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Magazine Stand :: The MacGuffin – Fall 2022

The MacGuffin literary magazine fall 2022 issue cover image

The newest issue of Schoolcraft College’s The MacGuffin (vol. 38.2) makes good on their staff’s mission to find work that takes risks with and evolves the narrative form. Look to Lisa L. Leibow’s “The Watch,” which utilizes multiple forms of the written word, as well as the magazine’s first-ever comic panel; Derek Updegraff’s “One Day at Work” satirizes message board vernacular; and A.J. Cunder’s “A Recipe for Chicken Parm” entwines the story in, well, a recipe for chicken parm. Augmenting these works are Janée J. Baugher’s ekphrases on two Andrew Wyeth paintings and Len Krisak’s tribute to “Four Characters” of a bygone era in Hollywood. Cover image: Mission Cone Flowers by Maeve Croghan.

Magazine Stand :: The MacGuffin – Spring 2022

The MacGuffin literary magazine Spring 2022 cover image

The MacGuffin Spring 2022 (Vol. 38, No. 1) comes with a double-shot of Poet Hunts past and present. Beginning with Guest Judge Indigo Moor’s selections from Poet Hunt 26: Grand Prize Winner Patrick Wilcox and Honorable Mentions Camille Carter and Karen Hones. Following is a five-poem feature of 2022’s Poet Hunt 27 Guest Judge Lynne Thompson. All of these writers were recently featured in a YouTube reading. In addition, this volume features Poetry by David Brehmer, Sarah C. Brockhaus, Anthony DiMatteo, Kevin Grauke, Eloise Klein Healy, Mary Beth Hines, Ken Holland, Margaret B. Ingraham, Marci Rae Johnson, Susan L. Leary, Alison Luterman, James Macmillen, Marjorie Maddox, Chrissy Martin, James McKee, James McKee, Karl Meade, Kathleen Meadows, Teresa Milbrodt, Derek Mong, Hanna Pachman, J. Scott Price, J. Stephen Rhodes, M.A. Schaffner, Deborah Bachels Schmidt, Carla Schwartz, John Zedolik; Nonfiction by Angela Bean, Jessie Carson, Bruce Cohen, David James, Judith Saunders; Fiction by Michael Garcia Bertrand, Felicia Cameron, Tom Eubanks, Bill Kitcher, Randy F. Nelson, Emanuele Pettener, John Picard, Daniel Webre; along with the postcard views Cuba as portrayed through Bruce Katz’s evocative watercolors.

The MacGuffin – Fall/Winter 2021

Nancy Buffum’s “Girl at Piano” on the cover of vol. 37.3 is a prelude to the trio of musical poetry in the exposition to this issue, composed by poets Frank Jamison, Tobey Hiller, and Vince Gotera. As with any other sonata, the recapitulation comes later—András Schiff through Murray Silverstein’s eyes; guitarists, off-stage (Berlioz anyone?) in Gabriella Graceffo’s “Relics”; extended vocal technique in Eric Rasmussen’s “The Irresistible Gobble”—but not before Lucy Zhang’s multi-part “Trigger” and Lynn Domina’s multi-peninsula “Yooper Love” develop the form a bit. Finally, we reach the coda, this time a scherzo: “The Slapathon,” from J.A. Bernstein.

Read more at The MacGuffin website.

The MacGuffin – Spring Summer 2021

The cover of the MacGuffin’s Vol. 37.2 is a postcard, painted by featured artist Kathleen Frank, sent from summer vacation. Travel stories abound: hike to ESSNWNAU-AL in Gracjan Kraszewski’s “First Impressions” and fly out to Saskatchewan on a brief hunt for truth and a certain mythological creature in Alexander Wentzell’s “Big Feet.” Check out what other pieces are in this issue at The MacGuffin website.

Poet Hunt 25 Winners

“While the contest is called the ‘Poet Hunt,’ I didn’t actually have to hunt very long for worthy poems; they arrived in batches, and it was quite a literary bounty,” Matthew Olzmann says introducing the winner and honorable mentions of Poet Hunt 25 in the Winter 2021 issue of The MacGuffin.

