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NewPages Lit Mag Reviews

Honest critiques of new and established literary magazines

Posted November 15, 2017

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  • Issue Number Issue 3
  • Published Date Summer 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Cultural Landscape,” the cover image by Jakub Geltner that kicks off Issue Three: Threat, is a special kind of eye-catcher. A slice of pizza hangs precariously over a table’s edge, its cheese replaced by grass, its toppings swapped for uprooted trees and tumbling cars caught up in some unfamiliar landslide, slipping toward an undefined kind of doom.

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  • Published Date November 2017
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online

The November 2017 issue of Gravel presents readers with a delicious tapestry of literary treats. The pieces in this issue stood out for the complexity they exhibited and for the strong characterizations they possessed.

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  • Issue Number Volume 29 Issue 2
  • Published Date Summer/Fall 2017
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

Gulf Coast, published out of the University of Houston’s CWP, focuses this issue on transformation. Strangeness slithers through these pages as bodies, ideas, and objects transform. In Gulf Coast, the fluidity highlights what is most stable: the search for human intimacy and connection.

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  • Issue Number Issue 33
  • Published Date October 2017
  • Publication Cycle Monthly online

Issue 33, the latest from online Mud Season Review, promises something unique this month: instead of their usual format of three writers, one in each genre, the editors provide readers with a poetry-only issue. Fourteen poems from twelve poets tackle varying subjects, though it is the poetry that dealt with familial themes which stuck with me the longest.

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  • Issue Number Volume 43 Number 2
  • Published Date Summer 2017
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

I was delightfully surprised as I delved into this 2017 Summer issue of Ploughshares, a journal filled with fiction and nonfiction stories and essays from a variety of writers. While I recognized the names of several of the authors here, I was also introduced to other writers that I found very interesting.

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  • Issue Number Volume 91 Number 3
  • Published Date Fall 2017
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

The Fall 2017 issue of Prairie Schooner is both slim and muscular, like the wrestlers in Sean Prentiss’s “Pantheon of Loss,” an essay about self-torture (high school athletics), discipline, and the drive to win despite the consequences. Twenty-two years after his wrestling career ended, when family members ask whether the starvation, pain, and risk of death were worth it, Prentiss still says, “Yes.” Wrestlers, he argues, are driven not by health and common sense, but by the desire to be the last man standing. He writes, “We starve to win.”

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  • Issue Number Issue 6
  • Published Date Fall 2017 online
  • Publication Cycle Quarterly

In the “About Us” section of The Slag Review, the editors describe how the journal is “a little off-kilter,” and how the work they “accept will reflect that.” Readers can be thankful that the credo really shines forth in the Fall 2017 issue of the journal. There’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and they all, in their own ways, exhibit an off-kilter and unique sensibility.

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