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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Posted April 18, 2009

  • Issue Number Volume 67 Number 1
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Poetry editor Judith Hall introduces the all poetry issue with a beautiful editorial: “Those not spent by life are privileged. A poet, reading in the evening, writing after dawn, enjoys such privileges.” A reader with this issue in her hands is privileged, too, I am happy to say.
  • Published Date 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
If you've had it with glamour and cuteness in your literary diet, turn to The Chaffin Journal for the antidote. Formerly known as Scripsit, this journal from Eastern Kentucky University is all meat and potatoes. The writing frequently dwells on quotidian themes in rural and small-town locales. That means The Chaffin Journal opts for straight story and verse over risk taking. Overall, the performance is uneven, but sometimes, the lumps in the landscape provide solid, memorable art.
  • Subtitle (Chiaroscuro)
  • Issue Number Issue 39
  • Published Date January - March 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
This ezine describes its work as “treatments of light and shade in words.” The website is dark and ominous and each quarter only three or four poems and stories appear for consumption. The editors are quite selective and have a particular style they are looking for. They also pay well: seven cents a word for a short story, which translates into $210.00 for a three thousand word narrative – a nice sum in today’s market!
  • Issue Number Volume 13 Number 1
  • Published Date January/February 2009
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly online
This magazine has been in existence since 1996, making it one of the more long lasting and consistent ezines of its kind. They seem to have very eclectic tastes in what they present to the reading public, hence, no doubt, the name. In this latest issue, there is much to choose from, including a spotlight on pop culture chronicler Chris Epting; a letter from Editor Tom Dooley; commentary; fiction; poetry; non-fiction; travel articles; reviews and interviews; and some satire.
  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date 2008
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Tim Foley and the other editors of The Farallon Review aim to, “share the work of writers who still believe that short fiction is a unique artform, worth writing, and worth reading.” The realistic fiction in this new journal is certainly long on imagination and features distinctive narrators.
  • Published Date Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
Chicago's remarkable populist tradition includes a diverse range of voices, from Carl Sandburg to Gwendolyn Brooks. The Journal of Ordinary Thought is a firm product of that tradition, showcasing everyday people from the neighborhood with something to say. Some are joyfully discovering their creative potential; some are more urgent to make their opinions heard. The theme here, "Notes for a People's Atlas of Chicago," playfully reveals the limitations of maps in detailing the experience of lived space. Given an outline of the city, participants created their own atlases and legends. Included are maps denoting the Cubs/Sox divide, the barrage of condos being built, places to buy the best pierogies or find residences of IVAW members.
  • Issue Number Volume 20 Number 2
  • Published Date Winter 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Enduring War: Stories of What We've Learned is an edifying volume that is not exactly lacking in timeliness: Have war stories ever been irrelevant? But this is not a volume to be read with self-righteousness; the lessons from world conflict are never easy to swallow. As Manoa reveals, war always seems to exist on the periphery of our consciousness, something that happened "over there" or "back then." The photographic images of Darfur refugees may not be graphic or shocking, but they do capture the feeling and pain that can easily get lost in the drone of the media. In his introduction, Editor Frank Stewart quotes the novelist Carlos Fuentes: "Literature makes real what history forgot." The task of literature, then, is to uncover the truth that the makers of history (and war) will find unpleasant.
  • Issue Number Volume 31 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2008
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly
“A poet’s love of poetry is everything,” says Rodney Jones, interviewed in this issue by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. The Missouri Review editors love what they do, too – they have created something that is clearly a labor of love.
  • Issue Number Issue 26
  • Published Date Winter 2009
  • Publication Cycle Triannual online
Jason Sanford, the founding editor of this literary magazine is stepping down after seven years at the helm and ceding his position to Spring Garden Press out of Greensboro, N.C. He will, however, continue to direct the wonderful and very needed Million Writers Award. As his farewell salute, he has presented a selection of the best fiction, essays, and poetry from the last seven years.
  • Issue Number Issue 399
  • Published Date March 2009
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
I absolutely love The Sun. Without fail, in every issue I’ve ever read, there has been writing aplenty to admire. The Sun is one of the most democratic literary magazines I have ever encountered in that it celebrates and honors anyone who has something worthwhile to say. I have never read a less than stellar piece of writing in it. Edited by Sy Safransky, The Sun’s contents are always a revelation, a slap in the face reminder that brilliance and compassion are lurking everywhere.
  • Issue Number Volume 2 Numbers 1 & 2
  • Published Date Spring & Fall 2008
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
The third issue (v2n1) of Tuesday; An Art Project comes in a plain, thick, yellow wrapper. Inside is the table of contents, a feature poem, short bios of the authors, editorial information, and – most importantly – cards and postcards containing the poems, prints and photographs. There are only seventeen cards, and they are all striking.
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