Boasting a twenty-year publication run, Salamander hails from the English Department at Suffolk University in Boston. This newest issue features poetry from over 50 authors, including Akhim Yuseff Cabey, Kelly Weber, Keith Leonard, John Sibley Williams, Robbie Gamble, J.P. White, Jane Zwart, Mag Gabbert, Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, Mel McCuin, Kassy Lee, Eliza Browning, Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Anthony Borruso, Luke Patterson, Alina Stefanescu, Rita Feinstein; Fiction by Bergita Bugarija, Megan Peck Shub, Anita Trimbur, Jade Song, Julialicia Case; and Creative Nonfiction by Rochelle Hurt and aureleo sans. Cover art by Wes Holloway (in addition to a full-color portfolio inside).
Salamander literary magazine has announced a new poetry award: Louisa Solano Memorial Emerging Poet Award for work published in the magazine. Funded by the Ellen LaForge Memorial Poetry Fund, the first two awards will actually be given retroactively from Salamander‘s latest two issues (54 and 55). The winner will receive a monetary award, announcement in a future issue, and an e-portfolio of their work provided for free access on Salamander‘s website. Award winners will also have the opportunity to offer a virtual reading with the judge and virtual class visits at Suffolk University, where Salamander is based.
“Emerging,” the editors explain, “for our purposes, will mean poets who have not published more than one full-length poetry collection at the time of their publication in Salamander. Poets without any previous publication history will also be considered, as will poets who have published chapbooks but not a full-length poetry collection. No other basis will be used to narrow down the possible eligibility. Writers can be of any age, background, location, etc.”
For more information, stay tuned to the Salamander website.
Published at Suffolk University, this new issue of Salamander includes 2021 Fiction Contest First Prize Winner, “Lucky, Lucky, Lucky” by Nicole Simonsen, and Second Prize Winner “Panzanalia” by Justina Elias, along with creative nonfiction by Sarah Cedeño, and poetry by Anindita Sengupta, Christopher DeWeese, Sara Elkamel, Inez Tan, Kathleen Winter, Minadora Macheret, Katie Marya, Seth Leeper, Lynn Gao Cox, Aneska Tan, Leigh Chadwick, Alejandro Lucero, and more.
Salamander #52 features poetry from Anemone Beaulier, Stephanie Burt, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Leila Chatti, JD Debris, Jose Hernandez Diaz, Charles Douthat, Ananda Lima, Angie Macri, Ricky Ray, Rochelle Robinson-Dukes, Leah Umansky, Sara Moore Wagner, Yun Wang, Erica Wright, Maria Zoccola.
Salamander #51, featuring: fiction by Jinwoo Chong, Gretchen Comba, Michael O’Brien, Carol Dines, and Kanza Javed; nonfiction by Darius Stewart; an art portfolio by Angela N. Weddle; reviews by Hope Wabuke, Marcela Sulak, and Jacquelyn Pope; and poetry by Michael Bazzett, Paula Abramo tr. by Dick Cluster, Suphil Lee Park, Jennifer Jean, and more.
Salamander is a literary magazine that contains many works of poetry, fiction, and essays from a diverse collection of writers of varying backgrounds and writing styles. Issue 41 of this magazine is particularly spectacular. With themes ranging from the wonder found in the familiar to the indignity of a corpse, the works found in this issue provoke intense consideration for many different subjects and arguments.
Any type of reader is guaranteed to find a wide collection of works they will enjoy and cherish in Issue 41. A great deal of this magazine’s appeal is how each and every work requires the reader to delve deeper, often rereading the same lines over and over again to gain new, more profound meanings with each read through. If you want to broaden your horizons in the writer’s world, Salamander is a magazine worthy of your time.
Reviewer bio: Regina Shumway is an eager writer, looking to improve her skills and experience. She is currently a student at Brigham Young University in Hawaii.
In the early days of lockdown, I had friends comment to me that they felt almost a sense of relief. Despite the tragedies reported in the news and the uncertainty of the new world we found ourselves in, they felt like they were able to breathe for the first time—to spend days resting or creating or getting personal work done or fully focusing on their families, none of which they were able to accomplish during the busyness of everyday life.
In the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Salamander, Anne Kilfoyle’s story “Double-Yolked” reminded me of those conversations and feelings. As narrator Keera and her husband Jesse prepare for an emergency evacuation following an unnamed global threat, she reflects:
The last three days have been good days, some of the best. We have been holding our breath but also our problems got smaller. [ . . . ] Our biggest fear wasn’t mass annihilation, it was that we’d have to go back to how things were, back to our jobs and our lives [ . . . ].
