Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work.
Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Les Kay.
Les Kay holds a PhD from the University of Cincinnati’s Creative Writing program. His first chapbook, The Bureau, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2015. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of literary journals including The McNeese Review,Redactions, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Wherewithal, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review,Southern Humanities Review, Whiskey Island, and Sugar House Review.
We are currently reading for our next spring issue. We accept a wide range of genres including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, theatre and art. If you have work you would like to share with us, now is the time! For more information on submissions guidelines, please visit our website.
Finally, Post Road will be trekking out to AWP in Minneapolis this month. If you’re planning to attend, we would love to see you at our table, talk all things Post Road,and maybe even convince you to take home an issue (or two!). For more information on what’s brewing in our home office and any shenanigans we may plan for AWP, you can follow us on Twitter @Post Road or find us on Facebook.
Four Chambers—what people may or may not know is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, Arizona, also a figurative heart—is looking for local authors to write work in response to exhibitions and collections housed in the Phoenix Art Museum so they can put together a boutique chapbook and stage a live performance in the gallery during Art Detour on First Friday, March 6th (submissions for which close Sunday, February 1st 2015).
Art Loves Literature
Sometimes–in all the hubbub of giving greater visibility to the literary arts and encouraging their larger participation in the cultural scene–people don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art as much as they’d like to. To stop for a moment. Breathe. Smell the roses. The important things in life get missed.
So when things come up and literature doesn’t get to spend as much time with art as it would like to, art can get a little sad.
“I mean, I know literature’s been working really hard to create another space in this city where people can come together, have meaningful interactions and build sustainable forms of community and relationship—we’re all so busy trying to do our own thing—it’s just that, well,” art pauses, looks off into the distance and then down. “We just used to have so much fun together. Literature really understood me.” Art sniffs, quavers, and looks up with sad, shining eyes. “I just miss it.”
What happened? Art and literature made each other so happy. They had such a long history. And now, art is completely heartbroken, literature is lonelier than ever, it has no idea what happened, and it has no idea what to do.
Literature Loves Art
So literature, distraught, called Four Chambers. And after much heartfelt discussion—tears streaming down literature’s face, Four Chambers nodding empathetically on the other line—Four Chambers thinks the best thing literature can do is to ask local authors to go to the Phoenix Art Museum, walk through the galleries, and write something responding to the Museum’s collection of work.
This, the magazine thinks, is the way to win back art’s heart, and will show art that literature cares more than a vintage crockpot from the 1970s or a small yellow cactus in a concrete pot ever could (though both of these would make really great gifts). Then art will understand that literature is truly sorry for whatever it did wrong, people in Phoenix will have a greater sense of cultural cohesiveness and shared identity, and art and literature can continue building the long-lasting relationship they already have.
Four Chambers Loves You
“So all silliness aside,” explains the magazine’s Founder and Editor in Chief Jake Friedman, standing in front of the Art Museum dressed as a baby cupid, “If all we do is help people fall in love with art and / or literature,” adjusting his cloth diaper, shifting the bow and arrow in his hand, “if people can have a slightly more meaningful experience in their life because of this project,” a cold wind causes Friedman to shiver, a wing falling off. “Well…” Friedman shrugs. “That would be a beautiful thing.”
Individuals who are interested in visiting the museum may do so for free every Wednesday evening from 3 to 10 pm or every First Friday night from 6 to 10 pm, and any other time, the Museum is open for a modest and reasonable fee. Four Chambers will also be organizing a tour at the Museum Wednesday January 6th at 6:30 pm. Selected works are available online at http://egallery.phxart.org/.
Submissions for the project close Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 11:59 PM MST.
About Four Chambers Press
Four Chambers Press is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ that wants to expose you to wonderful literature + give you something to do every once in a while + make your life slightly more meaingful. For more information please visit http://fourchamberspress.com.
‘You’re home early,’ and he says, ‘Yes I am.’ He fumbles through boxes in the basement.
There is a 35-millimeter Nikon FG-20 buried in here somewhere, beneath football jerseys and an antler chandelier she’d made him take down.
All through dinner she asks questions about work. To pacify her, he says he has managed to collect some overdue funds from Hitachi, one of the ‘majors.’ This is an outright lie. The tree book sits on the hall table, waiting.”
Announcing Transatlantic, the first anthology from long-running London literary magazine Litro, Transatlantic collects together some of the best stories – and the biggest names – to have passed through its pages.
Litro magazine has always taken a global view of the literary world, and this collection is no exception. There are stories from authors on both sides of the Atlantic, spanning locations as far apart as Ithaca and Nairobi – and even the surface of the moon. What connects them is the strength of their voices, and the vibrant originality of their storytelling.
Transatlantic contains disturbed choristers and post-apocalyptic survivalists, aspiring rock stars and morally bankrupt nuclear power plant workers – but more importantly, it contains some of the most exciting and unique new voices to have appeared in modern fiction over the last few years.
