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Casey Hill

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Another electrifying issue brimming with contemporary lit, lit-commentary, and the second half of our supplement, “Bridging the Literary Border.” Also, three works of fantastic fiction by Andrew Forbes, Victoria Hetherington, and Trevor Corkum; powerful new poems by Jessie Jones, Andrew McEwan, Sarah Pinder, Liz Worth, Stevie Howell, and philip Gordon.
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Fiction Contributors: Neil Serven, L. Niall Murphy, Elizabeth Brown, Edmund Sandoval, and Christian Rees. Nonfiction Contributors: Kathie Jacobson, Melissa Wiley, Elizabeth Evans, and Emily Brooks.
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Cave Wall is a poetry journal inundated with the idea that all of us are traveling between borders as well as the metamorphosis such trips often engender. It is the transformative that exists in the perils and joys of every day existence that line the often narrative structures of each poem. The dark woodcuts by Dennis Winston add to this evocative rendering of the every day, whether it is in his piece “Winter Haze” or the melancholy and subdued image of the boy in “Innocence.”

Bateau - 2008

February 15, 2009
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When you first hold the poetry journal Bateau in your hands, it reminds you of a well-crafted chapbook with some abstract art of a flat bottomed boat (the journal’s namesake), or if you are not in the know, like some strange design project from a school of design student with a wash of blue coming out in the form of the boat’s canopy. The poems here tell a human narrative that is instantly recognizable no matter the form or the foreign or alien way in which a topic is often tackled.

Basalt - 2008

February 15, 2009
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This issue of Basalt, an Eastern Oregon University issued poetry and short prose journal, contains the work of seventeen writers and one visual artist: Timothy C. Ely, whose book The Observatory demands close scrutiny and makes the viewer look at the heavens differently. Many of the poems should also be studied, especially the ones mentioned herein.

Zahir - Spring 2007

March 31, 2007
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When I was in college, the English majors and science majors just didn't get along. Reading Zahir, I kept wondering what all that tension was about, since so many of this journal's cross-disciplined writers are able to blend their interests in creative writing and science so well. My favorite piece in this issue is Jerry Underwood's “Traveling Companion,” set in a world which is simply a very long train, constantly moving on a Track with no beginning or end in sight, inhabited by robots all named Bob (if male) or Bobbie (female).
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Antioch Review celebrates its 65th year of publication with this fine issue's eclectic collection of essays, fiction, poetry, book reviews, and et cetera, which includes Editor Robert S. Fogarty's thoughtful editorial, "Nolan Miller (1907 – 2006)," on the last of the journal's founding editors, and John Taylor's "Poetry Today." Thomas Washington's "A Quarterly Reader (and Writer)," laments the absence of editorials in many quarterlies, as do I. If you enjoy sophisticated spy stories, you'll love "Tunis and Time" by Peter LaSalle; Stephen Taylor's "Bloomsbury Nights: Being, Food and Love" will bring you closer, perhaps (to a dictionary); "Odessa" by Rick DeMarinis will remind you of those among us who cannot sort things out.
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This magazine's second issue shows the same strengths that reviewer Sima Rabinowitz found in its inaugural issue last year—windows into China’s national culture and experience, uniquely personal poems in excellent translations, and stunning graphics. An offspring of World Literature Today and a publication of the University of Oklahoma, Chinese Literature Today will be an important resource for followers of the Chinese literary scene, and is likely to make converts of others who seek to connect with this turbulent and vital society.

Brick - Summer 2011

September 14, 2011
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Brick is one of those journals that makes you feel a little inadequate, but in a good way. You realize, after reading, the vast amount of interesting and impressive writers who have somehow stayed hidden from you. It’s not only a matter of discovering new, contemporary voices you hadn’t yet had the pleasure of hearing (though that’s certainly part of it), but one of being exposed to established authors as well, those who have been around for years and—apparently—already have a good deal of clout to their names (even though you have no idea who they are). This latest issue of the Canadian-born magazine does a wonderful job of making you want to learn more about these men and women, to run to the library and check out every one of their books.
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HFR presents a mix of fresh voices, unusual poetry, fiction, cool photography, and works in translation. I enjoyed almost everything here, but was particularly taken by all the very different stories featuring young protagonists. Robin Kish's "In the Experience of One Girl" presents modern-day mythology in an awkward high school girl whose hair is turning into snakes. "Canticle," by Kevin McIlvoy, takes place in a near-future in which the Patriot Act has degraded America into a totalitarian regime, as a pair of young revolutionaries are on the verge of both exposing a nefarious plot, and having sex for the first time. And then there's Matthew Cricchio's "All in Together," in which a young soldier in the Middle East struggles to overcome thinking too hard about the consequences of firing on his enemies and to "unconsciously do as he was trained." 
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