Farewell, and Thank You.

Hero image with the LR logo and the words: Thank you for being our community. Beneath the text is a photograph from AWP 16 featuring the LR editors against a background of blue-gridded windows: Iris A. Law (a Chinese American poet with a side-parted ponytail, purple rectangular glasses, and red lipstick. She is wearing a black blazer, white shirt, and heart-shaped pearl necklace and smiling from the left side of the photo) and Mia Ayumi Malhotra (Japanese American poet with a ponytail and bangs, black cat-eye glasses, and silver hoop earrings. She is wearing a purple embroidered top, gray cardigan, and silver Kundiman necklace and smiling from the right side of the photo).
A goodbye, with endless gratitude. (AWP 2016 photo by Elene)

To our beloved community:

Today marks the end of the adventure that has been Lantern Review. Getting to work on the magazine, the blog, our newsletter—all of it has been a shelter and a balm for us. It’s helped to sustain us as editors, as literary professionals, as poets, as teachers, as friends. And as we look back at the work of the last thirteen years, it’s hard not to be proud.

Over the course of our tenure, we’ve produced fifteen issues of the magazine and posted hundreds of interviews, reviews, roundups, and more on our blog. We’ve been honored to publish bedrock figures from the Asian American poetry community, among them Amy Uyematsu, Oliver de la Paz, Jon Pineda, Barbara Jane Reyes, Eileen R. Tabios, Bryan Thao Worra, and several state poets laureate, including Luisa A. Igloria (VA), Lee Herrick (CA), and JoAnn Balingit (DE). 

And we’ve had the privilege of cheering along as some of our earliest contributors’ stars have risen—Ocean Vuong has gone on to win the TS Eliot Prize and the MacArthur; Mai Der Vang’s books have won multiple accolades, including an American Book Award and the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall and First Book Awards. Eugenia Leigh, Rajiv Mohabir, Michelle Peñaloza, Matthew Olzmann, Brynn Saito, Kenji C. Liu, Khaty Xiong, Janine Joseph, Neil Aitken, Sally Wen Mao, Jane Wong, Tarfia Faizullah, W. Todd Kaneko, and so many more have published critically acclaimed first, second, even third collections during LR’s lifespan. We were the first to publish Monica Ong’s visual poetry before her book Silent Anatomies came out. Shelley Wong, whom we first published in Issue 6, went on to be longlisted for the National Book Award this year (for her book As She Appears). We interviewed Chen Chen about his first two chapbooks before his full-length collections came bursting onto the scene with such success—to this day, we meet young, aspiring poets who tell us that his books have changed their lives. 

There have been challenges, of course, and we’ve had to grow—adapting everything from our editorial processes to our magazine’s visual layout. But we’ve shifted and pivoted and scrapped and survived. And we’ve learned so much from all of you along the way. From the persistence that compelled you to keep asking when the magazine would come back during its 2015–2019 publication gap. From the grace and generosity that’s led so many of you to check in with us—What do you need? How can I help? How can we carry your load with you?—when you’ve seen us struggling. From your willingness to (kindly but forthrightly!) keep us accountable for our mistakes. From your openness to our experiments in form, format, and aesthetic. From your unfailing enthusiasm each time we’ve shared something new: “poetry tastings” and stickers at festivals, an installation at a museum, themed issues, a youth folio, poems that did unusual things (scrolled, zoomed, talked).

From you, we’ve learned how resilient the Asian American poetry community is. That it’s deeper and more far-reaching than we could ever have imagined as young MFA students embarking on a mission to find role models and peers. We’re encouraged by the next generation of emerging Asian American poets and what we’re watching them do right now. And we hope that, for every young student out there who feels as isolated as we once did—that the work we’ve done will serve as a testament to the fact that they are not alone, as well as inspiration to forge their own new paths.

Starting today, our website will shift from being an active publication to an archive and resource. Our blog and magazine will continue to remain freely available online for as long as we’re able to support them (hopefully for many years yet), and we’ve forefronted our archives page to make finding a particular poet’s work or a specific issue easier.

In 2009, we set out on a journey to “shed light” on Asian American poetry. And we think, for at least the span of LR’s decade-plus of existence, that we’ve accomplished that goal well. The Asian American poetry scene is thriving today in ways that we never could have envisioned. We are in a golden age where there are lots of us actively creating the work and getting published. Today, young Asian American writers have the privilege to grow up knowing and loving the work of older poets who look like them. Let that sink in: there are Asian American kids reading Franny Choi and Aimee Nezhukhumatathil and Ocean Vuong in high school. That’s something that we could never have dreamed of when we were teens. That’s how far visibility for our community has come. 

We’re confident that the literary community is not just ready for more Asian American voices; we have already arrived, and we’ve no doubt that the road ahead will look very different, in the best way possible. And so, as we step back, we’re eager to see the next generation of Asian American poets and editors step forward to take up the torch. We hope you’ll support them and keep the flame burning. We hope you’ll be a part of our community’s future. Because we know that future will be bright.

Light and peace to you always.

