The Missouri Review invites entries for the 2023 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. Winners receive $5000, publication, and promotion. Guidelines here. Each entrant receives a one-year digital subscription to the Missouri Review and a digital copy of the latest title from our imprint, Missouri Review Books. All entries considered for publication. Deadline: October 1.
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Status is the theme of the Summer 2023 issue of The Missouri Review, as Editor Speer Morgan writes in the foreword, “status…with the storytelling that illuminates it, encompasses more than just economic or social position. For most living creatures, status can impact both intraspecific and interspecific chances of survival.” Exploring this theme is new speculative fiction by Emily Mitchell, Naeem Murr, and Jonathan Wei, new stories from John Fulton and Becky Mandelbaum, new poetry by Aaron Coleman, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, and Stephanie Niu, and essays from Grace Plowden and Kathleen Spivack. There is also an arts feature on Vanitas: the Art of Death and Decay, work on Clara Bow, and a review essay on recent books about Gay Life in the 20th and 21st centuries. Cover art: Mirror Head by Estanislao Gonczanski (2018).
The Spring 2023 issue of The Missouri Review (46.1) is introduced by Speer Morgan’s Foreward, “Seize the Day,” and features winners of the 2022 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize: Ann-Marie Blanchard for fiction, Robin Reif for essay, and Heidi Seaborn for poetry. Also included in this issue is new fiction from Rita Ayoshi, Jennafer D’Alvia, Threse Eiben, and Abby Geni; new poetry from Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer and Benjamin Grossberg; and new nonfiction from Anu Kumar and Joe Walpole. There is an arts feature by Kristine Somerville, “Man Ray: Reluctant Celebrity Photographer,” and the Curio Cabinet section houses “Gerda Wegener and the Pleasures of Art Deco.” Rounding out the issue is a review column by Sam Pickering, “Deep Listening and Time Passing: Five Recent Nonfiction Books of Note.” Cover art: Skater by Alex Colville (1964).
In addition to featuring winners of the 2022 Perkoff Prize, The Missouri Review Winter 2022 is themed “The Body” and includes new fiction from Dina Guidubaldi, Shala Erlich, Malerie Willens, Peter Grimes, and Robynne Graffam; new poetry from Bridget O’Bernstein, Anna V. Q. Ross, and Jeff Whitney; and new essays from Faith Shearin, Adam Boggon, and Joshua Doležal. Also included are features on dressing Greta Garbo and the influence of anime on contemporary art, and an omnibus review of contemporary memoirs about coming to terms with illness and affliction.
Editor Speer Morgan, in the Foreward to The Missouri Review Fall 2022 issue, comments on the “compelling new techniques in the arts” that, while innovative at their onset, “are often picked up and imitated until they seem to have always been used.” This issue’s theme, “Deep Focus,” comes from the technique used in early film, such as the 1922 Weimar production of Nosferatu, and Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane. He goes on to draw parallels with Walt Whitman’s “broad theme: We are large, we contain multitudes. We are partly right, partly wrong, but given the transience of life, we should fully visit this moment and this gathering of people with compassion, cheer, and attentiveness and then move on.” Great advice for the many seasonal family gatherings we encounter as well as other situations which bring us together, including reading the lives of authors and narrators in literary works. Included for readers in this issue is new fiction from Drew Calvert, Jonathan Johnson, Matthew Niell Null, Valerie Sayers, and Rohini Sunderam. New poetry from Andrew Hemmert, Rebecca Lindenberg, and Felicia Zamora. Essays by Robert Cochran, Jim Steck, and Mako Yoshikawa. Features on James Van Der Zee’s Harlem Renaissance photography, Florine Stettheimer and the Art of Modern New York, with an omnibus review from Lisa Katz on books by and about translators.
Themed “Rescue Me,” the newest issue of The Missouri Review bids a final goodbye to Summer 2002 with new fiction from Caroline Casper, Sam Dunnington, Tim Erwin, Nur Kahn, and Amy Stuber. Essays by Christopher Kempf and Daniel J. Waters. Poetry from Davis McCombs, Kelan Nee, and Rachel Richardson. Also: Curio Cabinet on the marketing of Amelia Earhart, Art Feature on Dodo in Berlin, and a review from Sam Pickering.
The Missouri Review Spring 2022 issue (45.1) features the 2021 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize Winners: Alix Christie (fiction), Matthew Wamser (essay), Jennifer Perrine (poetry), as well as a special feature with Michale Millner on the Jack Kerouac Archive and a portfolio of artwork by Kristine Somerville in full color, “Boxed In: The Art of Assemblage.” The issue also includes Poetry from Kelli Russell Agodon and David Moolten, Fiction from Joy Baglio, John Fulton, and Peter Mountford, Essays by Susan Neville and William Roebuck, plus: “America’s Left Bank: Jessie Tarbox Beal’s Greenwich Village Photographs.”
