The issue was published January 16, 2019. The sample is available here as a PDF to download.
The full PDF issue is available here from PayPal for $2, to help with funding contributor copies and mailing costs.
The optional theme is Lost and Found.
Contributors: Sudeep Adhikari, Charles Joseph Albert, Rey Armenteros, Jan Ball, Gary Beck, Susan P. Blevins, Michael K. Brantley, Judith Alexander Brice, Alexandra Brinkman, Frank De Canio, Aidan Coleman, Daniel de Culla, Lydia A. Cyrus, Nathan Dennis, Deborah H. Doolittle, Steven Goff, Dave Gregory, John Grey, Jack D. Harvey, Kevin Haslam, Michael Paul Hogan, Erica Michaels Hollander, Mark Hudson, Heikki Huotari, Nancy Byrne Iannucci, Jayant Kashyap, Wade McCullough, Don McLellan, Todd Mercer, Daniel Edward Moore, Donají Olmedo, Simon Perchik, Zachary A. Philips, Mari Posa, Eric Rasmussen, David Anthony Sam, J.B. Santillan, Marygrace Schumann, Sydnee Smailes, Ruben E. Smith, William L. Spencer, Penn Stewart, Lisa Stice, Ash Strange, Lee Triplett, Mitchell Waldman, Thomas Wattie, Richard Weaver, Theresa Williams, and Bill Wolak.
Reviews: Blunt Force by Gary Beck, The Remission of Order by Gary Beck, Overhead from Longing by Judith Alexander Brice, Bombing the Thinker by Darren C. Demaree, Lady, You Shot Me by Darren C. Demaree, Never One for Promises by Sarah A. Etlinger, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, Mark the Dwarf by Jack D. Harvey, The Frayed Edge of Memory by James Croal Jackson, Mishigamaa by Robert Krantz, Firefly: Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove, I Exist. Therefore I Am by Shirani Rajapakse, Final Inventory by David Anthony Sam, and Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink by Nita Sweeney.
The issue is available as a PDF: TMR Volume 4 Issue 2.
The optional theme is comics, be it drawn in sequential images or just plain funny.
Contributors: Gershon Ben-Avraham, Susan P. Blevins, Mela Blust, Charles W. Brice, Aria Callaham, Joan Colby, Holly Day, Darren C. Demaree, Adam Durso, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Sarah A. Etlinger, GTimothy Gordon, John Grey, Jack D. Harvey, Aloura Hattendorf, Henry Hitz, Diane Hoffman, A.J. Huffman, Phil Huffy, James Croal Jackson, Lonnie James, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Matthew J. Kreglow, Claire Martin, Megan Miazgowicz, Jennifer Davis Michael, Paul Mills, TJ Neathery, Simon Perchik, Steven B. Rosenfeld, David Anthony Sam, William L. Spencer, David Spicer, Chuck Thompson, Dennis Trujillo, Bess Vanrenen, Maryfrances Wagner, Michael Whelan, Theresa Williams, and Kelsey Zimmerman.
Reviews: Hold Me Gorilla Monsoon by Colette Arrand, Auri by Auri, Internet Yearnings by Gary Beck, Mnemosyne’s Hand: Poems by Charles W. Brice, Her Secret Husband by Abbey Faith, The Future by From Ashes to New, Burn Site In Bloom by Jamie Houghton, Rookland by Jesse Minkert, Beach Dweller Manifesto by Leah Mueller, Ghost Matter by Jade Ramsey, Heavenly Whispers by Roger Sippl, Permanent Change of Station by Lisa Stice, and i’m fine: A Haiku Collection About Mental Illness by Jamie Winters.
Thank you, Suzanna, for this wonderful opportunity. Each issue of The Magnolia Review is a beautiful selection of prose, poetry and art, and so I knew from the beginning that choosing one piece for the Ink Award would be difficult. Generally, my favorite works of literature and art make me think about them at odd times in a day, send their words or visuals to my mind when I’m driving or walking my dog or trying to fall asleep. I would return to reread those pieces in Volume 4, Issue 1 that did just that, then I let them travel with me again throughout my day. Repeat. Repeat. Maybe it’s because my life as a military spouse is often about change (moving, trainings, deployments, friends leaving) and maybe because my daughter will start kindergarten in the fall, the pieces that stood out most to me were those about transitions and change. In the end, there were certain phrasings and images I couldn’t shake from my head: “[t]he long roads of us,” “[m]ade feast from the leftovers of fields,” “backtracked on roads now strangered.” I also love how this poem ends with the word “end” although it continues to raise questions and encourages the reader to continue asking questions. And so, I have selected “Journey” by Doug Bolling as the winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award.
Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse, the author of a poetry collection Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016), and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She volunteers as a mentor with the Veterans Writing Project, as an associate poetry editor with 1932 Quarterly, and as a contributor for The Military Spouse Book Review. She received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. You can learn more about her publications at https://lisastice.wordpress.com/.
Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?
I always carry a notebook with me, but I never write more than fragmented thoughts when I’m out and about. Most of my creating happens at home. I have notebooks all over those house, but most of my writing usually happens in the living room at my desk in the guest room.
What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?
All of the fragments and first drafts always happen in either a notebook or on some random scrap of paper, and I always use a pen (usually ballpoint, but sometimes fountain). All subsequent drafts happen on my computer.
What is your routine for writing?
My most productive time of writing is in the early morning when everything is quiet and feels fresh. My little dog usually lies next to my chair or at my feet when I write.
How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?
The earliest poem I saved was written in the third grade; it was about kit foxes. It wasn’t until undergrad, though, that I really began writing and started thinking of myself as a poet. Still, I didn’t submit anything and kept my poems basically to myself until I started my MFA over a decade later. It’s a little scary putting your heart out there for others, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize the sharing is what makes poetry powerful because it’s those deep feelings it contains that connect us all through the human experience.
Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?
My poetry often pulls from my life as a mother and Marine Corps spouse, so I suppose my writing speaks loudest to those audiences, but the themes also reach out to others who feel isolation, fear, worry, and all those other emotions we often feel we grapple with alone.
What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?
I’ve come to realize if I force myself to write what I want to write, I run into writers block more often. When I left what I need to write come out on the page, the poems come easily and plentifully. My inspiration comes from my day to day life. Prompts can help when the writing hits a wall, but the prompt only helps I think of it as a fluid thing that doesn’t bind my writing.
What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?
I love painting and dancing. My daughter is getting old enough to do more and more art projects and games, so those are becoming more frequent family activities in our home. I also do scent detection training and therapy dog volunteering with my dog.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
It’s a toss up between the exhilaration of seeing something in the process of creation and seeing something get shared with others.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
You are a unique individual who has a unique voice and experiences. If you write in your authentic style and voice about what matters most to you, all the deeper emotions within your writing will speak more clearly and connect with more people.
Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse. She is the author of Permanent Change of Station (Middle West Press, 2018) and Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016). While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. You can learn more about her and her publications at lisastice.wordpress.com and at facebook.com/LisaSticePoet. @LisaSticePoet
A Quick Lunch from the Noodle Stand, Volume 2, Issue 1 (Pushcart Nomination)
When Your Substance Is Drained Away, Reduction, and Afternoon One Day When You Were Young, Volume 3, Issue 1
Judge of The Magnolia Review Ink Award, Volume 4, Issue 1
Book Release, Permanent Change of Station, and Review, Volume 4, Issue 2
Resolutions, Deliver Us, The Selkie, Eat, Not, and Pie Astronomy, Volume 5, Issue 1