LR Issue 7.3 Is Here!

Cover image of Lantern Review Issue 7.3: At the top, the words "LANTERN REVIEW" in all caps. Beneath it, a dark gray bar with the text "November 2019" in white. Below that, the cover image: an abstract composition of colorful, angular shards and strips of a verity of patterns. The body of the piece is transected by a grid of white lines that meet at regular intervals and cross at right angles (forming six square shapes). At top right, on top of the image, the number "7.3" appears in large, white, slightly translucent type. The bottom of the number slightly overlaps a translucent, dark gray rectangle onto which the italic word "construction(s)" has been placed.
LANTERN REVIEW Issue 7.3: “Construction(s)”

We’re thrilled to announce that Lantern Review Issue 7.3, our third and final issue of the 2019 season, is now live! This dazzling collection features poems by Karan Madhok, Jane Wong, Annette Wong, Tessie Monique, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, and Melody Gee, as well as artwork by Sisavanh Phouthavang-Houghton and Tonya Russell. The issue is curated around the theme “Construction(s),” a title inspired by both Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé’s prose poem “The Beach, and the Important Failure of Utopia Creation” and Melody Gee’s tender lyric “And So More,” two very different pieces that are both invested in questions of world-making, building, and becoming.

There are fewer things more satisfying than curating a conversation between the kinds of diverse and divergent voices that appear in Issue 7.3. We’ve anticipated the release of this issue for months and are delighted to showcase these artists’ rigorous, artful considerations of what it means to construct, to deconstruct, and to perform identity and the body in new, complex ways.

In looking back on this year’s issues, we’re incredibly grateful to our contributors for believing in Lantern Review‘s mission as a journal dedicated to excellence and diversity in Asian American poetry, as well as to all of you, our readers, for your continued support. Thank you so much for joining in the conversation, especially as we’ve taken the leap of relaunching the magazine this year.

We hope you’ll enjoy Issue 7.3—and as always, we’d love to hear what you think! Leave us a comment below or catch us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: @LanternReview.

Enter Lantern Review 7.3: “construction(s)”

Peace and Light,

Mia & Iris
LR Editors

Announcing Our 2019 Best of the Net Nominees

Happy Friday! As we near the end of one year of our magazine’s being back in (virtual) print, the Lantern Review team is delighted to announce that we have nominated the following two poems for Best of the Net 2019.

Photo of Shamala Gallagher
(Portrait of the poet, with shoulder-length, dark-brown, gently windswept hair, dark-rimmed glasses, and a raspberry-colored top with a white floral print, smiling against a background of green leaves.)
Shamala Gallagher (Photo by Madeline Laguaite)

Shamala Gallagher, “Untitled (New Year’s Eve & a Death Tucked Inside)”
LR Issue 7.1 | March 2019

“It scared me when anyone loved anyone’s writing. For who then was left to love mine? And it is hard to write so punctuated by nights.”

Photo of W. Todd Kaneko  (Portrait of the poet, wearing black, rectangular glasses, a brown collared shirt with white embroidery on the yoke buttoned over a black tee, and a goatee. Books on white shelves line the wall in the background).
W. Todd Kaneko (Photo by Tyler Steimle)

W. Todd Kaneko, “The Birds Know What They Mean”
LR Issue 7.2 | May 2019

“I say, Minidoka—
what the birds mean is that
there is no such thing
as safety, barely shelter.”

Shamala and Todd’s poems sing in the dark. They whisper quietly in the mind’s ear, masterfully and unflinchingly tuning image and syntax line by line. Their tightly crafted openings and endings deliver a powerful gut punch each time we read them, and we’re so grateful to have gotten the chance to publish these two beautiful pieces this year.

Congratulations, Shamala and Todd, and we wish you the very best of luck in the Best of the Net selection process!

Join Us at the 2019 Smithsonian APA Lit Fest This Weekend!

Text: "2019 Asian American Literature Festival, August 2–4, 2019, Eaton Hotel, 2012 K Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20005." Accompanying image: watercolor illustration of a city with multiple types of buildings arranged on grassy terraces, including several with many glass windows, brick and stuccoed buildings, and several tents in the foreground (including a thatched one, a round, white yurt-like structure, and a blue one with multicolored designs).
Join us in the Literary Lounge of the 2019 Asian American Literature Festival this weekend!