With deepest gratitude,

Iris & Mia

Guest Post | Transfiguration in the Aftermath of Fire: Monica Mody on Identity, Community, and LR

Portrait of Monica Mody, Indian American poet with shoulder-length, wavy, dark hair. She wears a black top and cardigan; a black skirt with an ornate yellow and orange print; large, lacy pendant earrings; and an amber-colored stone on a silver necklace. She is sitting in a leathery blue wingback arm chair and smiling slightly at the camera.
Dr. Monica Mody, former staff writer, Issue 4 contributor, and friend of LR (Photo by Megan Rose)

In yesterday’s post, we featured thirteen short reflections from past contributors and staff who talked about what LR has meant to them over the years. Today, we’re honored to share a longer meditation from former staff writer and Issue 4 contributor Monica Mody.

* * *

When Lantern Review invited me to join their team as a staff critic in 2010, there was so much I was yet to comprehend about the histories and the struggles of Asian America. I had only been in the United States for two years then, spent in the relatively sheltered environment of Notre Dame’s MFA program. Nonetheless, I had already been asked to explain why my English was so good (more than once), and had already costumed myself one Halloween with “oriental spices,” to interpolate a comment made in a class with postcolonial irony. That I would stay in the US for another year, I knew—having received a post-MFA writing fellowship endowed by Nicholas Sparks—but this did not presage a longer future in this country, nor predict how my own sense of self would get mediated by the complexity of identities I would come to hold here.

I remember writing to the LR editors, “I’m interested in the present, and how the present emerges out of pasts as well as a longing for the future.” And: “I’m interested in thinking about my “place”—or “places” or placedness-es—in the subculture of poetry.”

I remember firing a note to them in which I contested standardized spelling and formatting as “an exercise in perpetuating all kinds of hierarchies as well as needless homogeneity.” This mirrors a dissensus I recently had with another editor about reformatting poetic elements based on a style guide—each of us playing out, in a way, the perpetual debate between monists and dualists around form and content (see Natasha Sajé’s Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory). Is form, as the dualists claim, merely decorative? Is it, as the monists believe, inseparable from content? Style and meaning—surface and depth—dancing together, emerging through each other. Not flourish—not adornment—but style as sinew, the monists say—making up the body, making the walk of the body possible. In my foreign/postcolonial/woman’s body, I recognize a deep suspicion of attempts to flatten my strangeness/otherness out of me, even out of kindness. (The kinder attempts are more dangerous for failing to recognize what assimilating would steal away from the Other.) As a poet bringing in risky/weird choppiness transoceanically—first through the poetics of experiment and disturbance, now slanting wyrd in the way of an enchanted cosmology—I get particularly mutinous when faced with protocols to contain or regulate (defuse) my work.

The LR editors attended to my concerns, always, with patience and generosity, holding with care the messy and awkward processes of thinking nearby, of collaboration. They brought in love and meticulousness. They welcomed what did not fit. A couple years later, as something yet unknown and vulnerable was conjuring changes in my writing voice—terrifyingly ragged and unconcealed—they published this new work. Even later, Iris and Mia wished into existence and then built a granular community around literature in the Bay Area, in which I sometimes participated. We read our work to each other. We ate together. The work of writing happened as we made sense of our roots and rhizomatic lineages, physical and imagined translocations. This work is not possible in literary spaces shaped, often invisibly, by euro-white norms of derelationality.

In sum, Lantern Review’s thirteen-year tenure has contributed to creating a nonreductive ethic of Asian American poetry—I would say it has allowed American poetry itself to know itself more expansively, through its elsewheres.

But a brief excursus: for, the ideology of identity—as something fixed, stable, given, impermeable—has come to be at the root of so much conflict, violence. “Identity grows out of our interactions,” Gloria Anzaldúa writes. “We discover, uncover, create our identities as we interrelate with others and our alrededores/surroundings.” I have learnt to recognize myself within the category of “Asian American” in the context of my alien participation in America, becoming acquainted—to some degree—with the fears that characterize relations with the ‘other’ in the US. A fear of the foreign, fear of the other, diminishes the humanity of people of color, immigrant, diasporic, sexually subaltern subjectivities. Even in coalitional work between ourselves or with allies, the monolith fantasy sometimes takes over, any distinctions erased. Perhaps one way to take the power out of these colonizing frameworks is to revision the story of identity, freeing it, as Anzaldúa would say, from the snares of binaries and of “jaulas (cages) that limit the growth of our individual and collective lives.” How do we soften/melt what divides ‘us’ from ‘them’? Could one way be to recover the dimensions of our identity that see us as interconnected—in relationship not only with other humans, but also with other-than-humans—selfhood decentered, writes Suzanne Bost, through “networks of webs”—connected, ultimately, with our cosmic, holographic existence? Would something shift if we see ourselves as nested in a vast eyrie where myriad nonhuman, ancestral eyes gleam, always returning us home?

Perhaps, identity—a parabolic mirror—concentrating sunlight/energy—lights up, sets on fire what it focuses on. There are immense possibilities for transfiguration in the aftermath. Lantern Review, intensifying our focus on/through acts of writing and love, set us on fire, releasing our constituent elements. I am grateful to have been a part of its history. I am so glad LR was here, taking its place in the literary constellation.

