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Katy Haas

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Marideth Sisco’s essay “You’re Not from Here, Are You?” gives this issue of Elder Mountain its integral sense of place, a right-away taste of the people, culture and world of the Ozarks. Sisco remembers “lying on the porch on summer nights or curled up by the woodstove in winter,” listening to her relatives tell stories. Indeed stories and the people who tell them are the heart of Sisco’s writing and all the varied pieces that follow in this volume.

Dislocate - 2010

January 29, 2011
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Unaware of any necessary precautions in the handling of “The Contaminated Issue,” I consciously folded back the front cover and crossed my fingers in hoping its pages were not infected with some sort of incurable disease. But it was already too late; the truth is that I was already contaminated; we all are.

Workers Write! - June 2012

September 17, 2012
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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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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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In the July 2012 issue of Verse Wisconsin, co-editors Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman stress the importance of community, and everything about the print and online issues of the journal point to the wisdom of their claim. Before moving to Madison, Wisconsin in 2009, Verse Wisconsin was published by Linda Aschbrenner for 11 years as Free Verse. Aschbrenner continues to serve on Verse Wisconsin’s advisory board, along with B. J. Best, Cathryn Cofell, Ron Czerwien, Tom Erickson, Fabu, David Graham, Angela Rydell, and Marilyn L. Taylor. In other words, Verse Wisconsin is a celebration of community and poetry.

Versal - 2012

September 17, 2012
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Amsterdam’s Versal is a thoughtful collection of sophisticated, inventive writing and art. For the celebration of their first ten years, the editors included a mixed media art piece titled “750 Circles” that is a blank page with a balloon taped to it. Each of these pages is signed by the editors. The piece, they say, is to honor the many people who have made the last ten years possible. Small flourishes of creativity like this appear throughout the journal, making it not only a collection of great writing, but a united reading experience.
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When I first received my copy of South Dakota Review, I took one look at the cover—a photograph by editor in chief Lee Ann Roripaugh of roller derby queens “Olive Mayhem,” “Lady Boop,” and “Sandra D’vious”—and I knew I was in for a treat.

Moonshot - 2012

September 17, 2012
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Only on its fourth issue, Moonshot is a relatively new kid on the block in Brooklyn’s indie literary scene. Eighty-five pages long, the themed issue “Correspondences” offers brief introductions to 30 authors—all of whom have been published before, but don’t yet have major name recognition. As alluded to in the editor’s note, this issue is gritty and real.
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Normally, I like to review journals that I’ve never heard of. I love discovering new or less-acknowledged publications, mining foreign territory for literary gold. I try to stay as open as possible to new writers and new journals, and while what I find isn’t always great, it’s something unexpected every time.

The Liner - Spring 2012

September 17, 2012
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As far as inaugural issues are concerned, The Liner’s maiden voyage couldn’t have gone much smoother. The journal includes short fiction, poetry, art, and photography along with an original questionnaire that corresponds to each author bio.
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