It’s that time again, and we’re headed off to the second Smithsonian APA Literature Festival this weekend in DC! Come visit us in the Literary Lounge on Friday, where we’ll be giving away awesome stickers featuring some of our contributors, as well as (in keeping with this year’s festival’s theme of “Care and Caregiving”) little poetry care kits designed to provide literary inspiration, activities for creative renewal, and prompts for the writer in need of self-care. Whether it’s tenderness, solidarity, or play that you need, we hope you’ll take a kit home this weekend to nourish your own creative practice or to share one with someone dear to you. The activities and writing prompts included can easily be adapted to share with kids, as well—so if you’re a parent or a teacher of a creative young person, we hope you’ll stop by, too! (Iris will be behind the table and would love to have a conversation with you about APA poetry in the classroom or APA books for young readers.) See you in DC!

LUMEN No. 7 Is Coming This Friday!

Get ready—the summer 2019 installment of our email newsletter, Lumen, drops on Friday, and it’s one for the books! For Lumen no. 7, we’ve asked some of our Issue 7.2 contributors to share the can’t-miss, APA-authored books that are top of their reading lists this summer. From Ocean Vuong to Seema Reza, this edition of Lumen is packed with fantastic reading recommendations. We can’t wait to dive into the titles they recommend ourselves—and hope you’ll discover a new favorite read or two, as well!

Photograph of a black mug containing milky tea and a copy of Lee Herrick's SCAR AND FLOWER lying open on its front (with the cover up—showing large, red-and-white, sans-serif display type on a dark background). The words "What to Read in Summer 2019" and the Lumen logo (a black circle with a white, hanging line-drawing of a pendant lamp and the word "Lumen" in white script font) take up the right side.
LUMEN 7: What to Read in Summer 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

If you’re already subscribed to Lumen, you can look forward to receiving this season’s letter in your inbox on Friday morning. And if you aren’t yet a subscriber, not to worry; there’s still time to make sure you won’t miss out! Follow the link below or click on the image at the top of this post to sign up:

Subscribe to Lumen

We hope this issue of Lumen provides you with some great inspiration—and would love to hear what’s on your reading list this summer!

Light and peace always,
Iris, Mia, and Irene

LR Issue 7.2 is Here! Celebrate APA Heritage Month 2019 with Us.

Cover of LANTERN REVIEW Issue 7.2

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re excited to announce the launch of our second micro-issue this year! For Issue 7.2, we’ve chosen the title “Home/lands,” inspired by the last line of Leslieann Hobayan’s ethereal “Wedding Departure Haibun,” which asks of us to consider oscillations between belonging and flight as we negotiate home and renegotiate history.

Along with Hobayan’s work, we’ve gathered poems by W. Todd Kaneko, Bryan Thao Worra, Kaysone Syonesa, Amy Uyematsu, Eileen R. Tabios, Brandon Shimoda, and Purvi Shah, as well as striking artwork by Kang Yoo A, Camino Santos, and Jenna Le. Finally, to commemorate the varied landscapes explored by the APA poets and visual artists featured in this investigation of “home/lands,” you’ll also find artifacts from some of our contributors’ personal histories hidden throughout the issue. Look closely, and you’ll see faces from the past reveal themselves in unexpected places. To enter the issue, click here or on the image at the top of this post. We’d love to hear what you think, so leave us a comment below or reach out to us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to share your feedback and reactions.

Much gratitude, as always, for your support and readership.

Peace and Light,

The LR editorial team

LUMEN No. 6 is Coming on Friday.

Happy Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month! So much is already in motion this May—from Kundiman’s release of a special poetry folio in honor of the occasion to Penguin Books’s addition of four seminal Asian American literary works to their classics series—and over here at LR, we’re excited to be celebrating in our own way, too.

Writing Into Silence: Four Prompts for APA Heritage Month; Lumen by LANTERN REVIEW (Photo of purple flowers against a yellow wall by Mona Eendra on Unsplash)
LUMEN 6: Writing into Silence—Four Prompts for APA Heritage Month. Click here to subscribe. (Photo by Mona Eendra on Unsplash)

Later this month, we’ve got a brand-new issue focusing on APA history and literary lineage forthcoming, but first, a special APAHM edition of our newsletter, Lumen, featuring four prompts about writing into silence, drops this Friday, May 10th. During APAHM, when we often stop to consider the legacies of injustice and trauma that are written into our histories, it seemed appropriate to address what it means to grapple with silence in our craft, and we hope that the four exercises we’re sharing (each of which is inspired by a different Issue 7.1 contributor’s piece) will inspire and challenge you in your creative practice this May.

If you’re a Lumen subscriber already, you can look forward to seeing the new newsletter in your email inbox first thing on Friday morning. And if you’re not yet subscribed, there’s still time to get on the list to receive this quarter’s letter! Just follow the link below or click on the image at the top of this post to sign up.