* * *

Monica Mody is a transdisciplinary poet, educator and theorist working at the intersections of language, body, and consciousness through a post/decolonial purview. She is the author of KALA PANI (1913 Press) and a forthcoming collection BRIGHT PARALLEL (Copper Coin). Her three chapbooks include ORDINARY ANNALS (above/ground press). Her writing has won awards including the Sparks Prize Fellowship (Notre Dame), the Zora Neale Hurston Award (Naropa), and a Toto Award for Creative Writing. You can find it in journals including Poetry International, Indian Quarterly, Almost Island, Dusie, and The Fabulist; as well as in anthologies including The Penguin Book of Indian Poets and Future Library: Contemporary Indian Writing. Venues that have hosted her readings include Poetry with Prakriti, New Orleans Poetry Festival, Bengaluru Poetry Festival, Trauma and Catharsis Symposium on Performing the Asian Avant-Garde, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, UCSD New Writing Series, Delta Mouth, and Noise Pop. Mody was born in Ranchi, India, and lives in San Francisco (Ramaytush Ohlone territory). Find her at www.drmonicamody.com.


Cover image of COUNT by Valerie Martinez

Count by Valerie Martínez (U of Arizona Press, 2021)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

An Asian American Poetry Companion: Future Titles to Dream Toward

An Asian American Poetry Companion: 2023 Preview. Details of the covers of BIANCA by Eugenia Leigh, LANDLOCK X by Sarah Audsley, FROM FROM by Monica Youn, WEST by Paisley Rekdal, DECADE OF THE BRAIN by Janine Joseph, FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY: AMOT by Craig Santos Perez, BRIDGE OF KNOTS by CE Shue, SYNTHETIC JUNGLE by MICHAEL CHANG, A BEAUTIFUL DECAY by Karan Madhok, FEAST by Ina Carino, THE KINGDOM OF SURFACES by Sally Wen Mao
Forthcoming Books by Asian American Poets (for 2023 and Beyond)

For the past two years, we’ve been bringing you quarterly book roundups through our Asian American Poetry Companion posts. Today, in the series’ final entry, we thought we’d look beyond the current season to give you a glimpse of the literary riches to come in 2023. Today’s list reaches far and wide, encompassing everything from books that are due out next month to titles that don’t yet have a release month or cover image—and even a handful of internationally published collections that are not yet available in the US (but that we hope might come here soon!). We hope this last companion will serve you well in the new year. Thank you for loving—and sharing your enthusiasm for—this series over the years. It’s been a pleasure to curate each quarter, and we’re excited to end on a celebratory note. Here’s to Asian American poetry and to all the many books that our community will be putting into the world next year—and beyond!


Books are listed first by US release month (if known), and then alphabetically by author. Asterisks denote titles by former Lantern Review contributors and/or staff members. For titles that do not yet have purchase information available online, we’ve linked to the author’s website instead.

Janine Joseph, Decade of the Brain (Alice James, Jan 2023)*

C. E. Shue, Bridge of Knots (Gold Line, Jan 2023)

W. Todd Kaneko, The Dead Wrestler Elegies [New Edition] (New Michigan, Jan/Feb 2023)*

Sarah Audsley, Landlock X (Texas A&M UP, Feb 2023)

Ina Cariño, Feast (Alice James, Mar 2023)*

MICHAEL CHANG, Synthetic Jungle (Curbstone, Mar 2023)*

Eugenia Leigh, Bianca (Four Way, Mar 2023)*

Monica Youn, From From (Graywolf, Mar 2023)

Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory: [åmot] (Omnidawn, Apr 2023)*

Paisley Rekdal, West: A Translation (Copper Canyon, May 2023)

Oliver de la Paz, The Diaspora Sonnets (Liveright, Jul 2023)*

Sally Wen Mao, The Kingdom of Surfaces (Graywolf, Aug 2023)*

Karan Madhok, A Beautiful Decay (Aleph Book Company, released in India in fall 2022—not yet available in the US)*

Shikha Malaviya, In Her Own Voice: Poems of Anandibai Joshee (HarperCollins India, TBA 2023—not yet available in the US)

Monica Mody, Bright Parallel (Copper Coin, TBA 2023—not yet available in the US)*

Preeti Kaur Rajpal, Membery (Tupelo, TBA/late 2023)*

Eileen R. Tabios, Because I Love You, I Became War (Marsh Hawk Press, TBA 2023)*

* * *

What forthcoming books are you excited about reading in the new year? Let us know in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@lanternreview).


Cover image of THEN THE WAR by Carl Phillips

Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007–2020 by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Seven Questions for Contributing Writer Rachel Lu

Photo of Rachel Lu, a Chinese American writer, scholar, and editor with mid-length black hair and bangs. She wears a white t-shirt, blue skirt, and gold necklace and looks into the camera while leaning against a stone wall with folded hands.
Contributing Writer Rachel Lu (Photo by Nancy L. Ford)

We’ve been so lucky to have had Rachel Lu contributing content to the blog this year, and this holiday weekend, we thought we’d take a (long-overdue!) moment to help you get to know her better. Rachel is a recent graduate of Hamilton College, where she received honors in English literature and Chinese language and literature. She is editor-in-chief of COUNTERCLOCK and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read on to learn more about her favorite contemporary titles by Asian American writers, her childhood passion for books and her first novel (written in third grade!), the scholarly interests that capture her attention these days, and more.

* * *

LANTERN REVIEW: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you come to your love for literature and writing?

RACHEL LU: I can’t remember ever not loving reading. Growing up, my dad used to always read stories to me. One of the games we’d play in the car would be reciting first lines from classic literature until one of us gave up. I’m grateful to have been able to grow up in an environment that really promoted literature. I think, over the years, while I’ve continued to love reading, I’ve definitely become more appreciative of literature—of its aesthetic and political powers.

