Literary Magazine Reviews

Posted April 15, 2014

 

ABZ CoverABZ

A Poetry Magazine

Number 8

2013

Annual

Review by Elaine Fowler Palencia

With this issue, ABZ becomes a biennial journal rather than an annual. It’s a shame it will come out less often, because the poems here arise out of deep feeling, place, and lived experience. They are about things that matter. No wonder the volume is dedicated to the memory of Lucille Clifton “who always knew how to make poetry even when it hurt.” ABZ is published in Huntington, West Virginia, and there is a nice mix of poets known to the region, such as Richard Hague, Mark DeFoe...
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apt Coverapt

Issue 4

2014

Annual

Review by Mary Florio

According to neuroscientists at the University of Florida, lobsters may be the key to bomb detection. In other words, reality is fast approaching the fantastic, so for the modern surrealist to distinguish herself, she must court the right sound in the right place with the right pitch and endless imagination. The right place just might be apt, a publication of Aforementioned Productions. apt showcases a range of talents in this “Surveillance Issue.” Writers eschew traditional forms...
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Beloit Poetry Journal CoverBeloit Poetry Journal

Volume 64 Number 2

Winter 2013/2014

Quarterly

Review by Travis Laurence Naught

This issue of Beloit Poetry Journal is chock-full of powerful poems with interesting word presentations. Eleven authors contributed fourteen individual pieces to a short, impactful magazine. Editor Lee Sharkey rounds out the volume with an interesting article in the Books in Review section titled “Poems in Conversation.” Of the many ways to write and present poetry, I agree with Sharkey that some of the best are mobile selections “spanning time and cultures in a spirit of…
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Bomb Magazine CoverBomb Magazine

Number 126

Winter 2013-2014

Quarterly

Review by Michael Caylo-Baradi

A gold square dominates the cover of Bomb’s 126th issue; it sits in the middle of a naked male figure’s chest, which appears to be a subject of a woman’s painting; her hand is partially hidden behind the square, the explicit center of intrigue in Peter Rostovsky’s Photoshop painting Autopsy (2012). Painting appears to be the ironic instrument of autopsy here, a way of dissecting. Conversely, the square underlines an intrusion, and omits something in the drama between man and woman…
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Brick CoverBrick

Number 92

Winter 2014

Biannual

Review by Brian McKenna

Have financial constraints or a lack of vacation days turned you into a regionalist against your will? Don’t fret, the new issue of Brick is here to take you on a whirlwind tour, sans pat downs, turbulence, and the high cost of airfare. Aptly labeled “an anthology of enthusiasms” by former editor Michael Ondaatje, Brick is filled with the work of writers and thinkers whose preoccupations are as categorically eclectic as they are geographically diverse. From the ice fields of the North Pole to a paradise in the mind, from Tokyo to…
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Chtenia CoverChtenia

Readings from Russia

Volume 25

Winter 2014

Quarterly

Review by Sherra Wong

“No one can embrace the unembraceable,” the editors of Chtenia commented on the task of reading for this issue, “Storied Moscow.” Indeed, Moscow evokes a rush of impressions like no other city: six-month winters, intrigue, people from Tashkent and Minsk rubbing elbows and trading blows, the center of violence, dreams, disappointments, and majesty for so many. I’m willing to bet that the Stolichnaya (“of the capital”) brand of vodka wouldn’t ring with the same aplomb if it were associated…
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Fence CoverFence

Volume 16 Number 1

Winter 2013-2014

Biannual

Review by Michael Caylo-Baradi

As an introduction to this issue of Fence, Rebecca Wolff covers all the bases in her editor’s note: poetry, nonfiction, and, yes, fiction (because confessions and revelations often feel like fiction). Wolff’s tone is unapologetic, proud of her position, her power as editor: “It is in my power to bestow power, to share it.” One can argue that she’s flaunting this power, waving it in your face in a mixed mode of fuck-you and endearment, which is not unusual, since we live in the age of Facebook and…
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Graze CoverGraze

Issue 4

Fall 2013

Biannual

Review by Kirsten McIlvenna

Graze, a perfectly delicious foodie literary magazine, is printed in two color: black and green. The design works throughout and pulls the pieces together. This issue features a fantastic cover with various life-like foods in the library: an ice-cream sandwich lies on his back, a piece of pizza sits on the floor, a burrito browses the stacks, and plenty more characters populate the page. Inside, you’ll find plenty more fun. Jamie Lee Knight’s poem “The runaway tea train” is playful, yet skillfully crafted: “The biscuits crumble, and the saucers…
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The Hudson Review CoverThe Hudson Review

Volume 66 Number 4

Winter 2014

Quarterly

Review by Brian McKenna

“As Han-shan observed, / sometimes there is no Zen, / only hermits plodding up and down Cold Mountain.” These opening lines from Dick Allen’s brief poem “As Han-shan observed” nicely paraphrase a key question at the heart of several essays and reviews in The Hudson Review’s latest issue. Allen’s memorable poem from the current issue not only describes the human tendency to find dogma where none exists, it also calls into question the degree to which an accurate portrait…
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Mid-American Review CoverMid-American Review

