In August, we publish Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine, a compilation of the continued history and conversations of the people who love new and interesting literature so much they spend their lives dedicated to sharing it with the world. But before we make history, it is only polite to introduce you to the literary magazines that most impress us — Atticus staff, authors, and associates.
Allow us the guilt-free pleasure of leading you to publications that have turned us into better writers and voracious readers and to hopefully, carry on the conversation.
And why limit your selection to one favorite lit mag, when you can discuss five? So goes the thinking of the editors at The Adirondack Review, who shares their views below.
The Adirondack Review itself deserves, at the very least, our glowing recommendation. Now thirteen years old with over 45 issues, TAR has become a hot spot to find stirring writing by previously unpublished poets and writers. Founding editor Colleen Ryor writes, “Each issue tends to reflect this commitment to publishing both those with extensive publication credits in widely respected journals as well as writers for whom TAR is their first publication.” And recently, TAR has done more service to their readers by searching for and highlighting other hard-hitting literary magazines on their facebook page. We’ve asked TAR to share with us some of their favorite finds.
The Boiler, edited by Sebastian H. Paramo, puts out a new issue every couple of months. It publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, while also hosting a blog and a 500-word flash fiction competition.
TAR: The Boiler publishes some of the liveliest writing I’ve seen online today. I say “liveliest” because each piece has its own movement, its own way of toying with my boundaries, and its own way of carving itself into place. The Boiler is here, is turned up, and is publishing pieces I continue to fall for, no matter how many times I go back to them.
Phantom Limb, edited by Kelly Forsythe, is a quarterly that publishes poems, interviews, and reviews.
TAR: Phantom Limb, simply enough, won’t waste your time. With a clean design and a fantastic lineup of poets, you really can’t go wrong with it. Its writing (and the magazine’s aesthetic) has been sheared down so that what’s left is absolutely essential, and I love every inch.
mojo, run by the MFA program at Wichita State University, publishes fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and a blog.
TAR: mojo is, first off, beautiful. The visual art itself is terrific, though even the pages without any are balanced and thought-out; mojo is fully conscious of itself and the body it has created. The writing is phenomenal, too, and worth sitting down with, again and again.
Stone Highway Review publishes poetry, lyrical prose, reviews, interviews, photography, and artwork.
TAR: Stone Highway editor Amanda Hash says, “There’s nothing in the world better than an amazing line followed by another amazing line and another and another.” Stone Highway is just that—a barrage of incredible writing—and the best way to read it is in its entirety, straight through to the end.