The May issue is now online featuring Johanna Boal, Claire Booker, Robert Cooperman, Jenny Hockey, Toby Jackson, Jacqueline Jules, and Rose Lennard. See a full list of contributors at the Mag Stand.
Issue #19 of Into the Void is by far our biggest issue yet! Containing 12 fiction pieces, 3 creative nonfiction pieces, 15 poems, and 11 beautiful art pieces, Issue #19 is vast, vivid and vibrant. Fiction by Sean Cunningham, Laurel Doud, Mark Foss, Jones Irwin, Chris Neilan, and more. Find more contributors at the Mag Stand.
We’re all masked up and ready to roll out our latest issue! Poetry, videos, music, a dog with a frisbee, Nobel Laureate, art work, photography. Poetry from Anne Pierson Wiese, Tim Suermondt, Samantha DeFlitch, Dawn Potter, Ralph Savarese. See what else is in this issue at the Mag Stand.
This milestone issue features some of our favorite prizewinning essays. These curious, beautiful, nuanced stories about everything from surviving lightning strikes to the relief of solving medical mysteries consider the many perils, as well as the tremendous power, of living in a body. See what else the issue has in store for you at the Mag Stand.
With Issue #37, we celebrate the extraordinary work of our Gregory Djanikian Scholars—six poets with immense talent who have yet to publish a full-length collection (hello, poetry presses!): Jari Bradley, Donte Collins, Jane Huffman, L. A. Johnson, Nastasha Rao and Brandon Thurman. See more contributors at the Mag Stand.
“Geographies of Justice,” edited by Alexis Lathem with Richard Cambridge and Charles Coe. An extraordinary testament to extraordinary times: includes poetry from Susan Deer Cloud, Tammy Melody Gomez, Richard Hoffmann, Jacqueline Johnson, Petra Kuppers, and Danielle Wolffe; nonfiction from Teow Lim Goh, Andréana Elise Lefton, David Mura, Nicole Walker, and Catherine Young. Find more contributors at the Mag Stand.
Jesse Lee Kercheval’s “The Boy Who Drew Cats” speaks both to our current time and to the necessity of human myth. Confined to a house in Uruguay as her children face quarantine in Japan, Kercheval connects to the hero of a Japanese fable, the titular drawer of cats, in an attempt to find solace within herself through her own artistic ventures.
This connection to cultural myth—and Kercheval does cement her own tale very concretely to the modern as well as the mythical—inspires the author in its assertions of safety, balance, and a sense of stability. The myth helps her recapture her own love of art and facilitates a return to the page where flowers transform into felines. Kercheval does not uphold the myth as a perfect guideline, either—she comments upon it, accepting the good she sees there while acknowledging elements she appears to dislike.
But her inclusion of the fable also speaks to the wider purpose of human myth—as a necessity of the imagination to allow us to “visit” faraway places and to inspire. Kercheval places both within the story to generate trust that the world will get better, as well as trust in her own abilities.
“The Boy Who Drew Cats” by Jesse Lee Kercheval. Brevity, January 2021.
Reviewer bio: Adrian Thomson is a graduate student at Utah State University, currently working toward his MS by way of a thesis in poetry.
This was a really weird book, but in a good way. It follows a girl named Jenna Fox who was in a car accident and woke up from a coma with no memories at all. She has to build a new life for herself while also trying to find out about her past.
There are some sci-fi elements in the medical parts of this story as well which made for some really shocking plot twists, and the way that Jenna’s new life is shaped because of those things is so much different than normal people’s lives.
This book also brings up identity and what it means to be yourself and have your own personality and I really enjoyed that part of it. I also liked the whimsical way the story was told. There were parts where I felt like I was reading poetry because the writing is so pretty, but it was really easy to understand, even the more scientific parts.
If you really enjoy stories about medical miracles, or utopian stories, this is a great book to pick up.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson. Square Fish. 2009.
Reviewer bio: I’m Natalie Hess and I’m simply a high school student who LOVES reading everything from scifi to romance to nonfiction and everything in between. I also love sharing my thoughts and I hope you enjoy!
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Dog Boy by Eva Hornung is the harrowing tale of a young boy raised by wild dogs. Based on a true story, the novel follows Romochka, a four-year-old boy abandoned by his family, as he attempts to survive the Russian winters in the aftermath of perestroika. At its heart, this book is a story about what it means to be an underdog, both literally and metaphorically.
Every scene in this book had me gritting my teeth. I laughed. I cried. I walked away from it in horror and disgust, only to return to it again and again. It’s one of those books that even after you finish reading it, you still think about it. I can’t look at dogs the same way I used to. Hornung does a fantastic job of examining what it means to be a “person.”
The book isn’t perfect. There are parts where the plot gets a bit fuzzy and convenient. She stretched my suspension of disbelief a tad bit too far in places. Overall, though, this is one of my new favorites, and I’ll definitely be recommending it to others. If you love books about dogs, survival, Russia, humanity, violence, family, and hope, then this book is for you.
Dog Boy by Eva Hornung. Viking, March 2010.
Reviewer bio: Gabrielle Thurman is a creative writer, professional editor, queer woman, native Arkansan, and aspiring novelist. Her creative nonfiction can be found in The Elephant Ladder and The Vortex Magazine of Literature and Fine Art.
When we are asked to carry stories with us, fables and religion and family origins, we carry not just their words but their implications. Opening with a thoughtful exploration of Job, we witness the haunting impacts of “. . . the Devil asking / for permission to torment” and “God saying yes” on a vulnerable persona who ties these poems together. As a reader, the three acts serve as a pathway between childhood, where poems are playful including asking questions about sex in Sunday school, to the self doubt and self-harm of teenagehood, and ending with a young woman’s struggle with addiction.
In the background of this transformation, there is God and this story that haunts the beginning of each act, Job. God let him suffer. God lets our persona suffer. The commitment to the theme is astonishing; Jackson uses erasure of hymns, references to Jonah, and the anticipated language of sin. However, the redemption arc is not quite there. Jackson keeps us hungering for relief that only appears in the occasional rhetorical line or question, “Who am I /to go against God & the saints?”
I arrived at this book in need of fellowship about midway through this hellscape of a year. What a welcome 75 pages of commiseration. An open hand to anyone, regardless of religion, despite its theme because at its heart, it builds a story of abandonment, of melancholy, of needing someone to witness one’s pain.
Even the Saints Audition by Raych Jackson. Button Poetry, September 2019.
Reviewer bio: Sherrel McLafferty is a Pushcart nominated writer residing in Bowling Green, Ohio. For more information, visit her website at sherrelmclafferty.com or her Twitter @AwesomeSherrel.
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Our theme for this issue is LOVE in all its painful, confusing, passionate and joyous diversity. Featuring fiction by Louise Blalock, Margaret Emma Brandl, Ed Davis, Stefan Kiesbye, and Nick Sweeney; memoir by Jane Boch, Ruth Askew Brelsford, Laura Foxworthy, and Carmela Delia Lanza; and poetry and prose poems by Leonore Hildebrandt, Robert Murray, and Jacalyn Shelley. Find out what else is in this issue at the Mag Stand.