What We’re Reading: New Ohio Review

n the midst of feverishly tightening gizmos & tinkering with doohickeys on our website, the Gandy Dancer team has taken the time to study the composition of other contemporary literary magazines. One of our current favorites is New Ohio Review, a publication founded by the Creative Writing Program at Ohio University in 2007. After perusing the ins and outs of its Fall 2009 Issue thanks to the Free Classroom Copies Program, our editorial staff would like to share impressive features that we admire about NOR.


First, we were impressed with the cohesive nature of the issue.  Together, the selections  create a provocative medley of thought.  While the topics range from religion and spirituality to the passage of time and the natural world, they flow together in a satisfying way. We admired how Clint Mc Cown’s “Reverend Tyree” is in conversation with the poems “High Noon” by Eleanor Wilner, “Good God” by Mark Jarman & “Anathema” by Natasha Sajé in regards to religion. Poems such as Charles Harper Webb’s “Dismantled for Goodwill, Our Son’s Crib Leans” & “A Discreet Charm” by Stephen Dunn, explore aging & memory. “The Mixer” by Leslie Daniels, also contributes well to this variety as does Albert Goldbarth’s  “He held out his hand. ‘Zarth has told me that this was the gesture of greeting in your time.’”

While these literary works function as distinct components, the GD team believes that each piece works together to form a larger artistic arc that reveals the aesthetic of the magazine. We hope to achieve a similar sense of seamless variety.

Our editorial staff also admires the way NOR creates a space for a dialogue about writing  NOR presents a number of poems about writing or the nature of writing, both featuring a speaker who struggles to make sense of the world through poetry. These poems immediately enthralled us – a group of writers who are eager to connect with other writers –  specifically after reading “Letter to Myself, in Remission, from Myself, Terminal” by Anya Silver, “Life as Lucy” by Lisa Bellamy, “Fame” by David Gullette & Denise Duhamel’s “Takeout, 2008”. Along with the literary works that are featured in this issue, the GD staff appreciates the final section of the magazine, entitled “Stories You May Have Missed: Fifteen Fiction Writers Reflect on Underappreciated Contemporary Stories,” in which established authors discuss a  short story that is important to them.

Want to learn more about this spectacular literary magazine? Check OutNOR’s website at http://www.ohio.edu/nor/ & like NOR on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/NewOhioReview to receive the latest updates on forthcoming issues and submission guidelines.

NOR has inspired us and given us much to think about as we pull together our next issue of Gandy Dancer.  There’s still time to be part of Issue 1.2, but hurry!  The deadline is March 1st.

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