Despite their lack of preparation, she feels okay with what’s coming to them, feels capable knowing they have each other, now somehow stronger together, as they move forward.
The short piece is relatable and timely: empty store shelves, last minute orders from Amazon in an attempt to ease the new worries, the uncertainty that surrounds them, and that strange relief of being released from normal life. It can be difficult to read disaster-themed writing while living through a similar situation, but Kilfoyle manages to cover the topic in a way that’s casual and comforting without adding to the current, similar stresses.
The Summer 2020 issue of Salamander features poetry by Rajiv Mohabir, Emily O’Neill, Rose McLarney, Sebastián Hasani Páramo, and many more; translations by Martha Collins, Nguyen Ba Chung, and Sergey Gerasimov; fiction by Anne Kilfoyle, Matthew Wamser, Olivia Wolfgang-Smith, and Joanna Pearson; creative nonfiction by Kathryn Nuernberger; artwork by Emily Forbes; and reviews by Joseph Holt, Mike Good, Katie Sticca, and Brandel France de Bravo.
After twenty-seven years, Jennifer Barber has left her position as Editor-in-Chief of Salamander. In the Summer 2019 issue, readers can find a portfolio, edited by Fred Marchant, dedicated to Barber’s work with Salamander over the years.
Location is a strong theme among these poems. Martha Collins writes of Santa Fe in “Passing,” flashes of scene and memory flitting by as she walks us through the streets; Valerie Duff sits at the titular “Fry’s Spring Filling Station” in Charlottesville, VA and thinks of the passage of time; Danielle Legros Georges lands in Cap-Haitien, Haiti in “Green Offering”; Yusef Komunyakaa quietly reflects on the train stop at Liberty Airport in Newark, NJ; and Gail Mazur considers hiking Ice Glen trails in Massachusetts, thoughts of romanticism and friendship drawing her there. If you’re unable to get out and travel this summer, take a mini literary vacation through this selection of Salamander.
Between those stops on the map are other great poems including “Selected Haiku for Jenny” by Maxine Hong Kingston, a set of three-lined stanzas that seem almost like a writing exercise to urge her to write, as it begins “There are days of no poems. / Not even 17 sounds will come.” And then later “Haiku master: ‘No need / for 17 syllables. [ . . . ] / Be free.” In “Recovery,” Jeffrey Harrison writes of a familiar feeling for me: the fear of breaking a favorite coffee cup. In one moment, he thinks he’s lost it, and in the next it’s still there, “its yellow somehow brighter,” better now that he’s felt its loss.
There are plenty more poems to check out in this portfolio, a fitting good-bye for Jennifer Barber and her dedicated work throughout the years.
Review by Katy Haas
After twenty-six years as editor-in-chief of Salamander, Suffolk University’s literary journal, Jennifer Barber has announced she is “stepping down to pursue other projects.”
“The magazine will continue to be housed in and nourished by the Suffolk University English Department,” she assures readers. The spring/summer 2019 issue will be guest edited, and any further information about future issues will be announced in the fall issue.
Our best wishes to Jennifer as she embarks on her new live adventures!
Salamander is a diverse and interesting literary publication that includes poetry, fiction, reviews, and even portfolios of artwork. This magazine is produced by the Suffolk University’s Department of English, and they certainly delivered many amazing pieces in Issue #45.
Salamander #41 features the winner of their 2015 Fiction Prize, “Floating Garden” by Mary LaChapelle, as well as the 2015 Honorable Mention, “The Hooligan Present” by John Mauk. Judge Andre Dubus III offered these comments on his selections:
With spare yet deeply evocative prose, “Floating Garden” sweeps us up into the span of a singular life, one that is as sacred as any other, one for whom “the words for things take us from what matters.” This story is a profound meditation on the nature of brutality – of man against man, of man against nature – yet it is also an unsentimental song of how we can be redeemed, “like dust into soil, so dark, so primordial.” This is a lovely gem of a tale.
Told in a rollicking, expressionistic voice, “The Hooligan Present” delivers that rarest of reading experiences; it actually makes you laugh, and then it makes you cry, and then it leaves you grateful for such artistry, for such a generous and humane vision of this dirty old world.
For a full list of finalists and more information about this annual contest, click here.
