Thursday, July 29, 2010

Interview with Medulla Review's Editor-In-Chief Jennifer Hollie Bowles

Literary magazines keep writers current. The Medulla Review is no different. It is a fabulous online literary magazine that takes risks with its writing. Dorianne Laux’s jarringly titled poem, “Stupid” and Susan Slaviero’s poem, “Why Everyone Can’t See Ghosts” were among my recent favorites.

Here is how the magazine describes itself:

The Medulla Review is a literary journal that caters to experimental and surreal writing, a place in the hindbrain where breathing, swallowing, and circulation are done through words, a venue for those who believe in creating reality. We want to hear your voices. What jars you? What makes you dance on the staircase of your mind? It's about the core of things, getting down to the essence: that soft center of being and experience where you are free.

I had the opportunity to speak with editor Jennifer Hollie Bowles. As writers and readers, I think you’ll be quite interested in what she had to say about her magazine, submissions and writing.

I love that that you have guest editors. Can you share a little about how the different editors influence the magazine’s aesthetic?

Guest editors balance and enhance the aesthetic. For example, the first guest poetry editor, Gindy Elizabeth Houston, brought a level of beauty and tradition to the poetry. In contrast, when I served as poetry editor, the content emerged with an edgier, rawer tone. The current guest poetry editor, Laura LeHew, may be able to combine the literary and experimental focus in a way that has not been expressed in previous issues. Finally, I think all editors review submissions in a unique way, and I am grateful to have different visions influencing The Medulla Review.

What advice would you give to writers who are considering submitting to your magazine or press?

I would advise potential contributors to read the issues, and if the content speaks to them in profound ways, it is very likely their writing voices will find a home at The Medulla Review. I would also encourage writers to submit works that push the boundaries of genre and express surreal experiences.

How do you know when a submitted piece is right for the magazine?

I can usually tell within the first couple of lines of verse and the first few sentences of prose if a piece is right, and I instantly feel the knowledge through the unique power of the words. On occasion, insight strikes when I read further along, but if I don't have an epiphany of some sort, I'm unlikely to publish the work.

What other literary magazines do you read regularly?

Mud Luscious, Thieves Jargon, Word Riot, elimae, PANK Magazine, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, The Centrifugal Eye, Mad Hatter's Review, ABJECTIVE,, The Del Sol Review, Nashville Review, New Millennium Writings, Sein und Werden, Pedestal Magazine, GUD

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your thoughts with us!

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