Magazine Stand :: The Iowa Review – Spring 2022

The Iowa Review literary magazine Spring 2022 issue cover image

The newest issue of The Iowa Review (Spring 2022) includes a Portfolio on Poetic Black Resiliency. In the Introductory Notes (which can be read in full online here), the editors write to answer the question, Why resiliency?

First, resiliency goes beyond these repeated moments that speak to Black advocacy for justice and reiterates the continued insistence to continue, first (this has not always been a given, unfortunately). Resiliency also persists in making this world better as we are determined to thrive. This selection of poems goes beyond a buttoned-up stoicism and presents a diversity of emotions and approaches to methods of living, resiliency, and resolve. I have been astounded by the breadth of ideas, breath through the lines, and depth of emotion by the poets kind enough to contribute, some of whom are long overdue for their debut in TIR. The introspection and circumspection in this section spans a range of feelings: from the very personal to the sweepingly political reality of African-American lives over the last four hundred years.

A Portfolio on Poetic Black Resiliency features works by Tracie Morris, Joanne V. Gabbin, Lois Elaine Griffith, Yona Harvey, Nathaniel Mackey, Shelagh Wilson Patterson, Douglas Kearney, Steve Cannon, Harryette Mullen, Asiya Wadud, Janice A. Lowe, Yolanda Wisher, Delali Ayivor, Duriel E. Harris, Terrance Hayes, Jo Stewart, and Tracie Morris. Also featured in this issue is Poetry by Maria Zoccola, Brian Simoneau, Sara Elkamel, Susan Leslie Moore, Mariano Zaro, translated by Blas Falconer, Alice Turski, Jared Joseph, Kevin Norwood, Daniel Barnum, and Colin Kostelecky; Nonfiction by Steffan Triplett, Liza Cochran, and Julia LoFaso; Fiction by Dessa, Danica Li, Aleyna Rentz, Marian Crotty, Su Tong, translated by Ting Wang, Daisy Hernández, Kirsten Vail Aguilar, and Jackson Saul; and Artwork by Tim Fielder.

Book Review :: A Judge’s Odyssey

A Judge's Odyssey by Dean B. Pineles published by Rootstock Publishing book cover image

Guest Post by Kimberly Cheney

Judge Dean B. Pineles’ memoir is a journey through a dangerous forest of uncertain trails and trials, searching for that pinnacle of democracy: the rule of law. It includes a near career-ending event when, as the Vermont governor’s legal counsel, Pineles recommended taking into custody the children of a secretive religious community based on allegations of mental and physical abuse, an event etched into Vermont’s legal and cultural history. Pineles divulges how he subsequently survived a very contentious judicial confirmation process and became a respected Vermont trial judge, inoculated with the wisdom and humility that came from this intense personal ordeal.

Twenty-one years later, after a successful judicial career, Judge Pineles shares how he began another career as an international rule of law adviser in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. He details how, after rigorous screening by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, he was selected to be an international criminal judge, helping to improve justice in that tortured land. He finds it a maelstrom of complex social, international, cultural, ethnic, and political forces. He recounts many of his cases, including his meticulous fact-finding, and by ignoring these perilous forces he demonstrates how the rule of law should be implemented. Nevertheless, some of these cases have bizarre outcomes which undermine his best efforts. These are compelling accounts that demonstrate a vigorous mind bringing to life important events. Readers seeking an understanding of the frailty of democracy mediated by thoughtful judicial process will find Pineles’ journey intriguing.

Publishers note: Judge Pineles will donate 100% of his net profits to international and domestic refugee relief organizations.

A Judge’s Odyssey: From Vermont to Russia, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, Then on to War Crimes and Organ Trafficking in Kosovo by Dean B. Pineles. Rootstock Publishing, July 2022.

Reviewer bio: Kimberly Cheney is a former Vermont Attorney General and author.

If you are interested in contributing a Guest Post to “What I’m Reading,” please click this link: Reviewer Guidelines.

