Check out the new issue of Gargoyle at the NewPages Mag Stand. Recent contributors include: Laura Arciniega, Paula Bonnell, Sarah Browning, Michael Casey, Grace Cavalieri, Patrick Chapman, Bonnie Chau, Katie Cortese, celeste doaks, Gabriel Don, Cornelius Eady, Blair Ewing, Abby Frucht, Patricia Henley, George Kalamaras, Louise Wareham Leonard, Trish MacEnulty, Franetta McMillian, Tony Medina, Nancy Mercado, Susan Neville, A.L. Nielsen, Josip Novakovich, James J. Patterson, bart plantenga, Bern Porter, Doug Rice, Jane Satterfield, Davis Schneiderman, Claire Scott, Gregg Shapiro, Rose Solari, Maya Sonenberg, Marilyn Stablein, Susan Tepper, Michael Waters, and many more.
Discover a new issue of The MacGuffin at the NewPages Mag Stand this week. 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.
The Spring 2020 issue is now up at the NewPages Mag Stand. In this issue: Aliza Ali Khan, Sébastien Bernard, Agata Izabela Brewer, Naomi Day, Meg E. Griffitts, Katherine Indermaur, Sara Kachelman, Jasmine Khaliq, Jessica Lanay, M.L. Martin, Cherise Morris, Mónica Ramón Ríos (translated by Robin Myers), Monica Rico, Angie Sijun Lou, Molli Spalter, Qianqian Ye, and more. Chapbook by Seo-Young Chu. Cover art by Dominic Chambers.
Find the newest issue of The Adroit Journal at NewPages this week. Readers can check out poetry by Bryan Byrdlong, Steven Duong, Garous Abdolmalekian, Emily Lee Luan, John Freeman, Erin Adair-Hodges, Peter Streckfus, Ae Hee Lee, Matthew Gellman, Sara Elkamel, Seth Simons, Imani Davis, Kim Addonizio, Sahar Romani, Zach Linge, Matthew Rohrer, Joanna Klink, and more; prose by Cathy Ulrich, K-Ming Chang, Connor Oswald, and others; plus conversations with Natalie Diaz, Matthew Rohrer, Brian Teare, Deb Olin Unferth, and Matthew Zapruder.
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
Each issue of THEMA invites writers to explore a given theme. The Spring 2020 issue’s theme is “Six Before Eighty,” which Editor Virginia Howard explains in her Editor’s Note, gave writers a run for their money. It “tended to puzzle more authors than usual.”
Despite the challenge, sixteen on-theme pieces made it into the issue. H.B. Salzer in “Her Number Six” writes of a woman’s bucket list—six things to do before she turns eighty. James “Jack” Penha in “Eulogy for My Elder Brother,” writes fondly of his brother who passed away at age seventy-four—six years before turning eighty. In “Written in Gold,” Larry Lefkowitz’s characters try their own hand at translating the theme finding it in a Mayan inscription in a temple. But my two favorite pieces in the issue each interpret the theme as different roads.
In “Mantra” by Lisa Timpf, the numbers are a reminder for a man’s fading memory. Regional Road 6 comes before Sideroad 80 and then he’s home. Readers can feel the anxiety in the piece as he repeats his mantra, trying to get home while admitting he “hasn’t told his wife / how much has slipped away.” But his mantra always gets him back home.
Cherie Bowers’s “Off-Ramp” is a short poem conjuring up Exit 6 as it merges onto 1-80. Here, a memorial with “fading words” reads, “We love you, Jason.” “To see it clearly,” the speaker says, “you must slow down,” a reminder for readers it’s necessary to slow down to truly see everything around us and to give thought to these fading signs we see beside the road.
I’m sure it was a lot of run writing for this issue of THEMA, and it was a lot of run reading what everyone was able to come up with.
Driftwood Press has plenty on the horizon for both readers and writers.
Writers looking to hone their craft can benefit from the two seminars Driftwood Press offers—Editors & Writers: The Path to Publication, and a seminar for Erasure Poetry. These are both conducted online and have plenty of information to help guide writers and editors better their work. The deadline to apply for each of these is April 30.
Readers can now order copies of Helli Fang’s new chapbook Village of Knives from the press. Chen Chen says of the collection, “The poems here listen to immigrant life and dream, to gendered expectation and subversion, to desire, to the body’s surging, briny rhythms.”
If you’re interested in having your own poetry read by the editors, consider submitting your full-length manuscript. Submissions are currently open for the rest of the month, so act fast! If you do end up missing this submission period, there are still two contests currently open until July.
