new lit on the block

New Lit on the Block :: Gleam

Gleam Journal of the Cadralor online literary magazine logo image

In conversation with Jonathan Bate about Stephan Fry’s book The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within and the value of poetic form, Stephan Fry encouraged writers to “Just try out writing in that form. I think people will amaze themselves when they do that.” For writers willing to explore new forms and challenge their development of craft, and for readers who appreciate seeing the variety of poetic expertise that a single form can produce, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor is your next stop.

Developed in August 2020, the cadralor is a portmanteau of the names of the two co-creators of this poetic form, Christopher Cadra and Lori Howe. The rules of the form are explained on Gleam’s website, but in brief, this is a five-stanza poem with each stanza containing a consistent number of lines, up to ten, and each stanza able to stand alone as a complete poem. It cannot be narrative, though the stanzas should be contextually related. They must be imagist, vivid poems without cliché that are “a feast for the senses.” The fifth stanza acts as the crucible “illuminating the gleaming thread (Thus, the ‘gleam’ in the name.) that runs through the entire poem,” pulling the poem “into a coherence as a kind of love poem,” and answering the compelling question, “for what do you yearn?” The poem does not need to be a traditional love poem, as the editors explain, “Yearning takes many forms,” but it is characteristic that a “successful cadralor end on a note of hope rather than hopelessness.”

Poets ready to tackle the form can expect their work to be well received by seasoned writers who want to engage the community in a supportive way. Editor in Chief Lori Howe is author of two books of poetry, Cloudshade, Poems of the High Plains, and Voices at Twilight, was Executive Editor of Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers, and formerly Editor in Chief of Clerestory: Poems of the Mountain West, and Open Window Review. She holds an MFA in Poetry from University of Wyoming, where she is also Professor. Founding Editor, Christopher Cadra is a poet/writer whose work has appeared in The Cimarron Review and elsewhere. His criticism has appeared in Basalt and a journal he edited, The Literati Quarterly.

Publishing two to three issues per year, Gleam accepts submissions via email, and, as Howe points out, “We offer a great deal of feedback on submissions, and often offer ‘revise and resubmit’ options, which we believe is somewhat rare among poetry journals. We do this because the form is both new and especially challenging to embody. We like to encourage poets to keep working on cadralor until they get there.”

There is a growing list of contributors whose cadralor have arrived to provide readers “the finest examples of this form anywhere in the world,” including Louise Barden, Rachel Barton, Robert Beveridge, Susan Cole, Kate Copeland, Jane Dougherty:, Scott Ferry, Malcolm Glass, Joanna Grisham, Georgia Hertz, Marie Marchand, Bob McAfee, Julia Paul, Charlotte Porter, Nick Reeves, Michelle Rochniak, Anastasia Vassos, Sherre Vernon, Sterling Warner, Ingrid Wilson, and Jonathan Yungkans.

In starting this new form as well as taking it onto a public platform, Howe shares, “My greatest joy is in reading submissions of cadralor from all over the world and discovering that this form is being taught in MFA poetry workshops around the country.”

As Cadra and Howe state, Gleam is THE flagship journal for the new poetic form, the cadralor, and the plan is for it to continue to hold that well-deserved place in our literary community.

New Lit on the Block :: Clover + Bee

Clover + Bee digital literary art magazine April 2022 cover image

Clover + Bee Magazine is – can I just say this? – a GORGEOUS digital publication of fictional prose (in all genres), narrative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Clover + Bee Magazine has been publishing at a rate of 3-4 issues per year, with “no set-in-stone schedule as of yet,” according to Editors Alex Campbell and Cara Copeland.

At its inception, Campbell and Copeland say they found themselves at “the perfect intersection of our own creative journeys, our places within our respective online literary and art communities, and our desire to create a platform for emerging and established creators to showcase their work. A literary and visual art magazine just made sense as something that we could do to contribute to the larger creative ecosystem.”

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New Lit on the Block :: The Fantastic Other

The Fantastic Other online journal of speculative fiction and poetry, science fiction and fantasy issue 5 cover image

The Fantastic Other is a biannual digital literary magazine that specializes in speculative fiction (including flash) and poetry, and science fiction and fantasy, as well as visual art in any medium. Editor in Chief G. E. Butler adds, “We also get excited for magical realism, surrealism, or anything that is altogether strange and ‘out there.’” In addition to the summer and winter issues, The Fantastic Other also publishes occasional articles to their website between issues, such as their Author’s Spotlight segment. Readers can find the latest issues online and download them as PDF documents. All content is free to read. [Cover art by Irina Tall (Novikova)]

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New Lit on the Block :: oranges journal

photo image of Jade Green, editor and founder of oranges journal

Literary journals continue to expand the boundaries of style and content, responding to the changing world around us and venturing into new territories. oranges journal does both with its focus on fiction, mental health and culture writing. Publishing on a rolling basis in an open online format, founder and editor of oranges journal Jade Green [picutred] says, “I wanted to create a strong brand that would stick in people’s minds, and build a beautiful website on which I would be proud to feature my own work. The name ‘oranges’ pretty much creates its own branding; it’s a bold, outspoken, unique color which definitely aligns with our feminist mission and the kind of writing we want to publish. As soon as I came up with the name, everything else just fell into place – a very organic process!”