My writing and reading habits have always been intertwined. Since the first grade, I’ve been making up stories in my head, and they manifested into playground stories for my friends or bedtime stories for my sister. I wrote my first “novel” in the third grade—I didn’t have a computer at the time, so my friends helped me type it up, print it, bind it and distribute it. It’s hilarious to look back on, but I remember being so proud that people were reading my work. And I’ve kept writing since then. I think early on, I started writing because I had so many stories in my head that I just wanted to get down, while later, I found writing a fascinating endeavor because it would always articulate to me something that I wouldn’t be able to express otherwise.

These days, I find myself unable to really write creatively anymore. It’s not that I no longer want to write creatively, but as I became more invested in literary criticism and scholarship, I’ve kind of lost access to that creative channel.  

LR: You’re interested in literary scholarship as well as in craft. What topics and themes tend to drive your creative and critical work?

RL: In my critical work, I’m interested in questions of gender, sexuality, power, and identity and in examining the power relations and social and economic mores that construct the individual.

My creative work felt much more internal in that I was always interested in performing a deep dive into a character’s psyche rather than exploring the “outside” world. It’s interesting because it wasn’t that I ever set out to write about a certain topic, but I found myself returning most often to problems of miscommunication and misinterpretation.  

LR: You were recently named editor-in-chief of COUNTERCLOCK, a journal you’ve been involved with for a number of years. Congratulations! Since it came onto the scene in 2017, COUNTERCLOCK has been known for its diverse roster of contributors, as well as for the way it’s sought to provide opportunities for young, emerging writers through its fellowships and more. Can you talk about what it’s been like to be involved in shaping the literary landscape through your work there? As EIC, what’s your vision for where you’d like the magazine to go?

RL: Thank you! As you noted, supporting emerging, especially young, writers was an objective that the former editor, Sarah Feng, prioritized, and something that I hope to continue to carry on. My time at COUNTERCLOCK, from prose reader to managing editor to editor-in-chief, has provided me some insight into the contemporary writing, especially poetry, landscape that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and it’s made me realize how small the poetry world can sometimes be. I think that’s made me more eager to find and platform new voices, whether they’re younger or older writers.

Since we’ve come back from hiatus and have restructured our team, we’ve been trying to slowly retrace our steps. As EIC, I’ve been focusing on getting us back to a triannual publication schedule, bringing back our Emerging Writers Awards, and building our blog, not only with book reviews and author interviews, but also on publishing more “cultural” criticism and miniseries. We’ve published a few miniseries in the past, like “Self-Care in a Global Pandemic” and “Childhood Ruined: Critically Reviewing Childhood Media,” and those tend to be not only my favorite blog articles but also the most popular ones on the blog, so I’d definitely love to do more of those.

LR: What are some of your favorite Asian American writers and books of the moment?

RL: I really love Sianne Ngai’s Our Aesthetic Categories. Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko is one of my all-time favorites. I’m also currently reading Ling Ma’s Bliss Montage, which has been great so far. Someone I really admire is Viet Thanh Nguyen. Both his creative and critical work are incredible. I can’t wrap my head around how he makes the time to do both and to do both really well. His academic book Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America is a book that I think every Asian American interested in the arts landscape should read. He discusses the idealization of Asian America that dissimulates the commodification of our racial identity among other issues. And of course, I love his novels too.  

LR: What’s your go-to karaoke song?

RL: My go-to karaoke song is probably anything from ABBA! I switch up the ABBA song depending on the mood (e.g. “Voulez-Vous” when I’m in a Europop disco mood, “SOS” for nostalgic sad pop).

LR: What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self?

RL: Pay attention in Chinese class! I tried to actively not learn as much Mandarin Chinese as I could for a while and that worked out pretty well. In college, I picked up a second major in Chinese to make up for that time lost, among a couple other reasons, but I’ll always have an accent when I speak. And I’d also tell my younger self that knowing Chinese doesn’t make you any less American. 

LR: What are you hungry for in the future of Asian American arts and letters?

RL: This is a question I’ve been sitting on for a few days now, and I’m not quite sure how to answer it. There’s not one specific thing that I’m hungry for. To me, the question is, what constitutes as Asian American arts and letters? Is it that Asian American individuals created the art, and that makes it Asian American art? Or is it some topic of the art that makes it Asian American art? If it’s the former, it’s difficult for me to say something specifically because there’s not really a specific topic I hope to see written about. I’m interested in anything that’s good art, that can viscerally impact you or stop and make you think for a moment. Those are the moments I crave.

Every so often, I’ll get into a reading slump where I read a series of bad or even mediocre books in a row, and I become convinced that I no longer enjoy reading anymore, that it just doesn’t hit the same as it once did. And then I’ll pick up a book that reminds me exactly why I love reading. I went through that phase recently. Then I read The Sluts by Dennis Cooper, which was absolutely phenomenal and so intelligent in its structural complexity but also so depraved and violent.

It’s pretty inexplicable, isn’t it? That words on a page have so much power to move us. But I’m hungry for more of those moments, where I’m reminded of the transformative, compelling capacity of literature and art in general.


Cover image of IT WAS NEVER GOING TO BE OKAY by Jaye Simpson

It Was Never Going to Be Okay by Jaye Simpson (Nightwood, 2021)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

LR Issue 10 (Asian American Appetites) Has Arrived!

