NewPages.com is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

Katy Haas

Pleiades - 2004

January 31, 2004
Written by
Perhaps I’m just slow, but apparently Missouri, a state I know nearly nothing about, is where good writing, if not comes from, then at least is published. We all know the Missouri Review is the [insert whatever glowing adjective you’d like here] literary magazine in the world, but Pleiades, published in Warrensburg, Missouri, is a close close second.
Written by
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.
Written by
What most distinguishes Poetry International from among other similarly sized (600 page) brick, behemoth literary annuals is the emphasis placed upon poetry alone. Unlike many others, there’s no fiction here, no interviews, and barely any critical commentary or other prose. This uniqueness is undeniably detrimental. There aren’t even any contributor bios! But there is good poetry, even if little of it manages to be surprising or challenging.
Written by
Even the cover of Permafrost looks cold. And this issue of the “farthest north literary journal in the world” is solid as a hulking glacier. It’s rare that I come across a journal where I am almost equally enamored of both its poetry and its fiction. But I could not stop turning the pages of this issue.
Written by
Notre Dame Review is a sophisticated, erudite lit mag, not always an easy read, certainly not a quick one. “Our goal,” says the website, “is to present a panoramic view of contemporary art and literature—no one style is advocated over another. We are especially interested in work that takes on big issues by making the invisible seen.” This is an apt goal given the theme of the issue—The Gone Show—and how its contents reveal subject matter that seems to have disappeared, making it visible again.
Written by
Coming from the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program at Murray State University in Kentucky, this issue of New Madrid includes several stories that show how powerfully style can be used to concentrate narrative force.

Memoir - 2011

March 14, 2012
Written by

I’ve taught creative nonfiction writing many semesters, but I had never seen Memoir before this issue. Had never heard of Jacqueline May, whose “But All Can Be Endured Because . . .” is so perfectly satisfying a story about ordinary family and miraculous marriage, I think it must be fiction. Or Cindy Clem, who writes the flip side of May’s coin in words so beautifully measured—“My Husband Clive” is the title, but the first line is “Clive is not my husband”—I’m actually grateful not everyone’s relationship is terrific. Or poet Dianne Bilyak (“Reparation,” and “How He Described Her”), whose tone drops over youthful wounds a lightness that makes me smile. How could I have taught creative nonfiction (CNF) and not known these?

Inscape - 2011

March 14, 2012
Written by
The haunting cover art, an oil painting by Clint Carney titled “Humanity,” belies the diversity of content within this annual volume of Inscape. Inside, more full-color artwork and photography break up clean, airy pages of prose and poetry. One of the first observations I made was of the graphic design elements. It may be subtle, but the pages are laid out in a way that makes it easy to flip through the issue to find a particular writer. The writers’ names are underlined and aligned with the left margin, while the page numbers are set halfway up the page, close to the edge. This allows you to quickly find both writers’ names and page numbers. I’m not sure why this jumped out at me, but it did. Multiple-page stories also include a running title in the footer, which I thought was a nice touch.

Inkwell - Fall 2011

March 14, 2012
Written by
For Inkwell’s Fall 2011 issue, the editors chose a super-charged theme: “Ripped from the Headlines.” Its poetry and prose takes subjects that range from crooked high school wrestling teams to private acts of heroism in the WWII Philippines. Because this material is “newsworthy” already, all of the writing has a pleasing urgency—none is here to play.
Written by
Opening any collection of international literature and art always generates a bit of apprehension on my part. So much depends on the credibility of the editors (whom I don’t know), the quality of the translators (whose skill I’m being asked to trust), and the value of the selections (read on) and their creators (whom I probably don’t know—“unsolicited manuscripts are encouraged”).
newpages-footer-logo

We welcome any/all Feedback.