The Fall 2020 issue features poetry by Augusta Funk, nonfiction by Ania Spyra, poetry by Lucien Darjeun Meadows, fiction by Josie Sigler Sibara, and poetry by Caitlin Ferguson. See other contributors at the Mag Stand.
The “Reading the Body” issue is now at the Mag Stand. Fiction by Emma Pattee, Jonathan Penner, Michele Suzann, Lauren Green, Mahak Jain, and more; nonfiction by Jeremy Griffin, Wyatt Bandt, Jack Lancaster, and others; and poetry by Jacob Boyd, Gina Ferrari, Cynthia Parker-Ohene, Sanjana Nair, Thomas Dooley, Beth Suter, and many more.
The rudimentary jacket design of this book is deceptive—you suspect 179 Ways to be another generic book on craft. Not so. What you have here is a treasure trove of writing insights delivered in no-nonsense fashion by a natural teacher and wordsmith. Peter Selgin expertly balances analysis of craft with the more elusive elements of art to deliver a masterful study of fiction at its best.
179 Ways begins by addressing that perennially perplexing issue—is autobiographical material taboo? No, Selgin says, so long as you deftly employ the imagination to elevate the substance of your story into the realm of art. The challenge lies in sifting through the dross to find the dream—fresh events that defy mere anecdote, have a current of emotional significance, and a sense of inevitability.
Selgin supports his flow of ideas with pertinent references to successful stories and novels. What often distinguishes the master works, he says, are two things: a sense of authenticity and an unswerving flair for storytelling. In other words, be true to the work and find the drama in your tale.
Let me finish this brief commentary with a Selgin quote from the final section, “Each of us must strike our own balance between Apollonian impulses (harmonious, measured, ordered) and Dionysian (wild, orgiastic, unbounded) . . . . However we do it, somehow we have to find ways to put our own visions into the heads of strangers.”
After 30 years of collecting books on the art and craft of writing, three hundred of them grace my study shelves. Peter Selgin’s text is one of my top five.
179 Ways to Save a Novel by Peter Selgin. Writer’s Digest Books, 2010.
Reviewer bio: James Gering is a poet and short story writer from the Blue Mountains in Australia. He welcomes visitors at jamesgering.com.
Stop by this month’s Featured Selection for an interview with Chanda Feldman and Erika Meitner conducted by Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Bianca Stone writes about why she makes poetry comics. Instead of the usual book review section, this month you can see what Plume’s editors have enjoyed reading this year. Visit the Mag Stand for this month’s poetry selections.
The Fall 2020 issue of Glass Mountain features the Robertson Prize winners: Sarah Han Kuo in fiction, Yasmin Boakye in nonfiction, and Stephanie Lane Sutton in poetry. Also in this issue, find art by Martin Balsam, Jailyne España, Rain Mang, and more; fiction by Rain Bravo, Eric Dickey, Caitlin Helsel, and others; nonfiction by Linda Schwartz; and poetry by Danny Barbare, Emily Fernandez, Kathy Key-Tello, Stephanie Niu, and more. Find this issue at the Mag Stand.
In the latest issue, now at the Mag Stand: Poet Lee Herrick delivers heart and fire and Sebastian Mathews writes about melody and technique. Travel with Jeremy Bassetti or spend an in evening in Nashville’s Red Phone Booth. Also in the issue: a sit down with Jessica Jacobs and Nickole Brown, Freddie Ashley of the Actor’s Express, and the life and works of Rebecca Evans. Plus even more fiction, essays, and poetry.
Featured nonfiction Fragments of a Mortal Mind by Donald Anderson shows us how the disparate elements of our lives collect to construct our deepest selves and help us to make sense of it all.
Mckenzie Cassidy’s Here Lies a Father follows fifteen-year-old Ian as he uncovers the truths of his late father’s life and secret families.
The poems in Polly Buckingham’s The River People move through both dream and natural landscapes exploring connection and loss, abundance and degradation, the personal and the political.
Brian Phillip Whalen explores the loss of relationships in Semiotic Love [Stories], reminding us that for better or for worse, we’re all a little rougher with the people we love the most.
In Women in the Waiting Room, Kirun Kapur “makes an imaginative whole from Hindu mythology, confessions from a hotline for sexual abuse, meditations on a friend’s mortal illness, and the poet’s private pain.”
Rain Taxi Review of Books is proud to cap off its 25th year with our 100th issue, now at the Mag Stand! For those who know the magazine, many things about it are the same—issue #100 features dozens of reviews, interviews, and essays by a wide variety of contributors discussing an astonishing array of aesthetically adventurous books. It also includes special features like a full-page poetry comic by Gary Sullivan and a letter from editor Eric Lorberer reflecting on Rain Taxi’s life at this odd but exciting time. See the complete table of contents at our website, and join us on the ride!
In the newest issue of Cleaver Magazine, now on the Mag Stand, find: poetry by Meggie Royer, Amy Beth Sisson, Heikki Huotari, and more; nonfiction by Jinna Han, Christina Berke, Susan Hamlin, Claire Rudy Foster, and others; a visual narrative by Michael Green; short stories by Dylan Cook, L.L. Babb, and Mike Nees; flash by Steve Gergley, B. Bilby Barton, Darlene Eliot, and more; and paintings by Morgan Motes.
Issue Seven is three issues in one—a poetry issue, a prose issue, and an art issue. This is our largest issue to date, filled with art, poetry, and prose from domestic and sexual violence survivors, child abuse survivors, and harassment victims. Work by Taylor Drake, Sky Dai, Emma Jokinen, Elena Fite, Siri Espy, Isabella Neblett, Charlotte Kane, Carly Hall, Melanie Ward, Rachael Gay, Mae Herring, Miriam Leibowitz, Mars Rightwildish, Ranjeet Singh, and many more. We were also fortunate to be able to interview Lori Greene for the issue, who created the artwork for the United States’s first permanent memorial to sexual violence survivors. Find this issue at the Mag Stand.
For the last issue of 2020 we’re continuing to feature our Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction winner, runner-up, and finalist stories. You can find these at the Mag Stand. Also, in celebration of our Pushcart and Best of the Net nominees, this month’s content also elevates a few of our favorite archived stories back to the homepage.