Friends & Neighbors: Newly Released – Kartika Review Anthology & AALR Issue 2

For your edification: two new releases from the world of Asian American small press / journal publishing!  Please help support the good work that our friends at these magazines do:

The Asian American Literary Review has released its second issue, featuring, among other goodies, an interview with Arthur Sze and poetry by Ray Hsu, Kimiko Hahn, Rick Barot, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jose Watanabe (as translated by Michelle Har Kim), Adrienne Su, Prageeta Sharma, Ching-In Chen, Pimone Triplett, and Jeffrey Yang.  Subscriptions are available for purchase via their web site — and at the moment, they’re being offered at a special discount (shipping and handling charges waived) for a limited time, so order your copy soon if you can.

[Click here to visit AALR’s subscription page].

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On the digital magazine front, Kartika Review has just announced the release of its second [print] anthology, featuring work from their 5th-8th issues.  You can purchase a copy online through Lulu.

[Click here to order Kartika Review: The 2009-2010 Anthology]

Please help

Friends & Neighbors: Calls for Submission (AALR, Cha, Kartika Review, and others)

As we prepare to head into our late summer blog hiatus, we’re aware of the fact that several of our friends have recently put out new calls for submission.  We thought we would put together a little list of interesting opportunities for submission that have recently come to our attention:

The Asian American Literary Review is calling for electronic submissions for its third issue, to be published in Spring 2011.  Deadline is September 1st.  See their online guidelines for more details.

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is calling both for regular submissions to be included in its 13th Issue, and for submissions to its special themed 14th issue, which will focus on China.  Submissions are accepted electronically only. Deadline is December 15th for Issue 13, April 14th for the China Issue.  Complete guidelines for Issue 13 here; details about the China Issue here.

Kweli Journal, a publication that focuses on promoting the work of writers of color, is calling for submissions to its Fall/Winter 2010 issue.  Submissions are to be sent by postal mail.  Deadline is September 16th.  Guidelines here.

Kartika Review is calling for submissions in anticipation of future issues.  Kartika, which has a rolling policy for screening work, is now accepting submissions both via email and through its online submissions manager.  See their guidelines here.

BOXCAR Poetry Review and Cerise Press, which are edited by Asian American poets Neil Aitken and Fiona Sze-Lorrain, respectively, also have rolling submissions policies: look for BOXCAR‘s guidelines here, and Cerise‘s here.

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Finally, be on the lookout for the reopening of our own submissions period (in anticipation of our second issue), when we return in September.

Good luck, and see you on the other side of August!

Friends & Neighbors: Kartika Review #7, Cha in South China Morning Post

Here’s some news from the literary sphere: congratulations to our friends at Kartika Review, who put up their 7th issue earlier this month, and to the editors at Cha, whose work was recently featured in this beautifully laid-out article in the South China Morning Post (that’s the prominent English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, for those who aren’t familiar with it).

I know it’s a little late in coming, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to do a brief rundown of the poetry goodness inside both Kartika Issue 7 (which features a special section devoted to Asian American writers’ reflections on the theme of “home,” and the work of a new poetry editor, Kenji Liu), and Cha‘s February 2010 Issue (which features not just great poetry, but some of the most beautiful cover art I’ve seen from them yet). I’d encourage you to read both of these issues in their entirety, of course, but here are a few thoughts about what I particularly enjoyed in each:


Kartika Review #7 is, in my opinion, the magazine’s best issue yet.  I’ve really enjoyed the past two issues – but this issue really impressed with me by how quickly the publication has been getting bigger and better.  The work contained in this issue’s poetry section is, in my opinion, of a more even quality than in some of the earlier issues, and new poetry editor Kenji Liu’s four choices work well as a set: each successive poem speaks to the previous one, taking up its thread in some manner or contrasting it in a thought-provoking way.  The first three poems have to do with fathers and mothers and questions of inheritance, and the last – Aimee Suzara’s “We, too, made America” – expands this question to a broader “we,” claiming not just individual family histories, but a space in the  broader American narrative (harkening back to Langston Hughes’ “I, Too, Sing America”).  I enjoyed the compelling portrait of a man presented in Vuong Quoc Vu’s “My Father Sleeps” and the tension created between the interrogator and the respondent in Barbara Jane Reyes’ “One Question, Several Answers,” but Eugenia Leigh’s “Between Heaven and the Bedroom” was really a standout with its use of some truly knockout imagery to juxtapose the airily mythological with the small and domestic.  Its opening strikes me speechless: “Somewhere in the city with her slip-proof / shoes and apron, our mom locates an angel /tall as miles.”

I also really enjoyed the special “Meditations on Home” section at the end of this issue, and appreciate that the editors thought to package it as a .PDF packet for use by educators.  Oral histories like the ones contained in this issue are extremely valuable and important to preserve, and I like the idea of a classroom text that has been freshly generated and is available online at no cost to students.  Several of the respondents chose to tell their stories in poems rather than in prose, and it’s definitely worth checking these responses out — especially the striking contributions by David Mura and Kelly Zen Yie Tsai.

CHA Issue 10

As I mentioned earlier, the cover art on the current issue of Cha is absolutely gorgeous – I love the deep purple blooms around the woman’s face and how they seem to melt into the text of the issue itself.  As usual, though, I made a beeline straight for the poetry section.  One of the things I appreciate about Cha is that despite being a multi-genre journal it publishes an extensive amount of poetry in each issue.  This, I’m sure, has a lot to do with co-editor Tammy Ho Lai-Ming’s being a poet herself, and it shows: the work they showcase is usually of a very consistent quality, and because there’s a relatively decent amount of room for poetry in the journal, they’re able to create a broader sense of continuity between work by both very established poets and people who are just emerging.  Some of my favorites moments from this issue included the frank, unflinching language of Papa Osmubal’s “A Bum’s Demise,” and the satisfyingly mouth-thick, incantational sonics of the two poems that were contributed by Angela Eun Ji Koh: “Our Malady” and “The Harvest Shaman.” I also thought it interesting that both the current issues of Kartika and Cha featured poems involving angels (Rocco di Giacomo’s “Angels” appears in Cha, Eugenia Leigh’s “Between Heaven and Earth” appears in Kartika).  Having gone back to reread Cha just before I read this issue of Kartika, it was fascinating to think of these two poems in conversation.

Many congratulations to the editors at both Kartika Review and Cha for their successful spring issues – and for the well-deserved amount of attention they’ve received for them.  Please do click over to check out their respective sites.  And while you’re at it – don’t forget that we at LR are building towards our own first issue; our submissions deadline is this Thursday, April 29th, and we’d love to see your work!