Winner
“No Rehearsal” by Vivian Shipley

Honorable Mentions
“Bright Spot” by Rita Schweiss
“Dogs and Ominous Weapons” by John Jeffire

Following the winning poems, readers can find a selection of poems by the guest judge of Poet Hunt 26, Indigo Moor.

Contest :: 15 Days Remain to Enter the 2021 Poet Hunt

Screenshot of The MacGuffin's 26th Annual Poet Hunt
click image to see full-size flier

Poet Hunt 26, Judged by Indigo Moor Closes in 15 Days!!

Deadline: June 15, 2021
Indigo Moor judges the MacGuffin’s 26th Poet Hunt contest, open April 1 through June 15! $500 first prize plus publication; up to two Honorable Mentions will also be published. All entrants receive one copy of this issue. Send no more than five poems per $15 entry fee. Include a cover page that lists your contact info and poem titles. On the following page(s), include your poem(s), beginning each poem on a new page devoid of personally identifiable information to preserve the blind review process. Enter via Submittable, or to enter by email or post, see full rules at schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/contest-rules.

Contest :: The MacGuffin Poet Hunt 26 Open

Screenshot of The MacGuffin's 26th Annual Poet Hunt
click image to see full-size flier

Poet Hunt 26, Judged by Indigo Moor, is Now Open!!

Deadline: June 15, 2021
Indigo Moor judges the MacGuffin’s 26th Poet Hunt contest, open April 1 through June 15! $500 first prize plus publication; up to two Honorable Mentions will also be published. All entrants receive one copy of this issue. Send no more than five poems per $15 entry fee. Include a cover page that lists your contact info and poem titles. On the following page(s), include your poem(s), beginning each poem on a new page devoid of personally identifiable information to preserve the blind review process. Enter via Submittable, or to enter by email or post, see full rules at schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/contest-rules.

Contest :: Poet Hunt 26, Judged by Indigo Moor, is Now Open!!

Screenshot of The MacGuffin's 26th Annual Poet Hunt
click image to see full-size flier

Deadline: June 15, 2021
Indigo Moor judges the MacGuffin’s 26th Poet Hunt contest, open April 1 through June 15! $500 first prize plus publication; up to two Honorable Mentions will also be published. All entrants receive one copy of this issue. Send no more than five poems per $15 entry fee. Include a cover page that lists your contact info and poem titles. On the following page(s), include your poem(s), beginning each poem on a new page devoid of personally identifiable information to preserve the blind review process. Enter via Submittable, or to enter by email or post, see full rules at schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/contest-rules.

Formal Poetry with The MacGuffin

Magazine Review by Katy Haas.

The Fall 2020 issue of The MacGuffin is the Formal Poetry Issue featuring 43 formal poems. The issue is introduced by retiring Poetry Editor Carol Was. Sonnets, pantoums, villanelles, quatrains, and more make up the poetry portion of the issue.

Among these is “Coyote in Town,” a sestina by Marla Kay Houghteling. The speaker wakes one night to see a coyote through their window in the city, their new home not as removed from the “wild / watchers” as they once thought. This poem reads easily, both the reader and the speaker stalked by wildness and shadows throughout the piece.

In Terry Blackhawk’s villanelle “No Callous Shell,” the poetry speaks to Conrad Hilberry and wonders if she can even write a villanelle. This is a fun, good-humored poem that felt relatable thinking back to my own questionable attempts at penning a form poem.

The poets in this issue, however, have all done a great job of taking on form poems, introducing me to forms I was unfamiliar with and serving inspiration to maybe try my own hand at writing one again.

The MacGuffin – Fall 2020

The MacGuffin’s Fall 2020 issue spotlights formal verse. In all, nineteen different forms are featured from poets across the map, near and far. From sonnets to sestinas, pantoums to clerihews, all connoisseurs of the written word will find something to delight in. Our usual selection of fiction and nonfiction is interspersed, with personal essays from Nadia Ibrahim and Gretchen Clark, tales of loss—though not the same—from Dave Larsen and Trisha McKee, and a look at two quite different families from Shirley Sullivan and Bethany Snyder. Rounding out this issue is the colorful work of Nicholas D’Angelo.

