At the Magazine Stand, the cover of Poetry’s March 2020 issue is inviting. Learn what’s inside: a “Latinext” feature with work by Willie Perdomo, Féi Hernandez, Naomi Ayala, J. Estanislao Lopez, Stephanie Roberts, Roberto Carlos Garcia, Ashley August, Nicole Sealey, Noel Quiñones, Virgil Suárez, P.E. Garcia, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, Sergio Lima, Anthony Morales, Anaïs Deal-Márquez, Lupe Mendez, and Melinda Hernandez. Plus more poetry by John McAuliffe, Douglas Kearney, Robin Gow, Jennifer Chang, Suzi F. Garcia, Luther Hughes, Yusef Komunyakaa, John Kinsella & Thurston Moore, Caroline Bird, and more. Nonfiction by Matthew Bevis.
This issue of Raleigh Review, at this week’s Magazine Stand, features the winner of the flash fiction contest, Alexander Weinstein, and runners-up, Alexander Steele and Sarah Hardy. Plus new fiction from Michael Horton, Laura Marshall, Casey McConahay, Jeff McLaughlin, AJ Nolan, and Mark Wagenaar, and new poetry by Threa Almontaser, Kyce Bello, Despy Boutris, Lupita Eyde-Tucker, Charlotte Hughes, Kamal E. Kimball, Sandy Longhorn, Aimee Seu, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, and more. This issue also features the art of Stacey Cushner, and an interview with Patricia Henley.
The Lake brings readers poetry every month. This month’s issue is now featured at our Magazine Stand. The March issue includes poems by Ben Banyard, Melanie Branton, Sandy Deutscher Green, William Ogden Haynes, D. R. James, Beth McDonough, Joe Hills, Kenneth Pobo, J. R. Solonche, Amy Soricelli, Gerald Wagoner, Sarah White. Reviews of Abby Frucht’s Maids and Marianne Boruch’s The Anti-Grief.
Cherry Tree‘s sixth issue, included on this week’s Magazine Stand, features work by Diannely Antigua, Destiny O. Birdsong, Mirande Bissell, Jennifer Bullis, Lauren Camp, Hannah Cohen, Bailey Cohen-Vera, Raymond Deej, Dante Di Stefano, Jen Stewart Fueston, Jeannine Hall Gailey, David Groff, Christian Gullette, Steve Henn, Korey Hurni, Ashley M. Jones, Kasey Jueds, Toshiya Kamei, Genevieve Kaplan, Olivia Kingery, Mingpei Li, Alice Liang, Sarah Lyons-Lin, Angie Macri, Ann Stewart McBee, Afopefoluwa Ojo, JJ Peña, Robert L. Penick, Emilia Phillips, Caroline Plasket, Alec Prevett, Sara Ryan, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Martha Silano, DeAnna Stephens, Anne Dyer Stuart, Yerra Sugarman, Ojo Taiye, Adam Tavel, Yasumi Tsuhara, Elsa Valmidiano, Hannah VanderHart, April Wang, and Art Zilleruelo!
Allegro Poetry Magazine has recently moved to a biannual publication schedule. Find Issue 24, the first of 2020’s issues at the NewPages Magazine Stand. This issue’s contributors include Judith Russell, Michael G. Casey, John Grey, Leslie Tate, Ruth Taaffe, Dan Overgaard, Ken Cumberlidge, William Snyder, Beth McDonough, Holly Day, Goran Gatalica, Kate Noakes, Aaliyah Cassim, Awósùsì Olúwábùkúmí A, Phil Wood, Gordon Gibson, Sean Howard, Michael Burton, Julia White, Julie Mullen, and Michele Waering.
The Autumn 2019 issue of The Gettysburg Review offers readers a great selection of poetry and prose as usual, from Alice Friman’s “Hygiene,” which utilizes breasts as a way to measure time and maturity in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, to the 55-part essay “A Brief Account of Certain Left-Leaning Tendencies” by Valerie Sayers which highlights her father by using the word “left,” to digestible words of wisdom in three poems by Joyce Sutphen.
But what really left me enamored was the art feature. Nine paintings by Anne Siems grace the pages and cover of this issue. The portraits are whimsical and magical, using creative patterns and images of nature to create portraits that draw viewers in. More little details pop out the longer one looks. People become one with nature—mushrooms cloud around a body in “We Are All Connected,” animal heads sprout from hands like puppets in “Beasts,” antlers grow from the head of an animal-surrounded girl in “Eve Dreams of a Wolf.” These works are gorgeous and give readers a good reason to stick around within the pages of this issue long after they’ve gotten their share of words.
I’m ready for spring to hurry up and get here already, so I couldn’t help gravitating toward poems featuring plants in the Fall 2019 issue of The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review.
