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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Honest critiques of new and established literary magazines

Posted December 15, 2016

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  • Issue Number Number 29
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Annual

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a reading by Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham (The Hours, The Snow Queen, A Wild Swan and Other Tales). The reading was inspirational not only for the works read but for the Q&A period following. Responding to a question about process and the willingness to pursue writing in spite of setbacks or crises of confidence, Cunningham made clear the importance of writers and their works to the world and how engaging in the pursuit is next door to alchemy. One begins with the same words accessible to everyone and creates something new on a page where there was nothing before. This is what each of the poets represented in this issue of the Columbia Poetry Review have done.

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  • Issue Number Volume 55 Number 3
  • Published Date Summer 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

No one who regularly reads university journals is going to be surprised that the Michigan Quarterly Review contains quality short work from some of the best authors. The Summer 2016, issue is certainly no disappointment. Twelve authors have provided us with the level of work we have come to expect and respect. It is always difficult to select one author’s work over another, especially in a respected collection, so your pardon if I don’t mention everyone.

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  • Issue Number Issue 44
  • Published Date 2016-2017
  • Publication Cycle Annual

It is no surprise that the Paterson Literary Review was named the best journal in 2008, and has been in publication since 1979. The journal shares the talents of many amazing poets, prose writers, reviewers, interviewers, and memoir authors. I particularly liked how the poetry section often provides more than one poem from each poet so that the reader can experience a variety of work from each poet. In addition, this issue includes the poems from the 2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.

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  • Issue Number Issue 7
  • Published Date Fall 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual online

shufPoetry’s logo represents the work the magazine brings to its audience: colorful graffiti splashed across a computer screen. The Fall 2016 issue brings together a collection of visual and audio work that draws the reader’s eye (and ear) and keeps interest through flashes of color and creative formats.

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  • Issue Number Volume 49 Number 4
  • Published Date Winter 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

In this issue of Southern Humanities Review, the editors include a selection of poetry from the 2015 Auburn Witness Poetry contest, held in honor of Jake Adam York. In addition to other poems and short stories, this issue features poems from the winner, the first and second runners-up, and the nine finalists. Each of these poems shares a witness’s perspective on issues like race relations, poverty, and humanity in honor of Jake Adam York, an award-winning poet that focused on the triumphs and tragedies of the Civil Rights movement.

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  • Issue Number Volume 28 Number 3
  • Published Date Autumn 2016
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
One of the many joys of my high school creative writing class was anticipating the daily writing prompt. Our teacher would surprise us every day with a unique topic to write about for five to ten minutes. The excitement and challenge of responding to these daily writing prompts showed me how skillful writers can take any theme and craft it into a well-written essay or poem. If you also know and appreciate the joy of exercising creative writing muscles, then you would enjoy reading THEMA, the theme-related journal. Every issue of THEMA has a distinct theme, which, according to their website, serves three goals: “One is to provide a stimulating forum for established and emerging literary and visual artists. The second is to serve as source material and inspiration for teachers of creative writing. The third is to provide readers with a unique and entertaining collection of stories, poems, art and photography.” The theme of the autumn 2016 issue is “The Neat Lady and the Colonel’s Overalls,” which was inspired by the poetry editor’s visit to a shopping mall. Talented writers answered the call to this quirky theme and present an offering of exciting short fiction and poetry.
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  • Issue Number Volume 6 Issue 4
  • Published Date 2016
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

To wrap up 2016, WomenArts Quarterly Journal decided to run an Editors’ Choice issue of the best pieces published in recent years. Among those chosen are two fictions, Midge Raymond’s “Side Effects” and Stephanie Selander’s “The Exchange.” These women couldn’t be more effective in their storytelling.


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