Bookstores and libraries have always been my safe havens. As a kid I spent long afternoons at our local library, where my mother would leave my sister and me while she ran errands. There, I browsed the shelves for new finds to borrow by the armful. Of course, there were certain books that I didn’t dare bring home–Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Forever by Judy Bloom–for fear my parents would take them away, deeming them too mature for a grammar school kid. Those books I read right there, at the long wooden tables in the adult reading room, where the librarians let my sister and me linger since we’d proven ourselves to be polite kids who read quietly, passionately, voraciously.
There are so many great literary magazines out there, from established favorites like New England Review, Iowa Review, and Ploughshares, to exciting newcomers like Midnight Breakfast, Ink & Coda, and Origins, a new journal accepting submissions for its first issue.
I’m an avid journal reader and like to share my favorites, especially now, at the beginning of submission season, when journals are re-opening their doors for submissions and writers are revving up to seek homes for their work.