New Book :: Breathing Lake Superior

Breathing Lake Superior a novel by Ron Rindo published by Brick Mantel Books book cover image

Breathing Lake Superior
Fiction by Ron Rindo
Brick Mantel Books, October 2022

Overcome with grief following the death of his youngest child, Cal Franklin uproots his wife and teenaged children to a ramshackle subsistence farm in far northern Wisconsin. Withdrawn and estranged from all they know, JJ and her stepbrother, John, struggle to adapt to life off the grid and to Cal’s increasingly erratic behavior. Without electricity or even running water, the family suffers a series of calamities until Cal feels a call to preach. He builds a small log church on the property, and his unconventional message soon attracts a following. When elderly locals profess to be healed by the touch of Cal’s hands, word spreads, and desperate people descend on the church from across the country. Though overwhelmed and doubtful of his powers, in a final act of love and faith, Cal seeks to raise his young son from the dead. Narrated by Cal’s stepson, John—named for “the chronicler of Christ’s miracles”—Breathing Lake Superior is an exploration of the mystic borderland where the mental strain of overwhelming grief becomes entangled with the promise and hope of ecstatic faith.

Contest :: Kallisto Gaia Press 2022 Writing Contests Close August 20!

Kallisto Gaia Press logo

That’s right. The deadline to enter Kallisto Gaia Press’ annual writing contests is August 20! Jen Knox is the judge of the Chester B. Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize and Zoë Fay-Stindt will judge the Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize. $20 entry fee includes a copy of Ocotillo Review. Winning entries will also be published in Ocotillo Review. See their ad in the NewPages Classifieds to learn more.

Magazine Stand :: Sky Island Journal – Summer 2022

Sky Island Journal online literary magazine Summer 2022 issue cover image

Sky Island Journal’s stunning 21st issue features poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction from contributors around the globe. Accomplished, well-established authors are published—side by side—with fresh, emerging voices. Readers are provided with a powerful, focused literary experience that transports them: one that challenges them intellectually and moves them emotionally. Read works from Amy Marques, Ann Chinnis, Annette Sisson, Arden Stockdell-Giesler, Beth Oast Williams, Carole Greenfield, Cheryl Slover-Linett, Courtney Justus, Cristian Ramirez, Cynthia Singerman, Dan Shields, Deron Eckert, Edilson Afonso Ferreira, Emily Patterson, Erin Henry, Fannie H. Gray, Heather Diamond, Isabel Markowski, John Muro, Julie Benesh, Kathryn De Lancellotti, Katrina Hays, Kiana Mccrackin, Kit Willett, Lisken Van Pelt Dus, Lorrie Ness, Maira Rodriguez, Melody Wilson, Michael Keenan Gutierrez, Michele Lovell, Mizuki Kai, Nancy Beauregard, Olivia Badoi, Philip Cioffari, Robbin Farr, Valerie Nies, Vivian Montgomery, and Wylde J. Parsley,. Always free to access, and always free from advertising, discover what over 100,000 readers in 145 countries already know: the finest new writing is just a click away!

New Book :: American Bitch

American Bitch poetry collection by Rae Hoffman Jager published by Kelsay Books book cover image

American Bitch
Poetry by Rae Hoffman Jager
Kelsay Books, April 2022

American Bitch is Rae Hoffman Jager’s debut collection of poems that portrays a woman starting a family in an impossibly violent and impersonal world. Jager’s book juggles an unlikely pairing of poems about football, Judaism, pregnancy, and becoming a parent. This collection is a funeral march and a celebration with allusions to Greek mythology, Marshawn Lynch, Rothko, and an ever-growing crack in the ice shelf. Jager holds a BA from Warren Wilson College and an MFA from Wichita State University. Her poetry has been published in a variety of online and print journals. In 2016 She was named The New Voice Poet out of Salina, Kansas. This book originally was a finalist with Sundress and Birdcoat Quarterly before finding a home with Kelsay Books.