Volume 34 Number 1

2013

Annual

Review by Elaine Palencia

The latest issue of this well-known journal is like a house that turns out to be much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. Here are its rooms: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and book reviews; a translation chapbook; three entries from the 2013 Fineline Competition; and two winners from the 2013 AWP Intro Journals Awards. The poetry and fiction partake of a trend that has come to fruition in post-apocalyptic YA novels and movies…
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The Missouri Review CoverThe Missouri Review

Volume 36, Number 4

Winter 2013

Quarterly

Review by Julie J. Nichols

In his lucid, wise introduction to this issue of the highly-reputed Missouri Review, Editor Speer Morgan invokes paradox and opposition, those twin universals of human existence, as the theme of the day. “Falling man” is the image on the cover and the title of his survey of the issue’s contents, and in referring to “the potential uncertainty of the given” as the driving principle of its stories, essays, and poems, he’s utterly correct. But I’d also argue that another theme…
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The Nassau Review CoverThe Nassau Review

2013

Annual

Review by Melanie Tague

The 2013 issue of The Nassau Review revolves around the theme of “Ekphrasis” or descriptions of other works of art. Each piece in this issue stays true to the theme and gives the reader things to think about on multiple levels. The work in the journal will make the reader not only contemplate what the piece of art they are reading is doing, but it will force the reader to meditate on the implications the work has on another body of work, be it a painting, an instructional manual…
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Notre Dame Review CoverNotre Dame Review

Number 37

Winter/Spring 2014

Biannual

Review by Julie J. Nichols

“What’s Up?” is the title of this issue; on Robert Kareka’s cover, “Muddy Feet” are up, waving around in beachy air. But a lot more is up, too. Most of the time, the appeal of literature is its pointing beyond itself, like a Zen finger, to the “world under the world.” Language’s gaps and leaps, the cumulative sound and meaning of particular arrangements of words, lead us past mere materiality into the reality behind it, so that we close the pages transported and enlarged…
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Raleigh-Review-V4-Winter-Spring-2014Raleigh Review

Volume 4

Winter/Spring 2014

Biannual

Review by Mitchell Jarosz

The mission statement of Raleigh Review reads, “We believe fine art should challenge as well as entertain.” While many of the pieces in this issue fit the description of traditional poetry and prose, there are significant pieces of work that do indeed “challenge as well as entertain.” Throughout the journal, again and again we are presented with imagery in a modern style that drives the pace in bursts of short statements and thoughtful comments that ask to be…
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Redactions CoverRedactions

Poetry, Poetics, & Prose

Issue 17

Winter 2013

Annual

Review by Travis Laurence Naught

Poetry takes many forms, and this issue of Redactions is a stark reminder for me that I just don’t “get” some of those forms. I did run across several bits of writing worth investigating with more depth, but for the most part I was left grasping for meaning. All 26 poets represented should be commended for the hard work which they have had accepted, but readers need to know that this issue is more challenging than casual perusal, and I found very few moments of…
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Rip-Rap-V35-May-2013Rip Rap Literary Journal

Volume 35

May 2013

Annual

Review by Sarah Gorman

Readers with an interest in the visual arts and graphic design as well as in literature will appreciate this publication. Rip Rap Literary Journal—designed and produced by students in the MFA program at California State University at Long Beach—allots generous space to bold typography and 4-color endpapers as well as individual artworks appearing throughout the volume. Physically, the journal feels and looks substantial, justifying its identity as an annual. If you are familiar…
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Saw Palm CoverSaw Palm

Volume 8

Spring 2014

Annual

Review by Mary Florio

Physically built like a monograph from the City Lights Pocket Poet series, Saw Palm weighs approximately 5 oz., literally, with a figurative weight of so much peninsula, so much history that the Atlantic can deliver against the Florida shoreline. The book is preciously constructed, and the contents arresting, dedicated with precision to the literature and art of the state, its denizens and diaspora. Unlike other journals, where metaphor can wheel the reader away from the centrality of theme or place…
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SRPR CoverSRPR (Spoon River Poetry Review)

Volume 38 Number 2

Winter 2013

Biannual

Review by Travis Laurence Naught

Readers looking for poetic range in vast quantities, this is the issue for you! Over 100 pages of work that I would bet contains at least three things even the pickiest of perusers will enjoy. I found that I had to keep myself very present while reading through the issue because I would have gotten lost in the variety of words presented. A primary example of content range is available very early in the issue. Editor Prize winning poems are presented toward the beginning…
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WomenArts Quarterly Journal CoverWomenArts Quarterly Journal

Volume 4 Issue 1

2014

Quarterly

Review by Melanie Tague

WomenArts Quarterly Journal is a peer-reviewed journal published at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is part of the Women in the Arts organization. It publishes a collection of poetry, interviews, and reviews, all created by women, in virtually any field of art. This issue features an informative and interesting interview with the musician Anne King whose name you may recognize from Whose Line Is It Anyway? where she worked as one of the musicians…
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300 Days of Sun Cover300 Days of Sun

Volume 1 Issue 1

Spring 2014

Annual

Review by Denise Hill

300 Days of Sun is a new student-run publication from Nevada State College Humanities Department featuring poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art and funded by a donation from Dr. and Mrs. J. Russell Raker, III in honor of their son Major Jonathan Russell Raker who passed away October 6, 2011 at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. The students have done well to honor the Raker family and have also established their place in deserving continued…
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