We love R. L. Black, founder of Unbroken, a journal devoted to prose and our new lit-pub-crush! First, what a genius(!) considering she couldn’t be more right about prose being somewhat less appreciated, but if anyone has been neglecting prose as a reader, writer, or literary darling – you won’t be after you read Unbroken. It’s just freaking lovely – a beauty of an inaugural issue, which has just been released with work by several sweet poets we also know, as well as a good dose of clean, stellar photography.
What a fine job – so fine in fact that we made a special place for it and felt inspired to give prose its very own space on our list of Lit Magazines We Love (our resources page). Even if Unbroken remains all by itself there, it just makes sense. We are so impressed with the intention, and the quality prose gracing its pages that we thought you’d want to stop by and take a look yourself. I think you will agree – once you do please support the effort invested in such a great publication, and of course, enjoy the read.
I love opportunities for artists and writers that are also met with a genuine purpose – a generous or meaningful cause. While there are plenty of opportunities out there for us writers meant to assist in our exposure, achievement and get us published, in one way or another they do the most for us or the publication / organization hosting the effort. That purpose is still incredibly important, but there aren’t as many that help us give to someone or something else, and in honor of art, or the written word. There is however, such an opportunity happening right now and since I myself just found out about it, you’ll have to forgive the late communication…
An Opportunity That Gives Back
The Citron Review, a lit journal publishing micro-fiction, flash, creative non-fiction, poetry, and art is hosting a poetry contest in honor of Carl Sandburg (I think you may have heard of him…) which means all entry fees remaining, after the $250 grand prize, will be donated to the collections archive fund in an effort to preserve the works and phenomenal contribution to the written word Sandburg invested. Continue reading →
He pulled on a coat and walked down the flight of stairs from the head house into the distribution floor. Then he walked to the far end to the east. This was the top floor of the grain elevator. He passed eighteen of the great bins–six on one side and twelve on the other, closed up with their huge twenty-foot concrete covers. At the end of the building, the ninety-year-old windows faced the coming night. Out there in the gloaming he could see orange needles standing against the dark reflecting the sunset. These spires luminescing in last light were other grain elevators, dotted across Texas down the rail line–all except one. The exception was a cross shrouded in farmer tin. Its owners billed it as the biggest cross in the world, and it anchored a truck stop and religious bookstore to the Interstate Highway. He had stopped there once and purchased a salt and pepper shaker set that showed a scene of Gethsemane. He admired good advertising, even from the Lord.
Dusk crossed fully to dark, and the beacons disappeared. He turned and climbed the steps. In his office he sat down and knocked out an advertising campaign for the Petersens. In it he spilled out blunt honesty, talking to the middle-class mostly-white Americans of the prairie, in particular to beleaguered dads. His text said, “The right house in the right neighborhood isn’t too much to ask. A house can’t turn you handsome, save your dreams, or make you a success. It can’t turn your life around or force your children to love you. It can, however, let you wake up happy every morning knowing you are in the right place–that you have come home. Petersen Realty…where we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding that right house for you. Petersen works on a better life for us all, day by day.” He added a tag, for the billboards along the freeway through town. ‘Petersen Realty–The Right House…Even If Life Is A Little Wrong. We Understand.’
What can I say about Sundog Lit?? Well… if you asked them they would probably have a lot to say about the awesome writing, their contributors, or they might point you to the About page on their website (a poem in itself) but the important thing is that they would be giving you the straight-up truth. What you probably don’t know is not only is the writing unforgettable – the personality behind this publication is magic: just hugely nice people with so much enthusiasm, and yes, it is pretty addicting… But it’s also completely genuine. That’s why this lit magazine stands out to me, because what better way is there to be a source of encouragement to other writers ? And about the writing – Sundog Lit is described as “literature that rages” and it does –
Sometimes love is as quenchable as the classic poets wrote it. Sometimes we find someone and the poet in us thrives, and so does love in the everyday, in the hours and the solitary fleeting moments when the most simple lines draw straight from our truth and desire. Sometimes we meet someone who holds us in the palm of their hands. A love we can speak to or if we can dream of it – we have written about it, and if we’re lucky that person is the one we can speak those desires to – freely. That is what Literary Sexts, an anthology published by Words Dance, is all about. An anthology created just for those lines – the snippets of our soul and whatever we bleed from our hearts in those breaths passing between us, in those small windows that break up the day. If you’ve ever written a text to someone you loved with the poetic intention of your heart and maybe even dripping with a little lust, you have been on the same page with the purpose Literary Sexts was created. The potent little love letters we leave for that important someone. Even those tiny confessions for the person who has your heart and doesn’t know it.
As many of our readers know, we get super stoked over here (like a baby awaiting a warm baba – but without the tears) about interesting literary magazines because we fully support the intention of those creating a home and opportunity for writers’ voices. It is not an easy venture to pursue, especially now when it sometimes feels as if everyone and their mother is starting a literary zine. That said, when you work to make connections with other writers, and learn what to look for when reviewing new babes on the scene, you also learn what and who you can trust and thus, which publications to keep your eye on when they are first starting. One such newbie that we have been watching and silently rooting for, just released the first issue.
This new literary magazine, The Sonder Review, a magazine geared towards art and short-fiction, is one whose first issue we have been anticipating, and continue to believe we will see great things from. We think the first issue is a strong example of the hard work the sole editor and founder, Elena M. Stieler, intends to set forth for the purpose of the magazine, and we really look forward to seeing what else this lone star will help encourage within the pages of The Sonder Review. Since part of our mission here is to support and encourage these selfless devotions of love for written expression, we’re also hoping you will take a minute to hop on over to Sonder – read those shiny submission guidelines and consider submitting your own gems. Whether you do or not, we suggest popping over for a quick read, or if you like what you find – take a nice head-first dive into those deep pages, and share with a fellow reader or writer you know.
If you are a fan of awesome literary magazines (you may have noticed we are) you’ll want to check out Words Dance which just released the June issue (#17) and includes some curious art along-side some killer poetry / prose. The writers included are worth taking a read and the featured artists are a blend of diverse and interesting talent.
Take a look – read issue 17 here or click the image below. If you like what you see, be sure to share what you discover or even better, why not subscribe to the magazine? As always, be sure to read those oh-so-important submission guidelinesif you plan on sending in your own work.
Floral Anatomy: Skeleton by Trisha Thompson Adams Property of artist via Words Dance (we do not own this)
One of our other favorite literary magazines, The Collagist (Dzanc Books), is full of fascinating, far-reaching words – the poetry is nothing short of awesome. Check out the most recent issue, no. 59, and see what you think. Also, if you think your own work might be what the magazine is looking for, consider reviewing the submission guidelines and submitting some of your own best work for publication. This is one that is worth the read, and worth the opportunity. Click below to check out some great writing, and be sure to read the latest issue.
Image Credit: The Collagist logo/header image is property of Dzanc Books