Response to Radicalization of Society
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The American Literary Review has been publishing well-crafted creative writing for nearly thirty years. In 2013, the journal published its final print issue and moved to an online format where it continues the tradition of providing exceptional writing to readers with an even more accessible format.
The MacGuffin is the perfect literary companion. Published three times per year out of Michigan’s Schoolcraft College, The MacGuffin doesn’t overload its issues, and its solid selection of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction carefully placed to compliment the flow of subject or imagery speaks to the editorial care behind this quality production.
Booth 11, the Women Writers issue, began, arguably, with male tears. In his introductory letter, Editor Robert Stapleton details an email he received after the 2015 Booth Poetry Prize shortlist was announced, in which a particularly entitled male noted: “Eight of your ten finalists are women. Is this gender bias or chance?” Stapleton kept his cool, explained the process dispassionately, and used the experience for growth. Prior to that email, he notes, two-thirds of the editorial staff at Booth had been men. Since then, the numbers have balanced as more than half of the journal’s editorial positions have been filled by women. Stapleton realized there was more he could do. “American history is dominated by the patience of women,” he writes, “and the world of American publishing, a garden of so much culture and progressive thought, should have been leading this charge long ago.”
After hungrily reading each word of the featured works published on the Crazyhorse website, I was more than excited to get my hands on the entire Fall 2017 issue. Through Shane Brown’s “Blue Hole,” a cover art piece, I fell into the wonderland of prose and poetry. Jonathan Bohr Heinen, the managing editor, notes that “art isn’t some frivolous reflection of aimless escape.” While this issue’s pieces take us on a journey, they nevertheless offer a reflection of reality. As Heinen puts it, “It’s the light that shines so brilliantly and helps us make sense of the world we inhabit. It’s truth.” The editor’s insight offers an entry point for readers as they carefully tread the pages of the 92nd issue seeking “the light.”
“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.
Brick’s 100th issue celebrates forty years of nonfiction. An international journal published out of Toronto, Brick “prizes the personal voice and celebrates life, art, and the written word.” In issue 100, the authors look out into the world, to literature, to poetry and to nature for inspiration, while grounding their insights in the personal. Brick is a love letter to our artistic influences.
Celebrating its 45th year in publication, AGNI, published out of Boston University, takes its name from the Vedic god of fire, the guardian of humankind. AGNI’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are a fire in the darkness, illuminating the corners of reality we do not see.