Subscribe to Lumen

A very happy May to you. We look forward to hearing how you might use the prompts we’re sharing in Lumen 6 to inspire your writing this APAHM month—and can’t wait to share Issue 7.2 with you in just a couple of weeks’ time!

Light and peace,

Iris & Mia

LUMEN No. 5 Drops on Friday!

LUMEN 5: How to Give a Gift to a Poet. Click here to subscribe. (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.)

It’s late in the season, but if you still have a poet friend for whom you want to find a last-minute present this year, you might be wondering what to give them. 

Well, this Friday, in our last Lumen newsletter of the year, we have you covered. In this quarter’s letter, we will be sharing five ideas for giving a thoughtful, unique gift to a poet. Here’s a sneak peek:

“If you’re anything like me [Iris] when it comes to giving gifts, you like to give objects or experiences that will be truly meaningful—that will support and encourage the recipients in pursuing their passions. So how does one choose a thoughtful gift for a poet that will do more than collect dust after the thank-you note is sent? In keeping with the principle that gift-giving is not about the money spent, here are some ideas of how to give gifts to poets (or any writers, really) that will inspire and support them in their vocation—whether during the holidays or at any time of year.”

Whether you’re shopping for a poet or you are a poet whose loved ones occasionally ask you for gift ideas, we hope this issue of Lumen will help provide some inspiration. And if you’re still not subscribed yet—you still have four more days to do so before the newsletter drops! Just click here to sign up.

We hope you have a happy and healthy end of 2018. Cheers to the end of yet another year of fantastic Asian American poetry, and here’s to a new year full of still more brilliance—ever more light—in 2019! 

Light and peace always,

Iris & Mia

Fall 2018 Open Submissions Closes Tomorrow!

[Edited on 12/1/18: We’ve extended our deadline to December 3rd to accommodate some possible technical difficulties with our form that may have occurred on Friday. Our sincere apologies if you had trouble with our form last night. You now have one more weekend to send us your work!] 

Happy Thursday, LR family! We’re coming at you this brisk fall morning with a quick reminder that our open submissions period closes tomorrow evening (November 30th). Our thanks to everyone who has submitted so far; it’s been so exciting to watch your poems, translations, and visual art pour in over the course of the last couple of months, and we can’t wait to dig in and start reading in December. And if you haven’t yet sent us anything, now’s your chance! Head on over to our Submittable page and send us your best before the end of tomorrow. We look forward to seeing your work!

Ready to send us something? Click here to submit your work via Submittable.

LUMEN No. 4 Is Coming on Friday, and We’re Giving Away a Copy of ISAKO ISAKO to Celebrate!

LUMEN 4 is coming: Books We Wish We Had as Kids (Picture Book Edition)

It’s now a good solid month or two into the new academic year, and just in time to get ahead of that mid-semester slump, the fourth issue of Lumen is dropping on Friday!  Following up on Lumen No. 3, in which Iris shared some of her favorite middle-grade and YA books for young APA readers, in Lumen No. 4, Mia writes about books for younger children that she has enjoyed reading and sharing with her family. Here’s a sneak preview of some of her thoughts on the matter:

It’s a privilege to raise children in a literary landscape that includes such a wealth of talented APA children’s authors. . . . As a parent, I want nothing more than for my children to read books that enrich the imagination, that broaden their capacities for empathy, and that expand their worlds to include unfamiliar places and ways of living, while also affirming their lived experiences and the experiences of those around them.

If you’re not already subscribed to Lumen, you’re in luck! Not only are there four more days to subscribe before the newsletter hits inboxes this Friday, October 5th, but we are also celebrating by randomly giving away a copy of Mia’s new book, Isako Isako, to one of our subscribers. All you have to do to enter is the following:

  1. Be subscribed to Lumen by 11:59 pm PDT on Thursday, October 4th. (If you’re not yet a subscriber, you’ll need to sign up first, but existing subscribers are also eligible to enter!)
  2. Leave us a comment on this blog post with your name and the title of a contemporary kids’ or teen book by an APA author that you wish you’d had as a kid. (It can be a picture book, an early reader book, a middle-grade book, or YA book of any genre.) [UPDATE on 10/4/18: We’re now expanding the giveaway to our social accounts, too! See today’s posts on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts for instructions specific to each. Lumen subscribers can enter more than once, on more than one platform (as well as on the blog)—so fire away! We look forward to hearing from you.]
  3. Lumen subscribers may enter as many times as they like—each new comment that is left with a book title will count as one entry (though the same person may not repeat the same book’s title for more than one entry). After the giveaway closes, we’ll randomly choose one winner amongst the entries and will get in touch via the email address with which the winner is subscribed to Lumen.

