Mishigamaa by Robert Krantz

Krantz submitted to the first issue of The Magnolia Review. His poems are magnetic and show poetic mastery. His language builds strong and lasting images. His chosen language sounds a melodious music to read aloud, a rhythm that you have to play to completion.

In “Pearl,” the speaker begins with, “I remember the wheat fields / of Iowa and the photograph / of you I took with me, / and how neither ever really ended.” The speaker continues, “We ate and loved / much in that decade, / collided with stars, / authored myths / and stuffed our age-spotted hands / into denim pockets.” The image and sound carries through the lines, building to the final image of “The half shells we find on beaches / were once a thing joined together, / breathing, and grinding / new pearls into place.” The poem builds like a pearl, with the images stringing together into a cohesive piece.

Laundry can be boring. The speaker reflects on his fellow laundry-doers in “Load,” where “The bachelors in the laundromat / spill their words / like bleach / on black clothes, / speak of condos / and alimonies— / thick humidities turning.” The clothes transform into more, they are “damp thoughts” as they wash, and they “…breathe[s] / restless poems / into my blues and grays. / Soon this summer rain / will end, volume of water / striking pavement / will knob itself silent.” Krantz ends the poem with a moment that draws the reader back to the reality of the laundromat, “The cash machine, / against the flecked wall, / reminds me to change.”

The collection ends with “Pathfinder,” about a hatchet and its story. It shares the story of two boys cutting down a tree and of a sibling wrestling game gone awry.

Overall, Krantz’s poems are musical and full of images that inspire looking at mundane events in a new and interesting way. I look forward to reading more of Krantz’s work.

Check out Robert‘s work in Volume 1, Issue 1, and a review of Gargoyles in Volume 2, Issue 2.

Laurie Kolp–Interview

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

I like to write in my little nook behind the den. My dogs hang out with me there. Public spaces are too distracting for me, but I do take down a lot of notes as I observe what is going on around me when I am out and about.

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

I prefer to type. My hand gets tired when I write too much… I guess it’s out of practice or I’m just getting older.

What is your routine for writing?

I prefer early morning, waking up before anyone else and drinking my coffee at the computer. I get a lot accomplished on the weekends because everyone in my house sleeps late. Even during the workweek, I wake up in time to write before I leave for the day.

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

I started writing for fun as a child, edited newsletters at camp, and continued through high school on literary committees. During college, I veered off from writing I guess because of all the other kinds of work I had to do. I started back up when my kids were little, which was about 10 years ago.

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

I don’t really think of an ideal audience. I write because I have something to say. I feel lucky when my poetry is read, and I feel satisfied when my poetry touches someone.

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

Anything can inspire me to write, and it can hit at any time. When blocked, I work on revisions or create found poetry. My favorite form lately has been centos. I have enough to fill a chapbook, and plan on working on it over the summer.

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

I teach 1st grade and am currently working on my Master’s degree in special education. I like to run, binge-watch Netflix, and spend time with my family.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Believe it or not, revision.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Create a routine for writing and stick with it. Read as much as you can. Never give up!

Check out Laurie’s work in Volume 2, Issue 2 and Volume 4, Issue 1.

2016 Pushcart Nominations

I am so proud of our 2016 issues, and it was very difficult to choose only six pieces for the Pushcart Nominations. Congratulations!

A Quick Lunch from the Noodle Stand by Lisa Stice (Volume 2, Issue 1)

A Straight Line through the Labyrinth by Elisha Holt (Volume 2, Issue 1)

Into the Ease by Joshua Daniel Cochran (Volume 2, Issue 2)

Penny Altars by Teressa Rose Ezell (Volume 2, Issue 2)

Pinning by Lindsay A. Chudzik (Volume 2, Issue 2)

Spark Plugs by Scott Blackburn (Volume 2, Issue 2)

Laurie Kolp

Laurie Kolp has poems appearing in Whale Road Review, concis, Rust + Moth, Bracken, Up the Staircase, PITH, and more. Lover of running, almonds, and key lime pie, Kolp is forever in search of the best word. She is author of the poetry collection Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing) and chapbook Hello, It’s Your Mother (Finishing Line Press). She lives and teaches in Southeast Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs. Learn more at http://lauriekolp.com.

Letting Go Attempt #10, Volume 2, Issue 2
After the Kiss, Volume 4, Issue 1
Interview

A.J. Huffman

A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, fourteen solo poetry chapbooks, and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses. Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers. She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. You can find more of her personal work here: https://ajhuffmanpoetryspot.blogspot.com/

Notes to the Wind, Volume 2, Issue 2
Wolf, I Think About Concrete, Attached to a Lamp Post, and The Phenomenon of Bones, Volume 4, Issue 2

Issue 4 is on its way!

For the fourth issue of The Magnolia Review, 9 artists submitted 50 pieces of art and photography, 8 creative nonfiction writers submitted 8 creative nonfiction pieces, 75 fiction writers submitted 78 stories, and 77 poets submitted 334 poems.

The Issue will be available on July 15.

Update: The issue has been delayed and will be available by the end of July. Apologies for the delay.