The Missouri Review Winter 2021 (“Take Heart”) issue features the winners of our 2021 Perkoff Prize for writing that engages evocatively with health/medicine. A stunning art feature on contemporary photography, debut fiction by Mason Kiser, translated work of Tomaž Šalamun, and a probing essay on the poetry of mourning round out the issue. More info at The Missouri Review website.
If you like themed lit mag issues, we’ve got some recommendations!
Each issue of THEMAfocuses on one themed prompt. The Autumn 2021 issue’s theme is “Which Virginia?” Twenty contributors try their hand at exploring this Virginian theme.
While not quite a theme, Hanging Loose does feature a selection of high school aged writers in each issue. Issue 111 includes work by eleven different high school writers who close out the issue.
Bennington Review‘s Summer 2021 issue focuses on a theme that’s probably on most of our minds right now: The Health of the Sick. Michael Dumanis’s note from the editor explains, “Many of the pieces in this issue of Bennington Review display a keen awareness of the vulnerability of the human body, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.” The theme “borrows its title from Argentine writer Julio Cortázar’s underappreciated 1966 short story . . . “
Issue 22 of The Common includes a portfolio of writing from the Arabian Gulf introduced by Deepak Unnikrishnan. This includes fiction by Tariq Al Haydar, Farah Ali, and others; essays by Mona Kareem, Keija Parssinen, and Priyanka Sacheti; and poetry by Hala Alyan, Rewa Zeinati, Zeina Hashem Beck, and more.
AGNI Number 94 brings readers a portfolio of work in translation. You can expect to find work by Azzurra D’Agostino translated by Johanna Bishop, Yi Won translated by E. J. Koh & Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Ananda Devi translated by Kazim Ali, and much more.
Finally, The Missouri Review asks the question “How did I get here?” in the Fall 2021 issue, the theme inspired by “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads.
Visit each literary magazine to show some support and learn more about these issues.
How Did I Get Here? Inside: Poetry by Jessica Garratt, Rebecca Lehman, Maggie Queeney, and Joe Wilkins. Stories and essays by Jason Brown, Morris E. Hartstein MD, Kristen Iskandrian, Judith Claire Mitchell, Devin Murphy, Clare Needham, and David M. Sheridan, with features on Barbette and Duchamp, and a review of new and recent Southern writing from Sam Pickering. Now at the Missouri Review website.
Deadline: October 18, 2021 Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize has extended its deadline to October 18. Winners in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction receive $5,000 and publication. All entrants receive a 1-year digital subscription and a free copy of the digital anthology Private Lives. All-access entrants receive an additional decade of TMR digital issues, complete with audio recordings. All entries considered for publication.
“Moving On.” Inside: First fiction by Danica Li. Alex Ramirez on boxing, defeat, and Diego Corrales. Poetry by Bruce Campbell, Tiana Clark, V. Penelope Pelizzon, and Nancy Reddy. Stories by Samantha Xiao Cody, Shakarean Hutchinson, Daphne Kalotay, and Becky Mandelbaum. See what else you can find in this issue at the Missouri Review website.
Deadline: October 1, 2021
The Missouri Review is pleased to announce that the 31st annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize is now open. Winners in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction receive $5000 and publication, promotion, and an event to be determined later. All entries are considered for publication in TMR, or in our web-exclusive features, BLAST and/or Poem of the Week. Visit our website to learn more: www.missourireview.com/contests/jeffrey-e-smith-editors-prize/.
2020 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize Winners, a conversation with Camille T. Dungy, Kate McIntyre on the progeny of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, arts features about punk’s influence on contemporary art and the Great British Teddy Girls. Read more at The Missouri Review website.
The Missouri Review always has plenty to offer readers. Aside from the usual poetry and prose, there are art features, a “curio cabinet” feature, and an interview. In the Spring 2021 issue, Jacob Griffin Hall interviews poet, essayist, professor, and editor Camille T. Dungy. The two discuss everything from types of research to environmental writing to poetic beginnings. There is plenty to take away from this interview, but what I enjoyed most was the portion on “experiential research,” excerpted here:
HALL: In an interview with Arkana, you talk about “experiential research”—”Listening to the world, paying attention, watching and looking” is just as important as, say, digging into archives. What habits or practices do you have that help you be attentive to the world around you?
DUNGY: Ha. It’s not a habit or practice. It’s a way of life. I suppose it could be taught. I suppose we all have to learn to slow down and pay better and different attention from time to time. But I also think that an artist, a writer, must look at the world more attentively, more closely, more patiently and carefully than people who are not artists tend to look. It’s just how I move through the world. I can stop and hear myself thinking if I want to, but I am always thinking in this way. “How would I describe the color of that grass?” “Oh, look, that rabbit has a bit of russet on its scruff.” “I wonder when they first release Subarus in the US?” “Do you think that woman’s eyes are naturally gray? Those are all questions I asked out loud or in my head today.