Transatlantic: The Litro Anthology collects some of the best writing to have passed through the pages of Litro magazine, including stories by Anthony Doerr, Sean Beaudoin, Nikesh Shukla, Lucie Whitehouse and Jenn Ashworth.
It also introduces Reece Choules and Iain Robinson – the first two authors to sign to Litro’s bespoke literary agency, Litro Represents.
Why not join the Litro community and connect with like minded people and support our efforts to find new ways of looking at the world through stories, as well as providing opportunities and exposure for emerging writers, perhaps kick-starting their careers.
A membership to Litro will help us to continue to support our many emerging writers, and who knows, your support could be the one that helps launch the next great literary talent!
Membership to our Book Club gives you access to a community of writers, as well as the following:
Four times a year you will receive an advance copy of the featured book in the post (worth more than £50)
See your book reviews published online and have the chance to enter special Book Club member writing competitions
Exclusive author access including face-to-face events in London and online Q&As
And much more “Members Only” content including special reader gift offers from our many partners
Other Membership Options:
With our all-access UK membership, you get Litro Magazine delivered to your door: 10 issues of Litro Magazine a year, plus exclusive access to hundreds of short stories from past issues in our digital archive.
Get in on our quarterly Book Club: four new books a year from our Book Club, plus access to live author Q&As, and the chance to see your reviews published on litro.co.uk. Discounts on Litro Live! events: 50% off Litro Live! events and priority booking.
With our all-access International membership, you get all the same benefits as for UK readers, but at a small additional cost to cover postage and packaging.
Our Student membership gives you the same benefits as a full membership, but at a discounted rate. You will be asked to show proof that you are a student of a school or university in the UK.
So you want to start reading more Literary Magazines?
I was once in your shoes. I even interned at The Review Review to review Literary Magazines, just hoping to discover more magazines and the writers they publish. And doing that, just once mind you, along with working at Superstition Review for two semesters, I’ve come across a few revelations about how I feel about Literary Magazines.
First, I think there are far too many of them. However, I guess that is better than having a shortage (well, maybe not). But since there are so many of them, there are a lot, I hate to say it, that aren’t that good. And since there are so many of them, and plenty of them don’t always produce the best work, it is good to know what you are looking for to save yourself some time. You can find a literary magazine for nearly any kind of writing and I recommend following Submittable and The Review Review on Twitter to learn just how many different lit mags there are in the world (in addition to being reminded about contests and submission dates for the various journals).
As for my preferences, I like New England Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. McSweeney’s is interesting, though I find it a bit overpriced. (Before I forget, it’s great to go to a used book store and buy back issues of lit mags for a discounted price.)
Bartelby Snopes is a fun read for online literary magazines. Anderbo is a good online lit mag as well and easy to read on your phone. I am partial to magazines I can easily read on my phone as I take the light rail into ASU and I am always looking for a valid reason to keep my head down. And, now that I think of it, while I said McSweeney’s is overpriced, they have a great app which allows you to buy some great content.
Virginia Quarterly Review is a good one, too. Let’s not forget Hayden’s Ferry Review. A lot of quality work is published out of Arizona State University. A good tip that I learned from a talk given by Amy Holman at Bread Loaf is take whatever writer you like to read and, if they have written a short story collection, look in that collection to see where some of those stories have been published previously. You will quickly see a pattern in where your favorite writers are published. If you like political writings and follow political writers, you will end up reading magazines with a political vibe.
Also, read where you want to be published if your aim is to be published one day. This way, at the very least, you’ll understand the talent of your competition. If your aim is to discover new and interesting forms/writers, check out something like Muumu House or just start looking up lit mags on Twitter and see what magazines they follow.
This isn’t to say great writing can’t be found in obscure journals. As a Nonficiton Editor at Superstition Review, I’ve come across a few obscure journals in the writer’s bio section. Sometimes I look them up and read a few of the stories featured in their journal. But usually, I find better odds at the roulette table, and that’s betting on individual numbers.
The trick, I think, is to follow writers you like and find the writers they like and use that to branch out into different magazines. I think this is a more successful (not to mention time saving) approach, rather than just jumping head first into a pool of literary magazines. But I do tend to tray towards the more established lit mags when I can, because I like to read from the journals where I’d like to be published.
One more thing I heartily recommend is reading fiction/poetry from magazines that don’t just specialize in writing fiction/poetry, such as The New Yorker or Esquire. The best stories can be found in the most unusual places if you follow your favorite writers. For example, when I was about 14 I was really into reading Chuck Palahniuk. One day I found out he was publishing a new short story called Guts in Playboy Magazine. I pleaded with my dad to buy it for me so I could read the story. He bought it for me, tearing out the story and throwing away the magazine (or so he’d like me to believe). I still remember reading that story, the edges all ripped, the pages paper-clipped together. Thinking back on it, what happened in that story was probably more adult than anything else in that magazine.