Tara Bray focuses on plants in all three of her poems: “Inside the Sycamore,” “Milkweed: Doxology,” and “Lemon Verbena.” She writes with a hushed appreciation and admiration for each of these. There’s a familiarity and softness in her words. She calls the lemon verbena “sister,” she and her family fit themselves inside the sycamore, she feeds off the milkweed, a deep connection tying her to each plant.
This makes me appreciate Brian McDonald’s “Basil,” found on the following page, that much more. He heads in the completely opposite direction, beginning his poem with much less adoration: “Fuck. Another summer of trying to grow / these oily leaves I’ve always let fry / in the heat.” The basil plants lead McDonald to consider his shortcomings: other plants that have died in windowsills and his uncertainty about whether he’s treating his wife how she should be treated. He’s open and honest, deeply human, all with the help of these fragile basil plants.
It will still be cold here in Michigan for at least another month or two, so I definitely appreciate the writers that are able to deliver me from the chilliness and drop me in the middle of a sycamore or a warm backyard, a tray of basil plants in hand.
The Malahat Review annually hosts the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize. The editors consider submissions of “a genre that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization.” The Winter 2019 issue features the 2019 winner, chosen by Judge Yasuko Thanh: “Bat Reign” by Jeanette Lynes.
In an interview, Thanh said she was looking for “A story with a heartbeat, the ring of truth; to be surprised on every page with turn of phrase, or metaphor, or image so apt it’s breathtaking. Insight. A climactic “punchline” in the sense that its timing is perfectly paced and creates a resolution as inevitable as unexpected.”
Pick up a copy of the Winter 2019 issue of The Malahat Review to see how Lynes meets these expectations with “Bat Reign,” and check back in May of this year for details on the 2020 prize.
I’ve been a fan of Ellen Meeropol’s novels for ten years. Her three previous books merged personal drama with social justice. But not until Her Sister’s Tattoo has Meeropol so masterfully grasped the political strife in our country since the 1960’s. And as a true novelist can do, she allows us to experience the turmoil through the intimate lives of two characters whom we come to know and understand.
Rosa and Esther Levin are caught up in the passion and violence of the anti-war protests of 1968 in Detroit. When protest marchers are bloodied by the mounted police, the sisters spontaneously take an action to distract the police that would seem innocuous, even childlike. They hurl apples at the police. But a horse is spooked and a police officer is horribly injured. In that one moment, their lives change in unimaginable ways, driving a brutal wedge between the two sisters that will endure for decades. The dynamics of loyalty to family and one’s conscience become the battleground for a truly American novel.
Late in the book, (I’m not giving anything away here) a character says, “The Levin sisters taught me it’s not your family that determines who you become. It’s not even your abilities. Your choices define you.”
We all make choices every day that define us, but some of us make choices with more lethal consequences. Will our loyalties reside first with our loved ones, or should we sacrifice even our freedom to a larger belief in what is right? Meeropol pulls back the curtain on the lives of two sisters in the midst of this and by doing so, pulls back the curtain on a history of political activism that reverberates through time. For those with an eye for politics and fiction, Ellen Meeropol’s novel will not disappoint.
Her Sister’s Tattoo by Ellen Meeropol. Red Hen Press, April 2020.
About the reviewer: Jacqueline Sheehan, is a New York Times Bestselling author and a psychologist. Her novels include, The Comet’s Tale a novel about Sojourner Truth, Lost & Found, Now & Then, Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. She also writes essays including the New York Times column, Modern Love. She is one of the founders and former president of The Straw Dog Writers Guild in Western Massachusetts. She teaches workshops at Writers in Progress in Northampton.
The Spring 2020 issue of Rattle is now on the NewPages Magazine Stand. This issue features a special tribute section of poems written by students of Kim Addonizio’s poetry workshops (as well as one poem by Kim herself). In the open section, the poems themselves are as good as their titles: “The Cow I Didn’t Eat.” “Social Experiments in Which I Am the [Bear].” “Ode to the Mattress on the Side of the Interstate.” Diverse as always, the new issue features a poem written in “the imagined voice of Frida Kahlo” (Barbara Lydecker Crane), “Young Dyke” by Alison Hazle, a duo of triolets by Carolyne Wright, and much more.
At this week’s Magazine Stand, find out more about the new online version of New Orleans Review. Contributors: Danley Romero, Kaylie Saidin, Britton Hanson, Maria Kuznetsova, Apryl Lee, Diana Valenzuela, Anna Claire Hodge, Ryan Burgess, Rage Hezekiah, Julia Cohen and Lisa Nikolidakis. Cover by Ashley Longshore.