Cover of LANTERN REVIEW Issue 10, October 2022, titled "Asian American Appetites." Beneath the journal's title is a detail from Katherine Akiko Day's painting "Michi." Depicted is a street scene with banners and signs in Japanese lining a narrow, crooked road. The buildings are various shades of warm tan and covered by curved roof tiles. A puddle lies in the middle of the asphalt. The bright-blue sky is veined with criss-crossing electrical wires.
Lantern Review Issue 10: “Asian American Appetites”

Dear LR community,

It’s with great pride (and a twinge of bittersweetness) that we announce the release of our tenth and final issue this morning.

Titled “Asian American Appetites,” Issue 10 features the work of twelve extraordinary poets and visual artists who explore the notion of hunger in all its many manifestations. As we write in our editorial note, the work in this issue powerfully “hunger[s] for worlds beyond, conjuring dreamscapes, the afterlife, memory, and ancestral presence . . . reminding us to honor our appetites and not to forget that it’s our deepest hungers—for justice, for nourishment and renewal—that will guide us in shaping the world that is to come.”

It’s been over twelve years since we published our first issue, and throughout, our own hunger—to explore, to celebrate, and to carve out a space in the literary landscape for Asian American poetry—has continued to be a guiding light. It feels incredibly meaningful to get to end our run with such a strong, thematically resonant finale.

What’s next for LR? Though this is the last issue of the magazine, we’ll still be continuing to celebrate Asian American poetry on the web for a couple more months yet. Through the end of the calendar year, you can look forward to more content celebrating Asian American poets and their work on our blog and social media. And in the meantime, we hope you’ll savor the work in this incredible issue and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear what moves, compels, or inspires you among its pages. Drop us a note in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@LanternReview) to share your thoughts.

Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for all of your support, encouragement, and love for our little online publication over the years. Here’s to the work—and to you!

Peace and light always,

The LR editorial team

Read Lantern Review Issue 10: Asian American Appetites


Cover image of THE HURTING KIND by Ada Limon

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón (Milkweed, 2022)

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

2022 Submissions FAQ: What to Know When Sending Us Your Work

Black-and-white photo of a bowl on a plain white background, overlaid with the words: "Submissions FAQs: Asian American Appetites, Lantern Review open submissions. March 15–April 18, 2022, lanternreview.submittable.com." Photo by Konrad Wojciechowski on Unsplash.
Check out our FAQs below, then head on over to Submittable to send us your work!

[Note: We’ve updated our FAQs for our 2022 season. Please read carefully; some things have changed since last year!]

Our final reading period (ever) is officially open as of this morning! So today on the blog, we thought we’d take some time to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions we get about submissions. First time sending us work? Before you head on over to check out our official guidelines on Submittable, we encourage you to take a quick read through the following.

1. What types of poems do you publish?

We love poems that surprise and challenge us; that are musical and filled with vivid, concrete imagery; that play with language in new and interesting ways; that take risks; that have something distinct to say. We tend to prefer unrhymed, free verse poems. Note: we no longer publish translations. To get the best idea of what we publish, we encourage you to read through a few of our past issues.

2. What kind of art are you looking for?

For visual art, we’re looking for abstract photos and digital or traditional work in mediums like watercolor, oil, acrylic, lino or woodblock, or collage. We like to choose images that we can easily juxtapose with text, either in the body of the magazine or as cover art. We’re fond of moody or earthy color palettes, striking contrast, and interestingly textured play with shadow and light. As stated above, the best way to get an idea of the type of art we publish is to look at our past issues.

3. How many times can I submit? Can I submit to both the poetry and visual art categories? 

You’re welcome to submit to both categories in a given reading period! However, please submit only once per category. We aren’t able to accommodate (and will not read) additional entries submitted in the same category.

4. If I’ve been published by LR before, can I submit again?

We ask contributors to wait one calendar year/season after publication before submitting again. (This means that anyone we published in 2021—including in our youth folio issue—should not submit this year.) Otherwise, past contribs are welcome to submit again!

5. Is there going to be a youth folio submissions period this year?

No, there will not be a separate submissions period for youth this year. But if you’re a young poet or artist between the ages of 14–24, you’re still more than welcome to submit during our regular reading period. We’d love to see your work!

6. Do I have to be Asian American for you to publish my work? Does my work have to be about being Asian American?

Our mission is to highlight Asian American poetry and art. That means we prioritize work from writers and artists who identify as Asian American. We also realize that “Asian American” is a broad and complex category—but bottom line, if you self-identify as Asian American, we want to see your work. (And if you don’t, we’d ask you to respectfully refrain from submitting.)

As for the second question—your work never has to be “about” your race, culture, or ethnic identity. We love getting to highlight the enormous diversity of topics and themes that contemporary Asian American poets are writing about!

7. How many poems should I send?

Our guidelines specify a maximum of four poems totaling no more than eight pages. (Please don’t send more than that; we won’t be able to read the extra poems.) But within that limit, feel free to send as many or as few as you’d like! It is often a good strategy to send at least a couple pieces if you’re also sending your work to other journals, though—that way, if one of your poems gets snapped up by another magazine first, we still have something to choose from if we want to publish you.