This isn’t me telling you to buy Playboy. This is me saying there are so many magazines out there, so many avenues for writers to publish their work, that you are better off following writers as they publish and just sticking to your list of highly established and respected magazines, as your safe “go-to” journals.
This morning at breakfast I did a little math. Those of you who know me understand that this is not good. Whenever I do math I get “math face.” Then I rifle through my purse for a calculator. Then I throw up my hands and quit.
But this morning I stuck with it, and here are some of the sums I managed: 13 Issues, 6.5 years, over 500 international artists and writers, 220 student editors, 822 blog posts, 5536 tweets. What an overwhelming privilege it has been to create this beautiful thing. And also to interact with talented people I admire; to meet with students and train them to read poems and html, to Tweet and to blog, to correspond with authors, to read other lit mags.
I’ve said before that my main goal with this magazine is to be a “literary ambassador.” I love that term, and I love that life, and I especially enjoy passing on that value to students. To that end, here is what we’ve done this semester:
1. We have published 60 artists/authors we admire in a beautiful format that is free.
2. We have shared literary news and ideas (and job ads!) across our social networks.
3. We have encouraged our community to subscribe to and read other literary magazines.
4. We have attended literary events in our town and at AWP in Seattle.
Putting together this issue was a true joy. I’ll comment on just a few things.
Our cover is by New York painter Melinda Hackett. I solicited art from her after seeing her work on the cover of Post Road. I really enjoy her use of color and whimsical shapes. This issue features 10 artists from across the country and in a variety of media: from glass sculpture to photography to acrylics. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I do.
Melissa Pritchard is our featured reader for this semester and I’m so pleased to have her. If anyone is a literary ambassador it is her! I admire her as a person as much as I admire her writing.
This is our largest submission area, so we did a lot (I mean a lot) of reading. Sometimes in a reading period we’ll get 5 stories in a row narrated in past tense by a 25 year old male. It can be strange there in Submittable, as if someone spread the word that we want a particular type of piece. We don’t. We don’t run themes and we don’t even like to repeat much. The 10 pieces we chose represent what we felt was the best variety of topic, theme, and form. We tried to find a mix of traditional and experimental stories.
We interviewed 10 authors ranging from Roxane Gay to Meg Wolitzer. Our interview process is perhaps the most intense of all the sections. Our two Interview Editors (always undergrads, usually English Lit Majors) carefully read and research each author, composing 20 mostly craft-based questions. Then we spend several weeks doing more research and revisions to the questions. I’m so grateful for all the work that these students do, and to the authors and poets who respond so thoughtfully.
At AWP this year I got a lot of questions about our nonfiction section. We get the fewest number of submissions here, and I would say the highest number of submissions that miss the mark of our editorial preferences. So what is our aesthetic? I would call it lyric, non-linear, and as I said a few times to authors at the conference, “strange.” We like an essay to surprise and delight as much as a poem does.
We get a ton of poetry submissions too, and since we take 4 poems per submission, we end up reading thousands of poems during a 10 week period. For this issue we published work by 20 poets, and as you’ll see there’s a wide variety of topic, theme, and form there.
So here are the well-deserved thanks (cue music): I can’t thank my Student Editors enough for their dedication. They spend many hours reading submissions, corresponding with authors, organizing content, and designing pages and advertisements. Oh, and Tweeting, Blogging, and Facebooking too!
Thanks also to my Faculty Advisors who contribute lots of time and energy to mentoring students.
And as always, deep thanks go to my Department Head Ian Moulton and Dean Duane Roen for their support.
Thanks also to our 60 contributors for this issue. I hope you enjoy the magazine.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Marylee MacDonald.
Marylee MacDonald has won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Matt Clark Prize, the Ron Rash Award, and the ALR Fiction Prize. Her stories have appeared in Yalobusha Review, New Delta Review, Briar Cliff Review, StoryQuarterly, Folio, Reunion, Broad River Review, American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, North Atlantic Review, River Oak Review, North Atlantic Review, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, Briar Cliff Review, and the anthologies ROLL and NEW SUN RISING: Stories for Japan. Her novel, MONTPELIER TOMORROW, is forthcoming from ATTM Press. She lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Lori Jakiela.
Lori Jakiela is the author of two memoirs – The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (C&R Press, 2013) and Miss New York Has Everything (Hatchette, 2006) – as well as a poetry collection, Spot the Terrorist! (Turning Point, 2012), and several poetry chapbooks. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brevity, KGB BarLit, Hobart and elsewhere. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, the author Dave Newman, and their two children. She teaches in the writing programs at Pitt-Greensburg and Chatham University.