[UPDATE on 10/5/18: Congratulations to Rachelle Cruz, our randomly chosen giveaway winner! Rachelle shared with us on Instagram that she wishes she’d had Ellen Oh’s Spirit Hunters when she was a kid. Thanks for the recommendation, Rachelle—we can’t wait to check out this spooky, October-appropriate tale. We’ll be in touch soon to coordinate sending you your prize copy of Isako Isako.]

We hope you’ll discover a new title or two to share with your favorite little ones in Lumen No. 4. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing about the books you wish you’d had when you were a kid!

Light and peace,

Iris & Mia

We’re Taking Submissions Again! Here’s Why You Should Send Us Your Work.

Image Description: Background photo is a black-and-white image of a shuttered French door, opened slightly to let light into a darkened room. Lantern Review is calling for submissions: Original Poems, New Translations, Visual Art. Submit online by November 30, 2018 to https://lanternreview.submittable.com/submit.
Send us your work! (Background photo credit: Bui Bao on Unsplash)

Happy Monday, Lantern Review community! This morning, we’re coming at you with a huge piece of news: as of today, we’re officially knocking the dust off the magazine and are finally (yes, finally!) opening our doors to submissions for our 2019 season. We can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to announce this; it’s our first open reading period in a really long time.

We know this is a development for which many of you have been patiently waiting, so before we say anything else, we’d like to take a moment to thank you—both for your patience and for your continued belief in us and in our work. It’s been your confidence in our mission and your encouragement that has continued to sustain us in these past few years while we’ve been slowly retooling our editorial focus and workflow. And while we can’t say that we’ve got everything figured out (because—let’s face it—we haven’t), we’ve come to realize that more than anything else, it’s the magazine whose absence everyone (including us) has felt the most. The one question that so many of you have faithfully, persistently continued to ask us—at readings, at conferences, at every event we’ve been to in the past four years—has always been this: “When are you going to start taking submissions again?”

Well, we’ve been listening. And we hear you. So today, we’re thrilled to be taking that first step toward bringing the magazine back. I think we can all agree that it’s about time.

Here are the logistical details. Our fall 2018 reading period officially opens today and will run until November 30, 2018. As in the past, we are looking for original poetry and new translations in a wide variety of voices and styles. And we are also eager to receive submissions of visual art and photography. To get a feel for the type of work we like, we suggest that you take a look at our archives—especially our most recent two issues (issue five and issue six).

One more important detail: In the past, we solely accepted submissions through our own, proprietary portal; however, in keeping with current digital practices in the literary world, we’ve decided to adopt Submittable as our new submissions platform going forward. The “Submit” links on our main site and blog will now take you to our Submittable page, where you can find both our guidelines and forms with which to submit your poetry, translations, and artwork. For the first time ever, you’ll also be able to better track your manuscript through our screening process—and we can now even accept multiple files at once for art submissions.

Whether you’re a past contributor or you’ve never submitted to us before, we hope that you’ll consider sending us a poem or two! And just in case you might still be on the fence, here are a few compelling reasons why we think you should send us your work:

Reason #1: It’s free!
We don’t like the idea of missing out on exciting new poetry and artwork just because of a submission fee, so you won’t have to pay to send us your work. Submitting to the magazine during our open reading period is completely free.

Reason #2: We love featuring newer voices alongside more established ones.
We’ve been blessed to have our pages graced by the likes of literary powerhouses like Oliver de la Paz, Amy Uyematsu, Luisa Igloria, Barbara Jane Reyes (among others!) in the past. But we’ve also enjoyed getting to publish emerging writers’ work—Ocean Vuong, for example, is highly successful today, but when we first published his work, he was still several years away from his first full-length collection. All this to say: We love getting to help our readership discover (and, hopefully, fall in love with) newer voices as well as more established ones. We’re conscious of trying to remain an accessible platform for writers with strong poetic voices at every stage of their careers.

Reason #3: We care about design and accessibility.
The visual impact of a poem matters to us. As does the user’s experience of navigating through it online. We love to work with our contributors to ensure that even pieces that float words across white space in complex formations are laid out in a way that honors the poet’s original vision. We don’t just throw the text of your poem into a preset blog template—we hand code each issue to ensure as much consistency among our readers’ experiences as possible, regardless of what browser or device they may be using. Furthermore, as we code, we keep in mind the fact that some of our audience may be using voice readers—and for future issues, we hope to be able to improve upon this further to create an even more accessible reading experience for all.

Intrigued? Head on over to our new Submittable page and send us your best. We can’t wait to read your work!

Cheers to new beginnings,
Iris and Mia