8. Can I email you my work instead of using Submittable?

Unfortunately, we only accept unsolicited submissions via Submittable. If you experience a problem with our Submittable forms, feel free to ask us about it via email, but we’ll still eventually ask you to submit your work via Submittable. This is actually a good thing for submitters—it’s easier for us to keep track of submissions when they’re all in one place, so by sending your work via Submittable only, you help ensure that we won’t accidentally miss or lose your work!

9. Your guidelines say that a poem can’t be previously published. What counts as “previously published”?

To us, “previously published” means that a piece has previously appeared in a published periodical (such as a literary journal), an anthology, a chapbook, or a collection (book), whether in print or online. This includes self-published chapbooks and books. (As a literary magazine, we claim standard first North American serial rights, and rights revert to you upon publication.) We realize there are lots of ambiguous cases out there, though, so if you’re ever unsure whether a piece that you intend to submit counts as “previously published,” please don’t hesitate to send us an email (editors [at] lanternreview [dot] com) and ask!

10. What are simultaneous submissions? What if my work gets accepted somewhere else while it’s still being considered by Lantern Review?

Simultaneous submissions are pieces that are currently being considered by more than one journal or contest. LR allows submitters to send in simultaneous submissions, but should a piece be accepted elsewhere, you must immediately contact us to withdraw it. The easiest way to do this is to message us on Submittable or to add a note to your submission indicating which piece is no longer available.

11. Submittable says that you are not accepting submissions, but it’s not after April 18th yetWhat’s going on?

This probably means that we’ve maxed out our submissions limit for the month. Submittable limits small publications like ours to a certain number of total submissions per calendar month. Once we’ve received that number of submissions, the form automatically shuts down for a time. Unfortunately, this is not something we have control over (we’re so sorry!)—but the good news is that the form reopens (and the counter resets) with the start of each new calendar month. Should this happen before the end of March, please don’t worry! The form will be up and running again on April 1st. During the month of April, we’ll keep things open until 11:59 PM PDT on April 18th, or until we max out our April limit—whichever is sooner. Note: This is why we recommend that you submit earlier in the reading period if possible. We tend to have fewer submissions in the first couple of weeks (i.e., the March portion of the reading period). If we receive too many submissions after April 1st and you wait until it’s closer to the 18th, you may get cut off before you have the chance to submit.

12. How soon will you get back to me?

We aim to get back to you within about eight weeks’ time after the submissions period ends. However, we’re a very small team, and occasionally, there may be delays. We ask for your patience while we go through the pile; please know that we haven’t forgotten you if you don’t hear from us right away after submitting—we’re working through as quickly as we possibly can.

13. This is LR‘s last season. If I get published this season, what will happen to my work after 2022 is over?

The LR team plans to keep our website and archives available online for as long as we’re able, even after we officially close our doors. Eventually, we hope to look into a more permanent solution for archiving the magazine and blog, but for now, contributors can rest assured that their work will remain available right here on our website for at least a couple more years yet.

14. I have a question about my submission! How do I reach you?

If you’ve already submitted your work, you can contact us by sending us a message via Submittable. If you haven’t submitted yet, please reach out to us via email at editors [at] lanternreview [dot] com. (To ensure that your message is received, please do not contact the editors or staff via their individual social media or websites. All LR-related queries should be directed to us via either Submittable or our official LR email account.)

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We hope this helps to clarify our submissions process a bit! We encourage you to send in your work early and to carefully read both our general guidelines and the guidelines for your category (poetry or art) before hitting “Submit.” And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email (editors [at] lanternreview [dot] com) or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@LanternReview) should you have any questions. We look forward to reading your work!

Click here to Submit to Jan/Feb Open Submissions: Asian American Futures (Powered by Submittable)


Cover image of NOT GOT WAY IS MY NAME by Alberto Ríos

Not Go Away Is My Name by Alberto Ríos (Copper Canyon, 2020)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Introducing Our 2022 Season: “Asian American Appetites”

LR 2022 submissions promo graphic. Black-and-white photo of a bowl on a plain white background, overlaid with the words: "Lantern Review: Asian American Appetites, call for submissions, March 15-April 18, 2022, lanternreview.submittable.com." Photo by Konrad Wojciechowski on Unsplash.
Save the date! Our 2022 reading period opens soon.

Get your submissions ready! Our annual reading period opens on March 15th. As with last year, our 2022 season will center around a theme—this year’s is “Asian American Appetites” (more on that below).

This morning, with a mixture of sadness and deep satisfaction, we’re also announcing that this season will be Lantern Review’s last. We’re so gratified by the work we’ve gotten to do in the Asian American poetry world over the course of the last twelve years, and the time has come for us to move on. Until then, though, you can expect another vibrant season of celebrating Asian American poetry. Please keep an eye out for the official opening announcement in a week or so. But in the meantime, here is our 2022 call.

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2022 Call for Submissions (Mar 15–Apr 18): “Asian American Appetites”

For Lantern Review’s finale season, we seek poetry and visual art that responds to the theme “Asian American Appetites.” Though LR is coming to an end, our appetite remains whetted for the future of Asian American poetry. So tell us: What are you hungry for? Personal or political, literal or figurative, we want to hear it all. Bring us your lists, your letters of desire and despair, your secret recipes and spells, your dreams, your hauntings, your prayers, your political hungers and private longings. However you interpret this call, we look forward to hearing what you have to say. Please read our guidelines carefully and send us your work. We will be accepting submissions from March 15th through April 18th (or until we hit our Submittable limit, whichever is earlier). 

