local while the rest of us are just now ‘getting it’ – the alarm of global concern he sounded two decades ago in his book The End of Nature. Christensen argues that this more microscopic shift is necessary, brought on by our own “voluntary placelessness in removing ourselves from the land and how we see the bioregion in which we live.” This lack of connection to place has allowed us to treat that which sustains us so poorly. With no sense of place, we have no sense of responsibility. Yet, this local literature is often treated as second-rate. Christensen counters this attitude: “The bulk of place-based writing, no matter how local, deals in universals, for we are all in desperate need of examples that show us how to belong.” This essay, as well as the whole issue, would be a powerful addition to any curriculum that includes nature, environmental, or place-based writing.
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  • Issue Number Volume 87 Number 2
  • Published Date March/April 2013
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly
World Literature Today always packs an exciting table of contents, one that makes me want to spring up off my couch and catch the first international flight. I see the shining achievement of WLT in the editors’ ability to balance what is innovative and cutting edge with what is well established and relevant. Its unique content distinguishes it from most mainstream literary magazines, giving it vitality and spunk. This special double issue treats photography as a modern narrative form. Featuring twenty-one photographers, the spread beautifully illuminates many intersections between literature and photography.
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  • Published Date March/April 2017
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly

World Literature Today certainly lives up to its name, containing amazing pieces of literature from all over the world. This particular issue focuses on Dystopian Visions and the country of Montenegro, but also contains fiction, essays, nonfiction, reviews, and poetry from other countries, with many of the pieces translated from their original language to English.

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  • Issue Number Volume 89 Numbers 3-4
  • Published Date May-August 2015
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly
The current issue of World Literature Today is a double issue that assures us a broader variety than usual. The expected material is itself several evenings of very enjoyable reading, but the content of this issue does literally have something for everyone. And there’s far more than a short review can hope to do justice, even without examples and quotes.
  • Issue Number Volume 83 Number 3
  • Published Date May-June 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Newspapers everywhere are disappearing. Magazines are closing shop. The New York Times is consolidating sections, no more “Escapes,” no more Sunday “City.” Yet, somehow, WLT, as gorgeous as always, manages to survive into its eighty-third year with as expansive and broad a vision as ever. The first eighty years (way back to when WLT was Books Abroad!) will soon be available online through JSTOR. So, now we have the best of both worlds.
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  • Issue Number Volume 84 Number 6
  • Published Date November-December 2010
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly
Every glorious issue of World Literature Today is an argument for print! There is simply no way to duplicate the experience as cyber reading. This is not to say that you might not want to try “Zinio,” the virtual magazine-reading option for WLT. But, for my money (and it’s only $4.95 on the newsstand!) there is no way it could duplicate the feel of the glossy paper, the vibrancy of the large and small format color and black and white photos, the clarity of the illustrations (maps), or the smartly designed pages. This issue’s special section is on India, and the gorgeous, beautifully reproduced full-color, full-bleed photograph that opens the section, “Girl in Red Slippers by the Blue Door,” the work of guest editor and poet Sudeep Sen of New Dehli, is hard to picture on a small screen.
  • Issue Number Volume 81 Number 5
  • Published Date September-October 2007
  • Publication Cycle Bimonthly
World Literature Today, published by the University of Oklahoma-Norman, is international in scope, focusing on languages and cultures worldwide. It ambitiously considers the ways in which language and art are defined by culture, emphasizing that our own culture can only be enriched by exposure to others. In this way, it speaks against xenophobia, not through polemics but by its mere presence.
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  • Published Date Winter/Spring 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online

The Winter/Spring Issue of The Write Place at the Write Time reminds us of the power of words in the Editor’s Note: they can comfort and create, and they can dismantle and harm. This issue achieves the former, providing readers with a place to chill out, unload, and just read. The editors go above and beyond as they create an issue filled with timely poetry, prose, interviews, and more.

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  • Issue Number Volume 3 Issue 3
  • Published Date Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
If you’re looking for a great amount of reading packed into one issue, look no further than the latest issue of The Writing Disorder. And this issue is even larger than their typical issue, expanded to accommodate even more writing.
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  • Published Date Summer 2010
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
This is a brand spanking new lit mag with only two issues published, but one which shows considerable promise. The website is pleasant and easy to negotiate and there is a wide variety of material to choose from: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, paintings, comic art, photography, interviews, and reviews. I had so much fun I delved into their single archive to get a taste of everything.
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