The current issue of Salamander is chock-full of human experience. One might think a large role of all literature is to capture such experience, and I believe this to be true, but the poems and stories in this issue provide experience in the purest way. Our lives are lived through fragments even though time feels linear. The work published in this issue show us fragmented living. Continue reading “Salamander – Fall/Winter 2014/2015”
Salamander #39 features the 2014 fiction prize winner judged by Jennifer Haigh: “Dimension” by Barrett Warner. Of his work, Haigh says it is a “coming-of-age tale turned inside out, the hit-and-run love story of an unlikely couple on the skids. Their ill-fated affair is sketched with marvelous economy, style , and verve. Wise, playful, startling in its insight, this is a story made of remarkable sentences laid end to end.’
“When Desire Can’t Find Its Object” by Margaret Osburn earned an honorable mention. Haigh writes that this work “depicts a meeting between old friends: a young draft dodger on a vision quest, and Iris, his best friend’s mother, who is not long for this world. In supple, elastic prose, it telegraphs – in seven short pages – a curious love story, a brief interlude that illumines an entire life.”
[Cover Art: “WC4173, 2010” by Ann Ropp]
In the opening sentences of Naira Kuzmich’s “The Kingsley Drive Chorus,” a group of women in an ethnically Armenian subsection of Los Angeles neighborhood find themselves collectively and consecutively isolated as if in parallel tombs in a glass mausoleum. The storyis told in the first-person plural to create a grammatical tense that conveys, through expertly crafted language, a community at once too-close and fissuring at the strain of immigration and assimilation. The story conveys a national heritage, with measured references to kyoftas and the city of origin, but the story is not limited to remembering; it is not a honeyed tribute to Armenian sociology or history or even the adaptation of these pursuits; rather, it is an almost Biblical story of violence and loss. Continue reading “Salamander – Summer 2013”
Salamander, founded in 1992, is celebrating their 20th year anniversary. “For the past twenty years, we’ve remained committed to publishing our favorite writers while continuing to find writers who are new to us,” says Editor Jennifer Barber, “a mission we take to heart.” The current issue, Part 1, features sixty-five writers, fifty of which are appearing in Salamander for the first time.
This issue also features the winners of the third annual fiction contest, judged by Carolyn Cooke.
Lynne Butler Oaks: “A Sudden Absence of Sound”
Jenn Chan Lyman: “Two Old Fools”
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but to be honest, I do it all the time. Of course the work in a journal always ends up speaking for itself, but I’d be lying if I said first impressions didn’t influence the way I approach new lit mags. In this case, between the title and the cover art, Salamander had me feeling a bit uneasy.
The newest issue of Salamander (v17 n1) includes the winning story of the 2011 Salamander Fiction Contest, “The Aerialist” by Hester Kaplan, and honorable mention, “The Blue Demon of Ikumi” by Kelly Luce. This year’s contest was judged by Jim Shepherd. A full list of finalists is available on the publication’s website.
This strong issue includes the winner (Timothy Mullaney for “Green Glass Doors”) and runner-up (Susan Magee for “The Mother”) of Salamander’s first-ever fiction contest, three other stories, a memoir essay, and the work of more than two-dozen poets. Continue reading “Salamander – Winter 2010/2011”
The newest issue of Salamander (v16 n2) includes the winners of the magazines first-ever fiction contest with Jill McCorkle as final judge. The first prize winner is Timothy Mullaney (“Green Glass Doors”) and runner up is Susan Magee (“The Mother”). The judge for Salamander’s 2011 fiction contest will be Jim Shepard. Entry period is April 15 – May 15 (postmark deadline).
You’ll always find a few big stars in Salamander (Chase Twichell, Maura Stanton, Michael Collins). What’s more important, though, is that you’ll always find some stellar work. And this issue is no exception. I am thrilled to see two poems from Catherine Sasanov’s new collection, Had Slaves. I heard her read from this book last year prior to its publication and was quite taken with these spare (with the exception of their titles!), beautifully composed, and astoundingly moving poems about a family history of slave ownership. Continue reading “Salamander – Summer 2009”
At one point in Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Road, the main character laments how he’s forgetting things’ names: “Colors. The names of birds. Things to eat. Finally the names of things one believed to be true.” The work in this issue of Salamander reacts against this amnesia, knowing that loss in specifics results in loss of meaning. As Jennifer Barber, the editor, says, “[These pieces] restore the essential questions about what we live through, what we imagine, and what we tell, answering Rilke’s call to ‘Speak and bear witness.’” Through Salamander’s focus on life’s details, it does just that. Continue reading “Salamander – 2008”