This call is open to all poets who identify as Asian American. We especially welcome submissions from poets who have never been published by Lantern Review before and/or who identify with historically marginalized groups within the Asian American community.

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Please save the dates and consider sending something our way. We can’t wait to see what you’ll bring to the table for our final issue!

Peace and Light,

The Editors


Cover of PERFECT BLACK by Crystal Wilkinson

Perfect Black by Crystal Wilkinson (University Press of KY, 2021)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Six Questions for LR Intern Pranaya S. Ayyala

Close portrait of Pranaya S. Ayyala, Indian American poet, wearing a deep ocean blue sweatshirt and standing in front of a background of a gray bedroom. Her wavy brown hair is golden under the sunlight, falling a couple inches past her shoulders. She is wearing brown lipstick and large, light pink glasses. She is looking directly into the camera with a smile.
LR Editorial Intern Pranaya S. Ayyala (Photo by the poet)

Happy New Year. Starting this month, we’re privileged to welcome Pranaya S. Ayyala onto the LR team as our spring editorial intern! Pranaya is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is pursuing a minor in creative writing and a major in accounting. A poet and avid bibliophile, Pranaya will be contributing to our Asian American Poetry Companion series on the blog, as well as writing and helping out behind the scenes as we gear up towards submissions for our 2022 season. As you’ll be hearing from her from time to time, we thought we’d take a minute to help you get to know her. Read on to learn about some of Pranaya’s favorite recent reads, the superpower she wishes she had, the advice she’d give her younger self, and more.

LANTERN REVIEW: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you come to poetry? 

PRANAYA S. AYYALA: I’ve been writing poetry since I was fifteen, and I must admit, it wasn’t very good poetry at the beginning. It’s taken me time to fully create my own meaning for what poetry is in my life and my work, but I’m getting there! I’ve begun to experiment with my work, learning as much as I can about the art form. Taking formal courses to analyze other work has really helped me find my style and redefine writing for myself. Overall, I’ve started to see poetry for the vast form that it is and am finding joy in considering myself not only a writer, but also an artist of words!

LR: What obsessions or thematic interests drive your writing? 

PA: When I first wrote poetry, I found myself using my own experiences as themes, but as I’ve grown, I’ve found my writing encompassing the stories that others haven’t had a chance to tell. Stories about the generations before me and stories about the women of my family and my culture. These themes have led me to put topics that my culture often tiptoes around on the page—talking about bodies, trauma, and the immigrant experience—and how that melting pot of cultures within us interacts with America and society as a whole today.

LR: What are your favorite poets, poems, or poetry collections of the moment?

PA: I’ve currently been enjoying Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Ada Limón’s The Carrying, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, and Jane Wong’s How to Not Be Afraid of Everything.

LR: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? 

PA: I think a superpower I’d love to have is super-keen observation! Writing has consistently been one of the biggest aspects of my life since I was eight years old, and I’ve come to understand it as a sort of painting using my words. Observation and detail are key—to find the extraordinary in ordinary moments—and then to put a piece together and put it out into the world on its own journey. I’d love to remember those mundane but special moments in the same detail that I experienced them.

LR: What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self?

PA: I wish I could’ve been told earlier about how poetry and writing are art forms too—that I am allowed to follow as many or as few rules as I want when I am creating for myself. It’s this realization that helped me use my poetry as a medium as opposed to trying to write something “pleasing” to read, because after all, who defines whether art is pleasing or not? Or that it needs to be pleasing at all? It would have been nice to know that my writing is simply allowed to be. 

LR: Who are your Asian American role models? What are your hopes for the future of Asian American literature?

PA: Some of my Asian American models are people I’ve met fairly recently, actually! I think people like me, who grew up looking to writers as superheroes or celebrities, tend to think that writers aren’t normal people. I’ve learned otherwise these past few months. Working with Iris, Mia, Indrani, and talking to other Indian American writers has been life changing. I’ve also gotten the chance at university to work with other Asian American women, whom I really look up to as well. Poetry has given me a community whose welcoming nature I will never forget—I think it will always be one of those “mundane but special” moments! I really hope that Asian American literature maintains this same sense of community. I think we’re a super special group of people, and I think my biggest wish is that the younger generation will not have to seek us out with any special effort, that we can visibly be there to teach them that they are just as amazing and that there are people out there doing the work that they might want to do in the future as well.


Cover image of THE CARRYING by Ada Limon

The Carrying by Ada Limón (Milkweed, 2018)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Announcing LR Issue 9.3 (Asian American Futures: Reclamation)

Cover image of LANTERN REVIEW Issue 9.3, Asian American Futures: “Reclamation,” featuring Sophia Zhao's mixed-media piece "Flavor": two figures with dark, cheekbone-length hair sit on the grass in front of a brown-sided, black-shingled building. The figure in the foreground, wearing black pants and a multicolored blouse printed with gingko leaves, clings to a wooden frame of a table on which a white rice bowl sits. The figure in the background, wearing all black, eats from the bowl with a pair of wood chopsticks. Behind them, birds fly against a red sky. Interspersed around them are collaged photographic images of two people eating lunch with chopsticks and the tiered roofs and steps of historic buildings in Asia.
Lantern Review Issue 9.3: “Reclamation.”

