Review of The Evansville Review
The Evansville Review is a student published journal that has won awards and is published annually. They do not accept work from current University of Evansville students, but from their website it looks like they accept work otherwise, unless it has been published already elsewhere. They accept mostly textual pieces, although it looks like you can submit art to be considered for the cover. I chose volume 27 because it is their most recent publication.
I had some pros and cons regarding how they set up the magazine. I like the size of it – it’s not the size of a normal sheet of paper, but smaller, and it’s thin so it doesn’t take up a lot of room in a backpack. All the front matter was professional and structured. The one thing I did not like about this magazine was the organization of it. They had it by category with poetry first and ending with fiction, which would be fine, but there were no page breaks to show the categories, and I prefer it being more mixed like how we set up our magazine.
They had mostly poems, so I felt it would have been nice to break up the larger pieces with the poems. At the end of the journal they have Contributors pages that have short bios of each of the contributors. I wish we could have included that in our magazine, but it’s not something we necessarily had to do. The back of the journal also contains a description of “The Willis Barnstone Translation Prize” that two of the poems in the journal won. I like that it gives submission guidelines, what the prize is, and how much the entry fee as well as the prize is. Personally, I would love to put a description for the awards in our magazine like that, to get the word out more about those opportunities.
The work in this magazine is fantastic. It is hardly surprising that this magazine has won awards with the kind of quality that is in this volume in the magazine. It does contain mostly pieces of poetry, with about 20 of the submissions being poems, but I thought that the Non-Fiction and Fiction was interesting, as well. I decided to look at one poetry piece and one fiction piece for my analysis, because I wanted to get a good range.
The first piece is “The Icons,” a poem by Michael Minassian. I picked this piece because of the emotion behind it. I love the message that the author gives in just three short stanzas. Presumably the poem is about WWI, and I feel like that is a trauma that not many people talk about because of WWII. It’s very realistic, and again I just really loved the emotion behind it. I also enjoyed all of the poetic devices that the poet used whilst also keeping it fresh through not having a rhyme scheme. I felt the lack of rhyme scheme was appropriate for the content of the poem, and that it worked really well.
The second piece is “I Did” by Susan Segal. I chose this short story because it’s very relatable for people my age, as many people have experienced a bad relationship such as this one. It also displays how messy relationships can be. I loved how the characters were established so well in just two pages, and I felt close to the narrator, although that may be because of the use of first person. The story reminded me of “Cat Person” which is a well-known modern short story that I had to read for my Creative Writing class. The difference is that “Cat Person” is several pages, but this author gave me the same reaction through only two pages, which I think is really neat.
Overall, there were some things that I didn’t like about this magazine at least as far as organization is concerned, but the pieces were definitely of high quality, and I enjoyed a lot of the pieces in there.
-Sarah Moore, Managing Editor