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Katy Haas

Vallum - 2012

June 14, 2012
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Vallum has been encouraging an international literary collaboration of established and forthcoming writers for a little over a decade. The publication is dedicated to fostering communication in and around its home in Canada as well as with countries that range from Australia to India. This issue features a special focus on Pakistani poets. Pakistan is “often portrayed as one of the world’s most dangerous countries,” and so it is no surprise that a collection from its poets is astonishingly beautiful and powerful.
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“A conversation,” says Editor-in-Chief Jessica Jacobs of The Sycamore Review, “involves two people who know each other sitting down in a familiar room. But as anyone who’s ever picked up a book and had it speak to her knows, conversations can also occur in which not even a single word is said aloud, in which two minds engage each other outside the immediacy of same time, same place.” Jacobs’s words provide an appropriate introduction that mirrors the fantastical cover art by Kathleen Lolley. The latest issue of this journal from the Purdue University English Department wants to have a conversation with you, dear reader, and to share its poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, art, and book reviews.
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“Foreign countries exist.” – Geraldine Brooks, The Best American Short Stories of 2011

Sententia - 2012

June 14, 2012
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Sententia opens with a kind-of abridged editor’s note on the inside of the front cover. The title name is “Latin for sentence, but also means thought, meaning, and purpose.” The magazine couldn’t be more appropriately named, and, in fact, I would’ve described the works in the journal with these three adjectives prior to reading this note. The editors of Sententia had a goal in mind, and they achieved it.
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A young magazine, only on its second volume, Raleigh Review pulls off an understated maturity in its choice of fiction and poetry pieces, while the artwork is playful and quirky. It is a magazine that takes itself seriously, but not to a fault, with an impressive list of heavy hitters. The interior and exterior artwork are the creations of Geri Digiorno, a set of themed mixed-media collages, intricate paper mosaics that are jolting, haunting, and yet strangely sweet and light all mixed in together, a lovely invitation to read what’s inside.

The Mom Egg - 2012

June 14, 2012
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Before reading The Mom Egg, one might question why, if thousands of successful contemporary writers are also mothers, do we need an annual literary publication which “publishes work by mothers about everything, and by everyone about mothers and motherhood.”
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There’s something faintly whimsical about this issue of The Massachusetts Review. Maybe it’s in the tone of “Bad Meditator,” a poem by Doug Anderson whose list of distractions isn’t a complaint but rather a love letter to all the occupants of Monkey Mind:
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I am not a native Californian. I was raised in the great state of Missouri, thank you very much, and it is a state that I sorely miss sometimes. This is why it was an immense pleasure to find in my mailbox The Lindenwood Review, a literary journal from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. It was like receiving a love letter from a friend I haven’t heard from in years. Cultural biases aside, the inaugural issue of this university press features a strong line-up of fiction, poetry, and essays from various talents across the country and abroad.
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Near the end of the latest issue of Light—which is twenty years old and probably the most important venue for humorous verse in the country—there is a note saying that unless financial support or volunteer editors come forward, the upcoming issue will be its last.

Juked - Spring 2012

June 14, 2012
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Juked’s website says, “We don’t adhere to any particular themes or tastes, but some people tell us they see one, so who knows.” I’m not going to make any broad declarations of a theme connecting the stories, poetry, and interviews in this issue; I’m just going to highlight a few of the better selections.
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