Trivia about Volume 4, Issue 2

5 artists submitted 5 comics, 2 creative nonfiction writers submitted 2 creative nonfiction pieces, 30 writers submitted 33 pieces of fiction, and 34 poets submitted 136 poems.

Volume 4, Issue 2 will be available soon.

Mara Cohen–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

My desk faces a lovely view out my window, but my chair is uncomfortable. I should probably replace it, but I like that it matches the desk. It’s a classic case of style versus comfort.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I do most of my writing on my 2010 MacBook Pro. I’m thinking of a younger, sleeker, lighter-weight model. Maybe she and I will venture out to coffee shops. I live in Los Angeles, so maybe people will see me typing away on my sleek, new laptop and assume I’m writing a screenplay. Maybe Jessica Chastain would play me.

What is your routine for writing?

Writing is generally agonizing for me, so I try to make it a routine like brushing my teeth or going to the gym. And I try to do it after those two things on most days, at least during the week.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I’m not one of those writers who say they can’t remember a time before they started writing. I do recall in the 1st grade I loved to pull out laminated images from magazines that were kept in a box in the classroom and dictating a story about those images to a teacher’s aide. I wrote for the student newspaper when I was in high school. That was followed by a dry spell when it comes to writing, except the sterile scholarly articles I published as a professor, which I don’t consider to be “real writing.” I missed having a job title after leaving my profession, so I started saying I was a writer. Then I had to live up to that title.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I don’t necessarily have an intended audience when I sit down to write, but it’s a great feeling when people have a reaction to something I’ve published.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Often I’m inspired by something I’ve read or some conversation sparks an idea. Then later something comes to me while I’m walking my dog or taking a shower or brushing my teeth. I’m a firm believer in the importance of good oral hygiene.

When I feel blocked — pretty much every time I sit down to write — I chew lots of gum. I don’t know if the gum helps with the writer’s block, but it satisfies my urge to get up to check what’s good to eat in my kitchen. I do lots of that too.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I’m playing in the genre of memoir so in a way I’m always writing. When I’m going somewhere with my daughter or talking with my mom on the phone, it’s all my life and that’s material.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I love bouncing ideas around and sharing work in progress with my writer friends.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Writing can be an isolating activity, so it’s nice to be part of a writers’ group that can provide camaraderie.

Check out Mara’s work in Volume 4, Issue 1.

Volume 4, Issue 1

Phoenix Rising 12 X 12 Clayboard jpeg

Volume 4 Issue 1 is available here as a PDF: The Magnolia Review Volume 4 Issue 1.

Contributors: Charles Joseph Albert, Meredith Bailey, Susan P. Blevins, Doug Bolling, Adam Levon Brown, Sally Bunch, Antonia Clark, Mara Cohen, Ann Colcord, Tony Concannon, Sandy Coomer, Barbara Daniels, Maureen Daniels, Chris Dungey, Robert Ford, Cynthia Gallaher, D.G. Geis, Jessica Gigot, Ben Groner III, Mary Hanrahan, K.B. Holzman, Jamie Houghton, Mark Hudson, Steven Jakobi, Brian K. Kerley, Lauren Klocinski, Laurie Kolp, Paul Lamb, Sean J. Mahoney, Bridget Malley, Todd Mercer, Anthony J. Mohr, Wilda Morris, Leah Mueller, Don Noel, Toti O’Brien, Richard King Perkins II, Scarlett Peterson, Greg Rappleye, Ruben Rodriguez, John Rodzvilla, Valerie Ruberto, David Anthony Sam, Hilary Sideris, Roger Sippl, Steve Slavin, Spencer Smith, and Christopher Woods

Reviews: Magic for Unlucky Girls by A.A. Balaskovits, Twenty-One by D. Victoria BonAnno, Wet Radio and other poems by Goirick Brahmachari, Two Towns Over by Darren C. Demaree, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson, and Chant of a Million Women by Shirani Rajapakse.

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award: to be announced

Toti O’Brien

Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician, and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Apt, Aji Magazine, The Spectacle, and The Goldman Review.

Dog Days, Volume 4, Issue 1

Mara Cohen

Mara Cohen, Ph.D. is a writer, public speaker, civic activist and mother working on a memoir about family and resilience. Her personal essays have appeared in an eclectic mix of publications, from The Nervous Breakdown (2017) to Chicken Soup for the Soul (forthcoming), from Jewrotica (2015) to Mothers Always Write (2015) and a dozen others. She has also written articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and general news outlets. Her greatest joy is spending time with friends and family. Read more of her work at maracohen.com.

Fire Pit, Volume 4, Issue 1
Interview

Theme for Issue 8!

We are currently reading submissions for our eighth issue! The theme for the eighth issue is: comics, be it drawn in sequential images or just plain funny. See the Submit tab for details on how to submit. We accept photography, art, comics, creative nonfiction, fiction, flash fiction, experimental work, and poetry.

Rachel Edford

Rachel Edford is currently an English faculty member at Seminole State College of Florida. She has published critical articles on American poetry and science studies and a piece of creative nonfiction in The Mayo Review. Prior to working as a faculty member, she was employed as a librarian and archivist in Michigan and Washington DC.

Tony and Ghosts, Volume 3, Issue 2