Friday, October 12, 2018

The Fall 2018 issue of the Apple Valley Review

The Fall 2018 issue of the Apple Valley Review features short fiction by John Garcia and Río Luna; a memoir excerpt by Tove Ditlevsen (translated from the Danish by Michael Goldman); poetry by Julio Monteiro Martins (translated from the Italian by Helen Wickes and Donald Stang), Diarmuid ó Maolalaí, Kerry James Evans, Jack Hickman, Bibhu Padhi, Ananda-mayi dasi, Aura Christi (translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Petru Iamandi), Stephen Hundley, Dorsía Smith Silva, and Ed Bok Lee; and cover artwork by Vasily Vereshchagin.

The Apple Valley Review is a semiannual online literary journal. The current issue, previous issues, subscription information, and complete submission guidelines are available at

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A graphic novel by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, and four poems

My dad cries.
I don't mean right now as we speak,
even though that's probably the case.
I don't mean that my dad (noun) cries (verb) watching the sun set (adverb phrase), either.
What I mean is, my dad cries.
A dog barks.  A cat meows.  My dad cries.
Truffle thinks it's because he loves us too much.
There's some truth to that. 
But between you, me and the bus driver, 
you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that if my dad cries, 
it's first and foremost because of the wine. 
--From Louis Undercover, a graphic novel by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, translated from the French by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, Toronto, Ontario/Berkeley, California, 2017).  First published in French as Louis parmi les spectres (Les Éditions de la Pastèque, Montreal, Quebec, 2016). 

I was on the porch pinching back the lobelia
like trimming a great blue head of hair. 

We'd just planted the near field, the far one 
the day before.  I'd never seen it so clear,

so gusty, so overcast, so clear, so calm.
They say pearls must be worn or they lose their luster, . . .  
--From "Another Story with a Burning Barn in It," a poem by Lisa Olstein, on the website of the Poetry Foundation.  This is an excerpt from her collection Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (Copper Canyon Press, 2006). 

I'm six months along 
and I wonder why nobody 
told me.  I've got red wine 
in my right hand, a cigarette
in my left.  There's
a noisy party all 
around me.  I put down 
the glass and lift my shirt.
The baby's there, visible 
under my transparent
skin, a little girl, wearing
bluebird barrettes.
--From "Expecting," a poem by Meghan O'Rourke, from her collection Sun in Days (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017), pp. 39-40.  This poem was first published, as "Nightdream," in Issue 58 of Tin House.

You can only miss someone when they are still present to you.
--From "Mistaken Self-Portrait as Demeter in Paris," a poem by Meghan O'Rourke, from her collection Sun in Days (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017), pp. 84-85.  This poem was first published, as "Demeter in Paris," by the Academy of American Poets.

What you did wasn't so bad.
You stood in a small room, waiting for the sun.
At least you told yourself that.
I know it was small, 
but there was something, a kind of pulped lemon, 
at the low edge of the sky.
--From "Poem of Regret for an Old Friend," a poem by Meghan O'Rourke, from her collection Sun in Days (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017), pp. 86-87.  "Poem of Regret for an Old Friend" was first published in The New Yorker.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Two poems and two short stories

John Locke says children don't understand elapsed time, 
and when I was a girl it was true
and it remains true--
--From "Essay on 'An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,'" a poem by Catherine Barnett, The New Yorker (March 19, 2018), pp. 52-53.

Our house, the very clever work of a local architect, consists of five shipping containers raised several feet above the ground.  Half of one container functions as a garden office and the other half functions as a covered footbridge over the stream that runs through our land; previously, you had to negotiate a pair of old planks. 
--From "The Poltroon Husband," a short story by Joseph O'Neill, The New Yorker (March 12, 2018), pp. 66-70.

The Arabs used to say, 
When a stranger appears at your door, 
feed him for three days 
before asking who he is, . . . 
--From "Red Brocade," a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, from her collection 19 Varieties of Gazelle (Greenwillow Books, 2002) and reprinted by the Academy of American Poets. 

He tossed the unfinished coffee into the trash.  As he was on his way back to Spice Grill, a Mercedes pulled quickly alongside him, making a wide, sweeping turn into one of Mr. Raj's private parking spots.  The Mercedes came to a short stop, and Boss Bhatti, a Spice Grill regular and Raj's business partner, stepped out in a suit and tie.  Boss Bhatti called Vikram over to the car.  He needed help carrying crates of mangoes into the restaurant.  Vikram reached inside the Mercedes and grabbed a stack.  
--From "Guerrilla Marketing," a short story by Sanjay Agnihotri, One Story, Issue 236 (December 28, 2017).

