Whether at the collegiate, graduate, or professional levels, the writing found in literary magazines are great tools to find up-and-coming voices in various literary spaces and can spark ideas for your own writing. Since these publications often have some sort of thematic, technical, or other structure binding the works in a single issue together, it is easy to dig up prompts or guidelines to apply to your own writing exercises. This Holiday season, consider gifting a subscription or donation in the name of someone to a literary journal instead of the usual purchases off the best-seller list.
Below are just a few of our favorite journals, let us know some of yours!
Published through the University of Arizona MFA program, Sonora captures a dynamic regional voice and portrait of the Southwestern United States that is often misunderstood or mischaracterized.
The theme of this special issue was inspired, in part, by a late night Google search a few years ago. Amidst growing conversation in the United States and the world over about sexual violence and domestic abuse, I lay awake thinking about growing up a girl. The leering, catcalling, groping. Being taken advantage of at a party, being valued for beauty or ridiculed for ugliness. Worshiped for our parts, reduced to our things, to things ourselves. Dreading the meeting where our opinions are undermined, the birthdays that mark us as past an expiration date, the alleyways or relationships that leave us bleeding. In a moment of sleepless desperation, I googled “places where gender-based violence and misogyny don’t exist.” Unsurprisingly, the search didn’t yield many results, but I did find one published research paper that listed a handful of contexts where “violence against women” was rare and, when present, swiftly condemned. The one thing all these sites of nonviolence, so to speak, had in common was a reverence for the natural world and the nonhuman beings that occupy it. These were places where that which is considered easily exploitable is instead cared for and respected. How, then, I wondered, does this permanent, human-inflicted damage to the planet and its species relate to other forms of extinction, to the irrevocable harm we inflict against each other and ourselves?
Excerpt from a 2021 Special Issue, Extinction
Bamboo Ridge Press
Founded in 1978 and still operating today as a non-profit press. Bamboo Ridge Press brings readers fiction, poetry, screenplays, novels and more from an oft-underrepresented group in American literature: Hawaii and Polynesian writers. You can explore their diverse archives (which are still currently being digitized fully) via the Kapi’olani Community College repository.
On the experimental side of the scale, Poem Atlas “is an exhibition platform and occasional publisher of books and object poems” and introduces readers and users to interacting with language and poetry in atypical mediums. Their Online Exhibitions (see below) are an engaging display and demonstration of the skills and techniques visual poets are incorporating to push their writing and work with materials further.