Seeing Dead People

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

Say, “I see dead people,” to just about anyone, and they’ll likely be able to name the movie it came from. But unlike Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense, attempting to help the dead find peace, Jasmine, the narrator in Catherine Stansfield’s “I See Dead People and Other Gags” uses the concept to help herself.

Jasmine tells people she can speak to their dead loved ones, and uses social media to glean information that she later uses in her sessions. Having lost her own mother at a young age and never really speaking about it again gives her a detachment from death and the sentimental feelings surrounding it, so she profits off other people’s pain and grief. However, at the end of the story, she’s hit with a surprise that may make her change her mind about her career path.

I would’ve enjoyed reading more about Jasmine and her work, getting to know more about her clients and her grandmother who casts a shadow over her mother’s death. Stansfield’s writing style is matter of fact and straight forward, fitting for Jasmine’s no-nonsense character. But what we are given is a fun read, a peak behind the medium’s curtain.

The MacGuffin – Spring Summer 2020

Evan D. Williams’ Escape Risk on the cover of The MacGuffin’s Volume 36.2 charts a vivid route out via literature of whatever quarantine situation you may find yourself trapped in. Journey to a new home and a new job in Mark Halpern’s “Would You Like Fries with That?” or head out on a cinematic cross-country trek with grandma in Jordan J.A. Hill’s “Marching Towards Golgotha.” Matthew Olzmann—guest judge of this year’s Poet Hunt contest—is highlighted in a short feature that begins on p. 101, while Erin Schalk’s gouache, ink, and wax form a vibrant mid-volume oasis.

Contest :: Poet Hunt 25 from The MacGuffin

The MacGuffin 2020 Poet Hunt flierDeadline: June 15, 2020
The MacGuffin’s 25th Poet Hunt Contest runs April 1 through June 15! One first place winner will receive $500 and publication; up to two Honorable Mentions also selected. We’re happy to have Matthew Olzmann as guest judge! Send up to five poems per $15 entry fee. On a cover page, list your contact info and poem titles. On the following page(s), include your poems, beginning each poem on a new page devoid of personally identifiable information to preserve the blind review process. Enter via Submittable (themacguffin.submittable.com/submit), or to enter by email or post, see full rules at our website (schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/contest-rules).

24th Annual Poet Hunt Winners

MacGuffin - Winter 2020The winners of the 24th Annual Poet Hunt can be found in the Winter 2020 issue of The MacGuffin. Judge Richard Tillinghast introduces his selections and gives some insight about the winner and the two runners-up in the issue.

Winner
“The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige” by Jane Craven

Honorable Mentions
“Sonnet from the German Front, 1944” by Jill Reid
“Aergia in the Overworld” by John Blair

The 2020 contest opened for submissions today and will run until June 15. Winners receive publication and a $500 grand prize. Visit The MacGuffin’s website to learn more.

The MacGuffin

MacGuffin - Winter 2020

Discover a new issue of The MacGuffin. Volume 36 Number 1 spotlights the winners of our 2019 Poet Hunt Contest as selected by guest judge Richard Tillinghast. Jane Craven’s first place “The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige,” begins on p. 74, followed by our two honorable mention poets, Jill Reid and John Blair. This issue’s prose selections include Lucy Mihajlich’s “When I Infiltrated IKEA, They Greeted Me at the Door” and Teresa Milbrodt’s “Playing Krampus.” Featured artist Alison Devine graces the book’s inside and outside with a stroll through the Hamilton, Ontario countryside.

Call :: The MacGuffin Volume 36 Number 3

The MacGuffin is featuring formal poetical works in Volume 36, No. 3! We’ll take a look at any poem in an established metrical form, but save any free or blank verse for a different issue. Send up to five poems, listing their titles and forms in an email cover letter, using “Form Issue” in the subject line. Submissions also considered via post and Submittable (themacguffin.submittable.com/submit). Please send all work by April 1, 2020. Prose is still being considered for general publication in this issue. For more information, please see our website at www.schoolcraft.edu/macguffin or send us an email at [email protected].