New Book :: Buy a Ticket

Buy a Ticket: New and Selected Poems
Poetry by Judith R. Robinson book cover image

Buy a Ticket: New and Selected Poems
Poetry by Judith R. Robinson
Word Poetry, February 2022

Buy a Ticket by Judith R. Robinson is a collection of poems about life—its imperfect beauty, its poignance, and the forces that propel it forward. Toggling among life stages—from a child’s recollections of school with its “blue-lined grainy first-grade paper” to an adult’s look back through the eyes of shared reminiscence with a boon companion, these poems resonate with a sense of time’s passage, its transience, and elasticity. Grief and disappointment compete with an indomitable will to continue despite setbacks and loss. Whether through the eyes of teenage Holocaust survivor, Dora, who gleans the forest floors in her quest to live, or the “jobless-wounded-welfar-ians” who keep on dreaming of the windfall that will make it all better, the human beings in Robinson’s poems may be beaten and bruised by life’s hard knocks, but they are not down for the count. Read sample poems here.

Magazine Stand :: Hippocampus Magazine – July/August 2022

Hippocampus literary magazine logo

Hippocampus Magazine online issue 114 features a variety of creative nonfiction, including “Pulses” by Kathy Davis, “Bathymetry” by Sally Jonson, “Foreign” by Terri Lewis, “Peephole” by Lotus Mae, “Origin Myths” by Susan V. Meyers, “We Had No Woman” by Ronit Plank, “What I Wrote Was Congratulations What I Meant to Say Was” by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, “The Dying Room” by Leanne Pierce Schneider, “There Are Girls Like You in Japan” by Mimi Iimuro Van Ausdall, and “De-escalation” by Lauren Woods. Read it online here. Hippocampus will also be hosting HippoCamp 2022: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers – August 12-14, in Lancaster, PA. Find more information here.

New Book :: Hayley and the Hot Flashes

Hayley and the Hot Flashes a novel by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer published by Small Town Girl Publishing book cover image

Hayley and the Hot Flashes
Fiction by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer
Small Town Girl Publishing, June 2022

Hayley Swift, a country music diva who has slipped out of the limelight, gets more attention when she’s mistaken for Taylor Swift’s mom than for her former glory days. When she’s invited to perform at her 35th high school reunion, a bus accident puts her backup singers in a hospital, Hayley begs her long-gone-domestic quartet from high school to join her onstage for the gig. They’re such a hit that she invites the women to fill in on a low-budget tour for a couple of weeks while her singers recover. Thrilled at the chance to flee routine for a dream deferred for decades, the friends readily accept. Nefarious flirtations, indiscriminate mood swings, equipment malfunctions, and a few nasty cat-fights combine to wreak havoc on the Retro Rodeo tour, but it’s a crazed stalker, an overzealous fan, and an unexpected pregnancy that ultimately derail the road trip. In the midst of the mayhem, friendships and fantasies are redefined as the women come together to face one’s debilitating illness. True love emerges from the tragedy, though, and the friends discover new strengths and aspirations as this adventure ends and new ones begin.

New Book :: Optic Subwoof

Optic Subwoof poetry by Douglas Kearney book cover image

Optic Subwoof
Poetry by Douglas Kearney
Wave Books, November 2022

Optic Subwoof is a collection of talks that poet and National Book Award finalist Douglas Kearney presented for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series in 2020 and 2021. As kinetic on the page as they are in person, these lectures offer an urgent critique of the intersections between violence and entertainment, interrogating the ways in which poetry, humor, visual art, music, pop culture, and performance alternately uphold and subvert this violence. With genius precision and an avant-garde sensibility, Kearney examines the nuances around Black visibility and its aestheticization. In myriad ways, Optic Subwoof is a book that establishes Kearney as one of the most dynamic writers and thinkers of the twenty-first century.