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Graphic memoirs by Dominique Goblet, Roz Chast, and Katie Green

My father doesn't drink anymore.  Not one more drop, supposedly.  I haven't seen him in four years.  My daughter will be four in July . . .  Next month, that is.  
--From Pretending Is Lying, a graphic memoir by Belgian artist Dominique Goblet, translated from the French by Sophie Yanow (New York Review Comics, 2017).  Of the three books, this one is the most unusual, both visually and stylistically.

We drove down Ocean Parkway, the benches, the six-story apartment houses . . . we were in my old neighborhood, then on my old block, and finally, there was the old building where I grew up and where my parents were still living.  The cab pulled up.  I got out and entered the building, filled with dread, guilt, and a weird kind of claustrophobia.    
--From Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?, a graphic memoir by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast (Bloomsbury, 2014).  The subject matter is grim--the aging and death of her parents--but Chast's sensitivity and humor make the book relatable and often funny. 

Dear Reader, 
You are holding the book I wish had been there for me. 
It exists because I wanted nobody else to feel as lost, confused and alone as I felt.  I wanted to be honest about how hard recovery is, and how long it takes, at the same time proving that it is possible.
--From Lighter Than My Shadow, a graphic memoir about anorexia and abuse by English artist Katie Green (first published in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape/Vintage, 2013; first published in the United States by Roar/Lion Forge, 2017).  The 500-page memoir is light on text, letting Green's meticulous illustrations bring the book to life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Spring 2018 issue of the Apple Valley Review

The Spring 2018 issue of the Apple Valley Review features short fiction by Mauro Guidi-Signorelli, Joseph Cummins, and Lynn C. Miller; an essay by Robert Radin; prose poetry by Brittany Ackerman; poetry by Katherine Gekker, Christopher Todd Anderson, Simon Perchik, Claudia Serea, Lynne Knight, Ryan Thorpe, and Gabriel Chávez Casazola (translated from the Spanish by Morgan Cayce Harden); and a cover painting by José María Velasco. 

The Apple Valley Review is a semiannual online literary journal.  The current issue, previous issues, subscription information, and complete submission guidelines are available at

Monday, March 26, 2018

Poems by Danusha Laméris, David Lehman, Ada Limón, and Mary Oliver

You're beautiful, sister, eat more fruit,
said the attendant every time my mother 
pulled into the 76 off Ashby Avenue.
--From "Service Station," a poem by Danusha Laméris, Tin House (March 21, 2018), from Issue 75.

It's June 15, 2017, a Thursday,
fortieth anniversary of the infamous day
the Mets traded Tom Seaver to Cincinnati
--From "It Could Happen to You," a poem by David Lehman, The New Yorker (December 4, 2017), p. 54.

The road wasn't as hazardous then, 
when I'd walk to the steel guardrail, 
lean my bendy girl body over, and stare 
at the cold creek water.
--From "Overpass," a poem by Ada Limón, The New Yorker (December 4, 2017), p. 27.

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around. 
--From "Dogfish," a poem by Mary Oliver, from her collection Dream Work (Grove/Atlantic, 1986).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Above the Mountaintops" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Repentance" by Natasha Trethewey, and three other poems

Above the mountaintops
all is still.
Among the treetops you can feel 
barely a breath--
--From "Above the Mountaintops," a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated from the German by Rita Dove, The New Yorker (November 13, 2017), p. 63.

To make it right     Vermeer painted     then painted over
this scene     a woman alone at a table     the cloth pushed back
rough folds at the edge     as if     someone     had risen
--From "Repentance," a poem by Natasha Trethewey, The New Yorker (November 20, 2017), pp. 66-67.

Near a recently thawed pond, within a long
channel of construction, a man holding a sign.
One side says slow, the other stop.  
Joy and sorrow always run like parallel lines.
--From "Signs for the Living," a poem by Didi Jackson, The New Yorker (October 2, 2017), p. 42.

Tonight I found out that I am divorced.
My second try at marriage, and it's through. 
Relief is what I feel most, mixed with pain, of course, 
remorse, and just plain grief, which makes me think of you, 
you who knew such sorrow in your life
and all the ways that love can come undone, 
who was the first to call yourself my wife . . .  
--From "News of My Divorce Reminds Me of Your Death," a poem by Taylor Mali, Rattle (December 7, 2017).

The media loves pitting women against women: how do you feed your baby, why don't you fit in that dress, disposable diapers last 8 billion years even in the guts of sharks, gold digger, cougar, jailbait, cat fight.  On Coney Island, Miki Sudo downed 38 hot dogs in 10 minutes for the national crown. 
--From "Mother's Day," a poem by Karen Skolfield, Waxwing, Issue XIII (Fall 2017).