The Winter 2020 issue of the Missouri Review includes a selection of blackout poetry by Jennifer Sperry Steinorth. These poems move beyond the traditional blackout poem, though, and move into a realm beyond, each poem a well-crafted work of art. The variety in style is inspiring as she demonstrates the creative ways one can manipulate text. The art speaks as much as the selected words do. Each turn of the page reveals something inventive and exciting, a treasured find in this issue.
Inside the latest issue of Missouri Review: first fiction from Isabelle Shifrin. Featuring poetry by John Gallaher, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, and Teresa Ott, fiction by Drew Calvert, Yxta Maya Murray, Mehr-Afarin Kohan, and Sam Dunnington, essays from Molly Wright Steenson and Phillip Hurst, and more, including a Curio Cabinet piece on Hans Christian Andersen.
The Missouri Review “Facing It” issue is out. In this issue: first fiction from Tim Erwin and Tim Loc. Featuring Kay Cosgrove, Allison Pitinii Davis, Bruce McKay, Sahar Mustafa, Katey Schultz, Daniel Stolar, and Nicholas Yingling. Plus: J.D. Ho and Richard Terrill on the nature of sound.
Deadline: October 1
Winners in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction receive a $5,000 cash prize, publication, promotion, and a virtual event to be determined. Submit one piece of fiction or nonfiction up to 8,500 words or up to 10 pages of poems. Regular entry fee: $25. All-Access entry fee: $30. Each entrant receives a one-year digital subscription to the Missouri Review (normal price $24) and the forthcoming digital short story anthology Strange Encounters, forthcoming from Missouri Review Books. (normal price $8.95). All-Access entrants receive full access to our ten-year digital archive. All entries considered for publication. Deadline: October 1. www.missourireview.com
The latest issue of the Missouri Review features the winners of the Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. The nonfiction winner, “The Trailer” by Jennifer Anderson is a powerful piece on self-reflection.
In “The Trailer,” a trailer appears on land Anderson owns. For awhile, it stays empty, and then one day a man and woman appear inside. Anderson then works on getting the inhabitants removed, and the trailer towed from the property.
In doing this, though, she ends up looking inside herself and examining her response to the two people that have begun squatting on her property. As a teen, she drank, did drugs, and engaged in risky behavior and she realizes she easily could have ended up just like the woman she evicts from her property. Later, when one of the women she delivers food to on her Meals on Wheels route must move out from her care facility and is essentially homeless, Anderson is filled with compassion and the desire to help, a response that is much different than her response to the woman in the trailer. After the woman leaves the trailer and the trailer is hauled away, Anderson continues to see her around town, each time having to face her past actions and feeling shame.
The piece is introspective and honest, a good reminder to examine our own actions. Anderson’s writing is compelling and hard to look away from, well-deserving of its placement as the nonfiction Editors’ Prize winner.
The “Elemental Force” issue of Missouri Review is out. Inside: The 2019 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize winners, and Stephanie Carpenter on Little Women and Louisa May Alcott. Featuring John Balaban, Nathan Greenberg, Daniel Hornsby, Melissa Studdard, Diana Xin, Javier Zamora, and many more.
Inside our “Liberation” issue, First fiction from Thea Chacamaty and Bradley Babendir on Jewish comic novelists. Featuring Heather Christle, Samantha DeFlitch, Patricia Foster, Catherine Gammon, Terrance Manning Jr., Askold Melnyczuk, John R. Nelson, Anya Silver, and Paul Smith.
The Fall 2019 issue of the Missouri Review invites readers to wander away from the ordinary into a world that’s a little bit “off” in its feature. In “Dream Logic: The Art of Ten Contemporary Surrealists,”Kristine Somerville offers a brief history of the surrealist art movement.
While we learn the history, we also see full-color images of surreal artwork, including embroidered mixed media images by Robin McCarthy, clay sculptures by Ronit Baranga, collages by Rodriguez Calero, and more. Indeed, these all carry dreamlike qualities as they challenge our expectations. Each piece grabs the eye and forces it to take in new, creative perspectives. Baranga’s work features grotesque human features emerging from delicate teacups. Gensis Belanger’s work seems to showcase the ordinary until you blink and realize a stool is supported by four large cigarettes instead of regular legs, and the foot inside the sandal that rests on the stool is actually a hot dog. Whimsy and dream logic reign in this feature. The provided history grounds us, though, giving a clear lens through which we can examine the art.
Somerville closes with the reminder, “surrealism provides an outlet for creativity and spontaneity and an escape from the tyranny of the real.” Allow yourself to escape for a moment and wander into the dreams of the surreal artists found in the Fall 2019 issue.