Happy Thursday! This morning, we’re incredibly excited to announce the release of our third and final volume focused on the theme “Asian American Futures,” Issue 9.3: “Reclamation.”

Featuring powerhouse poems by Franny Choi, Đỗ Nguyên Mai, Seelai Karzai, Megan Kim, E. J. Koh, Rita Mookerjee, and Cat Wei, as well as stunning cover art by Sophia Zhao, this issue wraps up our 2021 season with a triumphant bang. As guest editor Eugenia Leigh writes in the editorial note, the voices herein “reclaim their individual and collective narratives with ferocity and clarity. These poems don’t ask for permission—they demand agency as they resolutely tell and retell their stories their way. Look at this story I’ve been told about my life, they say. Look at this story we’ve been told about our lives. Then, with incredible, oftentimes transformative revisioning, they urge us to look again.” Indeed, the work in Issue 9.3 has made us want to revisit these powerful stories again and again—and as a team, we’re proud and honored to get to share it with you this morning.

Many thanks again to all of our amazing contributors, to Eugenia, to our fantastic staff readers, and most of all to you, our steadfast readers and community, for making this groundbreaking season possible. What a privilege it has been to explore what Asian America’s collective future(s) might mean in so many different ways throughout the year—and we couldn’t have done it without you.

We hope you’ll enjoy the bounty that Issue 9.3 has to offer, and as always, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@LanternReview) to tell us what you think!

Wishing you a warm year’s end—and a happy and healthy 2022.

Peace and light always,

The LR editorial team

Read Lantern Review Issue 9.3: Asian American Futures, “Reclamation.”

Cover image of HERE IS THE SWEET HAND by francine j. harris


Here Is the Sweet Hand by francine j. harris (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

An Asian American Poetry Companion: Books to Light Your Way into Winter (Late Fall 2021)

An Asian American Poetry Companion: November 2021. Collage of the following book covers (clockwise from top left): BOOK OF THE OTHER by Truong Tran, PILGRIM BELL by Kaveh Akbar, HOW TO NOT BE AFRAID OF EVERYTHING by Jane Wong, FOCAL POINT by Jenny Qi, COME CLEAN by Joshua Nguyen, LATITUDE by Natasha Rao, FIRE IS NOT A COUNTRY by Cynthia Dewi Oka, GENGHIS CHAN ON DRUMS by John Yau
New and Notable Books by Asian American Poets for Late Fall 2021

As the season deepens into late fall, it’s hard to believe that 2021 is already nearly over. And while the year has brought its fair share of struggle and heartache to the Asian American community, there have been so many things to celebrate (especially in the field of arts and letters), as well. Cathy Park Hong’s selection as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year, Don Mee Choi receiving the MacArthur, Hoa Nguyen’s and Jackie Wang’s being announced as finalists for the National Book Award—Asian American poets are making waves and doing big, impactful things. This year on the blog alone, we’ve featured 34 new books by Asian American poets—and our coverage hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface. Today, we’re sharing our final set of book recommendations for 2021. We hope these eight titles will be a source of solidarity, hope, and light for you in the season to come.

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Truong Tran, book of the other (Kaya Press, November 2021)

A timely meditation on the stakes of anti-Asian racism, Truong Tran’s latest book follows the story of the 2016 racial discrimination lawsuit the celebrated poet and artist filed against San Francisco State University. Mixing poetry with other genres, book of the other traces Tran’s experience of being silenced as an immigrant, refugee, and queer man, and argues back against the notion that anti-Asian racism is a victimless crime. Writes Douglas Kearney of the collection: “This book is necessary—terribly so. Yesterday, today, and for the foreseeable future.” This is one book that anyone invested in Asian American arts and letters—especially those who have spent time in academia—will want to read.

Jane Wong, How to Not Be Afraid of Everything (Alice James, October 2021)

Two-time LR contributor Jane Wong has just released her second collection, How to Not Be Afraid of Everything, and we couldn’t be more excited. Wong’s haunting poetry is wise, resonant, and brave, and it’s impossible to turn away from its gaze; as a writer, she possesses the gift of being able to milk startling light from rock. How Not to Be Afraid of Everything taps into the poet’s family history, touching on both the suffering inflicted by the Great Leap Forward and the struggle of immigration to America. Aimee Nezhukumatathil calls the collection “a spellbinding knockout,” and it’s been getting lots of attention of late, including Wong’s recent appearance on NPR’s Morning Edition. How to Not Be Afraid of Everything is at the very top of our to-read list for the season, and we hope you’ll consider checking it out, as well.

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Kaveh Akbar, Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf, August 2021)

Joshua Nguyen, Come Clean (U of Wisconsin Press, October 2021)

Cynthia Dewi Oka, Fire Is Not a Country (TriQuarterly, November 2021)

Jenny Qi, Focal Point (Steel Toe, October 2021)

Natasha Rao, Latitude (Copper Canyon, September 2021)

John Yau, Genghis Chan on Drums (Omnidawn, October 2021)

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What new Asian American poetry titles have you been enjoying as you look ahead toward the end of the year? We’d love to hear from you! Share your recommendations with us in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@LanternReview).


Cover image of A HISTORY OF KINDNESS by Linda Hogan

A History of Kindness by Linda Hogan (Torrey House, 2020)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.