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Katy Haas

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NFL fans who take pleasure in the arts will affirm that Green Bay has more to offer than the Packers. From the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay comes the Sheepshead Review, now in its 35th year of publication. Offering fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and a healthy serving of the visual arts, this publication arrives with the smell of a new book, bearing an elusive whiff of fresh bread. Bold graphics lead the way throughout, and not just in the pages designated for the visual arts; the hefty paper and 4-color format contribute to the satisfying feel of the journal.

Ping•Pong - 2012

January 14, 2013
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Ping•Pong is the journal of the Henry Miller Library. Their mission statement maintains that they publish a journal because continuing the literary and artistic legacy of Henry Miller does not mean just publishing Miller, but also others, and that “Given our interest in these peculiar and often-overlooked centers and margins, not everything published in Ping•Pong will be pretty.”

The Meadow - 2012

January 14, 2013
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While The Meadow, an annual journal published by Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada, is not exclusive to any region in its scope, it appears to reflect a cohesive sensibility, a conversational approach to creative writing. It begs the question as to whether or not someday we’ll look back to the poets of the West as a distinct school, like the New York School with O’Hara and Ashbury, except that instead of the MOMA we’ll see the glittering of the Vegas slot machines, the boiling petri dishes of Los Alamos.
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Two outstanding Canadian literary journals have collaborated on separate issues consisting of work from each other’s patch. This issue of Malahat, based in British Columbia (B.C.), features “Essential East Coast Writing” in collaboration with Fiddlehead, published in New Brunswick. Alternately, Fiddlehead published a West Coast issue. Malahat Editor John Barton traces the idea to a 2010 residency at University of New Brunswick and conversations with Fiddlehead Editor Ross Leckie. The result, at least by reading the Mahalat half, is a celebration of artistic vibrancy on both coasts.
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Found Poetry Review features—you guessed it—found poetry. Borrowing text from anything from tweets to speeches and newspaper articles to books, the magazine is a fruitful collage of collages.
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Copper Nickel states on the submission page that the journal publishes no more than 2% of the submissions it receives. After careful study of its October edition, I can easily perceive the appeal: the value proposition of this particular journal exceeds the usual draws—presentation, print and polish. The journal is intelligent in a bold way, showcasing surrealist efforts in at least three of the prose included, and I cage the statistic in “at least,” because the classification “surreal” has been thoroughly extended by popular vernacular: sometimes an exotic dragon making a holographic appearance truly tests the limits of the term. (See Leslie Rakowicz’s short story “Celia,” for an illustration of same.)
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Camera Obscura is a journal devoted to both prose and photography. This issue contains eight stories and twenty-seven photographs.

Ruminate - Fall 2008

December 14, 2008
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Ruminate’s layout is beautiful: almost trade magazine size but sturdier, writing centered on white or grey or black pages, Evan Mann’s creation sketches littered between poems and an essay and a short story. The journal’s writing is equally beautiful, pieces which demonstrate faith inside literature as well as faith in literature, a faith that literature can explain and inspire.

McSweeney’s - Fall 2008

December 14, 2008
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Since its beginnings 1998, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (or simply McSweeney’s) has maintained its reputation as one of the most innovative literary journals in publishing today.

Gowanus - Winter 2009

December 14, 2008
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It has been said that Americans don’t read enough foreign literature, and I am inclined to agree with this statement, given that most people in the United States can identify Ernest Hemingway and Huckleberry Finn readily enough, but not Leo Tolstoy or Madame Bovary. What a shame. Gowanus, a resolutely international online literary journal, attempts to broaden one’s horizons. They state they are “interested in what concerns human beings in Delhi, Bridgetown and Soweto as well as in Chicago, Dublin and Tokyo.” Judging from their archives, they have effectively been doing so since 1997.
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