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New Lit on the Block :: The Earth Chronicles

The Earth Chronicles online newspaper logo image

What happens when a high school student in love with writing since the third grade grows into a climate activist who believes in empowering her fellow youth? The answer is The Earth Chronicles, a student-led environmental newspaper that focuses on youth voices for climate action and awareness about our planet. Julianne Park and her brother, Aiden Park, both Dougherty Valley High School students, say they started The Earth Chronicles during the pandemic “when the wildfires raged across California and near our homes. We were scared and we saw fear on the faces of our friends and family. But we decided to turn this around. Our goal is to spread awareness and educate people about what is happening on our planet. Through writing, we want to empower students to fight climate change in their own unique ways and equip them with the tools they need for the future.”

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New Lit on the Block :: Chicago Young Writers Review

Chicago Young Writers Review literary magazine Winter 2022 cover image

NewPages welcomes Chicago Young Writers Review to the scene, “a space uniquely created with the K-8 students in mind” says founder Daria Volkova. A native Chicagoan, Volkova wanted to preserve Chicago’s influence on her as a dynamic, diverse, multiethnic and multicultural city in their organization’s name. “We encourage young authors from all backgrounds to submit their work. In fact, we’ve had the most enthusiastic response from the communities of color and immigrant communities in and around Chicago. We also wanted the name to speak to our mission. There is an abundance of literary magazines for older writers, but there are less accessible spaces for the younger kids with whom we work. By including the ‘young writers’ within our name, we are stating exactly what we are and who we were made for. We are a playground (forgive the pun) for young creators to gain confidence in their work and blossom into stronger readers, thinkers, and writers.”

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New Lit on the Block :: The Muleskinner Journal

The Muleskinner Journal online literary magazine logo image

Started as a “pandemic passion project,” The Muleskinner Journal is an online publication of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that publishes “journal entries” (individual pieces) throughout their submission period as well as a quarterly journal.

While The Muleskinner Journal name comes from the nickname of Editor in Chief, Gary Campanella, the mission of the journal is in keeping with the muleskinner – or mule-driver – a profession that requires its animal companion to get the job done. “We look for writing of all kinds that uses skill, wit, and determination to deliver the goods,” which speaks to the clear partnership between writers, readers, and the publisher. “We accept and publish poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, short scripts, excerpts from longer works, memoir, criticism, craft essays, artwork, journalism, and shopping lists.” And for both new and established writers, the guidelines are clearly inviting: “We don’t care who you are, as long as you are the author of what you submit.”

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New Lit on the Block :: Red Tree Review

Red Tree Review online poetry journal logo

“Poems that surprise, harrow, and awe. Poems that understand a reader’s expectations and then challenge or subvert them somehow. Poems that need to exist, that matter, that show us something important at stake. Poems that wake us up, that leave us different people than we were before we encountered them. Not all of the poems do all of these things, but they will all do at least one of these things. Expect poetry that feels fresh and immediate, never predictable.” This is what Founder and Editor Robert Campbell says readers can find when they visit the newly launched Red Tree Review online poetry journal.

His own education and publishing resume established, and having served behind the scenes of other literary journals, Campbell says, “What matters more to me is

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New Lit On the Block :: The Prose Train

The Prose Train is a unique online publication that is more than just a place to find great reading, it is also a place for young writers to engage in the writing process with other writers. The concept is in the name, according to Founder and Executive Director Irene Tsen, “’Prose’ refers to the short stories we create, and ‘Train’ refers to the collaborative aspect of how writers add sentences sequentially. Our slogan, ‘train your prose,’ is a rearrangement of our name, encapsulating how writers who join The Prose Train improve their skills with a different type of writing.”

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New Lit on the Block :: Binsey Poplar Press

“Having a safe space to share your art/writing and the power of publication to galvanize aspiring young artists and writers to share their voice” is a motivating factor behind Binsey Poplar Press according to Founder and Editor Sophia Smith. Featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, photography, and art by contributors ages 13-26, Binsey Poplar Press publishes an online literary magazine every two months as well as publishing pieces on their website. “Our website will be continuously updated with new art and writing pieces and issues,” said Jessica Gao, Web Designer and Co-Editor for Art. “We hope to make it even more visually appealing and be one of your favorite reading spots.” Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Binsey Poplar Press”