Whether you’re looking to learn, read, or submit, Driftwood Press has you covered!
We can go to Margot Farrington’s The Blue Canoe of Longing (as Seamus Heaney wrote of poetry at large) “to be forwarded within ourselves,” to conceive “a new scope for our mind’s activity”—and that of the heart, as Farrington’s art draws desire out to longing, from the familiar to the exotic, lowly to lofty, in Catskill country poems and Brooklyn city poems.
The pleasure begins in effortless, exacting metaphors that create (for instance) space for the “orchestral silence” of heat lightning, the “rogue shapes” of clouds, the “buffed dominos” of Holstein cows,” the “starlight / beading like solder on a running brook.” Her imaging steadies our gaze on what we seldom glimpse of bird or bush or hill or people, for that matter. Her heart is in the right place, which helps ours get there too.
The poems take on large ecological, cultural, personal and other issues in playing out their dramas. Consider Robbie (“Counterweight”), a farmer pressed by his wife to kill a fox that had taken two of his Bantam roosters to feed her kits. He should kill the fox, but the fox is old, he knows, probably on her last litter. He resolves the small war in him, coming down on the side of the angels: “Pardon was Robbie’s province. / Sharpening, silvering, the old mother would persist / as long as rough gods bid before her fade into the mists / the island made.” And he’d be rewarded with “hatchings and crowings since.”
There should be plenty of crowing and hosanna-singing over Margot Farrington’s The Blue Canoe of Longing. Or maybe better would be paying quiet attention and being forwarded within ourselves, with new ranges for the mind’s activity.
The Blue Canoe of Longing by Margot Farrington. Dos Madres, October 2019.
About the reviewer: Robert Bensen’s Before (2019) is his sixth book of poems. He taught at Hartwick College (1978-2017), now conducts the poetry workshop at Bright Hill Press.
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
bioStories invites readers into the daily lives of those around us. Ann S. Epstein’s “My Name Could Be Toby Gardner” explores a topic that follows all of us daily: our names.
Born to a family of immigrants, Epstein begins by breaking down her parents’, grandparents’, sibling’s, and aunt’s name, each of them going by one that was not given to them at birth. Once she makes it to her own name, Epstein considers the ways which we tie identity to the name people call us. But she’s never felt connected to neither her first nor last names.
There is something almost comical about the way Epstein rights about this. The constant back and forth and corrections of the names of the people she’s mentioning in her piece are handled with levity, but she concludes on a more serious tone, wondering if names can be lost if they don’t make their mark on their person when they’re young.
Whether you want to spend some time thinking about what names mean to identity, or you just want to learn about the intricacies of the names of Epstein’s family, this is a quick and interesting read.
About the reviewer: Katy Haas is Assistant Editor at NewPages. Recent poetry can be found in Taco Bell Quarterly, petrichor, and other journals. She regularly blogs at: https://newpagesblog.com/.
The thumbnails of the Fall 2019 of Court Green mostly show silhouetted scenes of courtship—men playing musical instruments or bowing on knees before women, scenes of dancing and kissing. In her two poems, Maureen Thorson writes of a different sort of relationships and intimacy, instead focusing on family. [Read more…] about Maureen Thorson Taps into Tenderness & Family
We’d love to hear about what you’ve been reading. Whether it’s a new issue of your favorite lit mag, the book you’ve just added to your shelf, or one piece of poetry or prose that really spoke to you, we’re looking forward to your recommendations.
Share the love
What have you connected with recently? Who said those words that kept you going through another day? How have you re-read a favorite?
Send us an email with a brief, previously unpublished review (125-300 words) and a short bio (25 words max) and we’ll share it with our users on our blog and across our social media accounts. We are mostly interested in reviews of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction.
Your bio can include a link to your blog or web URL to let our readers discover more about your work.
If your submission is accepted, we will clean up minor errors, and it will appear on the NewPages blog within the next two weeks. We will also link to reviews via our social media, so please let us know how and where we can tag you. You are welcome to share it through your own social media to help keep our literary community actively engaged.
There is no payment at this time, just the standard fame and glory.
Contact Katy — firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to send your review
Send your guest blog post review to email@example.com. Katy or Nicole will reply to confirm receipt.
Click here to find example posts.
The writers in Volume 6 of Runestone Journal have questions. In poetry, Lex Chilson asks, “Why Am I Always Sadder During the Summer?” and in fiction, Gabraella Wescott narrator wants to know “Would God Have a Beach House?” while Holley Ziemba’s character wonders “Do I Miss Myself?” [Read more…] about Runestone Journal Has Questions