The MacGuffin’s Fall 2020 issue, now on the Mag Stand, spotlights formal verse. In all, 19 different forms are featured from poets across the map, near and far. From sonnets to sestinas, pantoums to clerihews, all connoisseurs of the written word will find something to delight in. Our usual selection of fiction and nonfiction is interspersed, with personal essays from Nadia Ibrahim and Gretchen Clark, tales of loss—though not the same—from Dave Larsen and Trisha McKee, and a look at two very different families from Shirley Sullivan and Bethany Snyder. Rounding out this issue is the colorful work of Nicholas D’Angelo.
Say, “I see dead people,” to just about anyone, and they’ll likely be able to name the movie it came from. But unlike Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense, attempting to help the dead find peace, Jasmine, the narrator in Catherine Stansfield’s “I See Dead People and Other Gags” uses the concept to help herself.
Jasmine tells people she can speak to their dead loved ones, and uses social media to glean information that she later uses in her sessions. Having lost her own mother at a young age and never really speaking about it again gives her a detachment from death and the sentimental feelings surrounding it, so she profits off other people’s pain and grief. However, at the end of the story, she’s hit with a surprise that may make her change her mind about her career path.
I would’ve enjoyed reading more about Jasmine and her work, getting to know more about her clients and her grandmother who casts a shadow over her mother’s death. Stansfield’s writing style is matter of fact and straight forward, fitting for Jasmine’s no-nonsense character. But what we are given is a fun read, a peak behind the medium’s curtain.
Find the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of The MacGuffin at the Mag Stand. Evan D. Williams’ Escape Risk on the cover of The MacGuffin’s Volume 36.2 charts a vivid route out via literature of whatever quarantine situation you may find yourself trapped in. Journey to a new home and a new job in Mark Halpern’s “Would You Like Fries with That?,” or head out on a cinematic cross-country trek with grandma in Jordan J.A. Hill’s “Marching Towards Golgotha.” Matthew Olzmann—guest judge of this year’s Poet Hunt contest—is highlighted in a short feature that begins on p. 101, while Erin Schalk’s gouache, ink, and wax form a vibrant mid-volume oasis.
Deadline: June 15, 2020
The MacGuffin’s 25th Poet Hunt Contest runs April 1 through June 15! One first place winner will receive $500 and publication; up to two Honorable Mentions also selected. We’re happy to have Matthew Olzmann as guest judge! Send up to five poems per $15 entry fee. On a cover page, list your contact info and poem titles. On the following page(s), include your poems, beginning each poem on a new page devoid of personally identifiable information to preserve the blind review process. Enter via Submittable (themacguffin.submittable.com/submit), or to enter by email or post, see full rules at our website (schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/contest-rules).
The winners of the 24th Annual Poet Hunt can be found in the Winter 2020 issue of The MacGuffin. Judge Richard Tillinghast introduces his selections and gives some insight about the winner and the two runners-up in the issue.
“The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige” by Jane Craven
“Sonnet from the German Front, 1944” by Jill Reid
“Aergia in the Overworld” by John Blair
The 2020 contest opened for submissions today and will run until June 15. Winners receive publication and a $500 grand prize. Visit The MacGuffin’s website to learn 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 MacGuffin is featuring formal poetical works in Volume 36, No. 3! We’ll take a look at any poem in an established metrical form, but save any free or blank verse for a different issue. Send up to five poems, listing their titles and forms in an email cover letter, using “Form Issue” in the subject line. Submissions also considered via post and Submittable (themacguffin.submittable.com/submit). Please send all work by April 1, 2020. Prose is still being considered for general publication in this issue. For more information, please see our website at www.schoolcraft.edu/macguffin or send us an email at email@example.com.