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Denise Hill

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AuroreanThe Aurorean poetry journal celebrates 20th year of continuous publication as an independent, poetry-only New England journal with its Spring/Summer 2015 issue. In the spirit of "publishing the finest poetry possible," the issues features works from Ellariane Lockie, winner of The Aurorean 2014 Chapbook Contest, Steve Ausherman, John T. Hitchner, and Gus Person, who each have also had chapbooks released as of March 2015. The Aurorean, while enjoying its notoriety, does well to recognize the acheivements of others, with an Editors' Poem Pick from each previous issue, a Seasonal Poetic Quote published in each issue for which they take submissions from readers, and an Editors' Chap/Book Choice which mentions a chap/book of note from those submitted to the publication. With all that work in addition to their publishing others, it's a well-deserved Happy Anniversary Aurorean!
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jehangirtPublished from Amherst College, Massachusetts, The Common #9 includes a unique section Bombay/Mumbai: India from Inside and Out—Essays & Recipes, which I thought was just a catchy metaphor. But, sure enough, Nonita Kalra, Suketu Mehta and Amit Chaudhuri each contribute essays, but "Mom's Dal" is a recipe from the kitchen of Nirmala Swamidoss McConigley handed down to her daughter Nina McConigley; "Pomfret Chutney Masala" is from the kitchen of Bijoya Chaudhuri handed down to her son Amit Chaudhuri; and "Bhel Puri" is from the kitchen of Jehangir Mehta, executive chef and owner of New York City restaurants Graffiti, Me and You and Mehtaphor. As a fan of the essay and Indian cuisine, you can't go wrong with this issue!

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gerald-sternGerald Stern is the featured poet in the latest issue of Santa Clara Review (102.1), contributing several new poems for the publication. The student-edited publication includes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and full-color artwork, and is available to view in full online via Issuu.
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Poetry Magazine May 2015 features Cathy Park Hong's essay Against Witness, in which she explores the role of witness in the visual artwork of Doris Salcedo, who was inspired by the poetry of Paul Celan.
cathy-park-hongTo make art representing another victim's pain can be ethically thorny. Susan Sontag wrote, "The appetite for pictures showing bodies in pain is as keen, almost, as the desire for ones that show bodies naked." Images of suffering can arouse our horror, simulating an illusive identification between us and the victim or "a fantasy of witness" before we are conveniently deposited back into our lives so that someone else's trauma becomes our personalized catharsis.
A note following the essay eplains that it was commissioned on the occasion of Doris Salcedo, curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It is the first retrospective of the work of sculptor Doris Salcedo. The essay is available in full online and includes numerous full color photos from the exhibit.
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ploughsharesPublisher and editor Neil Astley, founder of Bloodaxe Books, guest-edits Ploughshares special transatlantic all-poetry issue, featuring poets from North America, Great Britain, and Ireland. The issue contains a stirring diversity of work, with writers who have roots everywhere from Guyana to Pakistan to Zambia, and also features poetry in Welsh, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic. Much of the work is from accomplished British and Irish poets who are still little-known in the States. As Astley writes in his introduction, the issue aims to break down "the illogical divide between readerships on either side of the Atlantic," and spark a conversation that will enliven and invigorate both poetic traditions. (Text from the Ploughshares website.)

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glimmer-trainBoth Lillian Li and Cristine Sneed offer advice on writing characters in their Glimmer Train Bulletin #100 craft essays. The GT Bulletin allows writers published in Glimmer Train Stories to offer their advice to other writers in short essays availble free monthly.

Li's essay "I Want You Bad: Can Nice People Make for Good Characters?" shares advice she's received - and broken away from - about creating 'interesting' characters without navel gazing: "I've started creating characters first, without wondering how they'll benefit the pace of the story. I write the characters I want, and because I want them around, I also want to get to know them."

Sneed's essay "What a Character! Incorporating a Living Person into a Work of Fiction" explores that very complicated issue, sharing the one - and only time - she included a real life friend as a character in her writing.

Also included in the May 2015 GT Bulletin is Courtney Sender's essay "Narrative Arc in the Novel," rounding out a great installment of craft essays to guide writers in their work.

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tori-malcangioThe winner of Ruminate's 2015 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, judged by Laryy Woiwode, "Nesting Doll" by Tori Malcangio, appears in the Spring 2015 issue.

Read more here about Malcangio, Woiwode's comments on the winning entry, and the second place, honorable mention, and runners up.
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iowa-review-spring-2015The Iowa Review 45.1 features winners and runners-up of their second Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans writing contest, judged by Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead and former U.S. Marine. This creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. The contest is open to veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.

First Place ($1000)
Katherine Schifani, "Pistol Whip" (nonfiction)

Second Place ($750)
Brian Van Reet, "The Chaff" (fiction)

Runners-up ($500)
Terry Hertzler (poetry)
M.E. Hope (poetry)
James Walley (fiction)

The issue also includes two photo essay features, Stacy L. Pearsall Veterans Portrait Project and Mary F. Calvert The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America's Military. Both are exceptional contributions to our culture's understanding of military community and the effects of foreign war and domestic violence.
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Iodine Poetry Journal Editor and Publisher Jonathan K. Rice is also Poet and Visual Artist as well, and has been designing cover art for his iconic publication for the past 15 years. More of his work can be found here on the back list page for Iodine.
"Crow and Cloud," photograph by Carolyn Guinzio, on the front cover of Cimarron Review Winter 2015 is a similar image to what I witness on my walks each morning - the birds coming back after a long winter, filling the tops of trees with their songs, the leaves yet to fill in the sky.
And another for the birds, Beloit Poetry Journal Spring 2015 features a lovely, dark, lush oil on linen by Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, "Shoreline" (2006). The cover does not reveal the entire image, so it's worth a visit to the BPJ website to see what you're not seeing in this pile of birds.
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Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature 52 celebrates "New Fiction" and includes excerpts from the 2015 Shortlist of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction:

banipal-52Ahmed el-Madini: Willow Alley, trans. Paul Starkey
Jana Elhassan: Floor 99, trans. Robin Moger
Atef Abu Saif: A Suspended Life, trans. William M Hutchins
Lina Hawyan Elhassan: Diamonds And Women, trans. Sophia Vasalou
Hammour Ziada: The Longing Of The Dervish, trans. Jonathan Wright
Shukri al-Mabkhout: The Italian, trans. Raphael Cohen

The winning entry will be announced May 6, 2015 in Abu Dhabi.

In addition to this and other great content, Banipal continues to include "Prison Writing," which first started with the self-themed issue #50. The editors continue the feature with two "new and powerful testimonies in, and will remain open indefinitely for more contributions."


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