Monday, April 21, 2008

Nimrod Literary Journal Review

“Nimrod” is an international literary journal which is published from The University of Tulsa since 1956. It is published twice a year and has 190 pages each publication. Readers can subscribe for a full year for $17.50 and even view samples of the work at Nimrod’s online website. This journal features a great deal of international writers, even encouraging translated submissions. The journal itself seems to be of very high quality and it features impressive work similar to the work Prism Review might feature.
This publication includes a great variety of work of short stories, poems, and essays. Writers are encouraged to submit work from all genres regarding all subjects, with a special focus on international issues. Each Spring issue has a theme which is announced the previous fall with diverse themes like Writers of Age, Range of Light: The Americas, Australia, From Time to Time, Islands, and Crossing Borders. Interestingly, this journal does not accept non-fiction work, nor do they encourage submissions of artwork or photographs. The journal is published in color, though, which does add some artistic elements.
The writing included in this publication seems to be of very high quality and features a great deal of reflective, thought-provoking issues. “Nimrod” declares “We seek poems that go beyond one word or image, honor the impulse to reveal a truth about, or persuasive version of, the inner and outer worlds” on their website. They seem to have done an excellent job picking out the right pieces to publish which live up to this standard; all the pieces I read had qualities of deep voice and required some reflection to fully understand. One piece I enjoyed was “My First Lover Returns From Iraq” by Keetje Kuipers.

“After all these years of not loving you,
you’ve become the man I build
every poem from, your naked shape
the clay I mold to place at the base of a tree
or in the soft folds of a morning bedroom.
I make your hands into fruit and set them
in bowls, your feet flower from the ends
of frayed pants. In my poems I’m unable
to mend them. Sometimes you walk, usually
you don’t speak. I can’t seem to give you the words
though all I want is to hear your voice.
What I’m afraid to write is what I dream
at night, when you seem to come to me of your own desire.
And I’m ashamed to want you still, inside me
now as you were then, though you’ve been
dead these three months, the shrapnel
strung through your lungs like ribbon,
dust filling the reddest caverns of your flesh.
I was the last to be told. And yours
is the only body that visits me now:
your sweat-laden skin, the light it makes
for itself, as if in that darkened room
you had gathered every burning object
to you and you alone shone.”

This provides a good example of the fine quality of writing in this publication; writing that makes the reader reflect on the ideas presented and leads them to ponder new ideas. Though the work is on different subjects, all the pieces in this publication seem to share common topics like battling human emotion, regret, feelings of pain, loss, and reflection. The work is so accessible to readers that anyone could understand the work in “Nimrod,” but different levels of readers can take away different meanings.

The submissions process for “Nimrod” is very specific. Writers are encouraged to read sample issues before submitting and meet strict word counts on their submissions. Writers cannot expect to receive payment, though “Nimrod” sponsors a contest in which the competitions sound fierce! The Nimrod/ Hardman Awards are presented every spring where the First place includes $2,000 and publication in the Spring Issue and Second Place includes $1,000 and publication.

“Nimrod” seems to appeal to a wide variety of people. Though the publication originated at a University, the content of the work does not come from or reflect the ideas of college students. The writing is very mature and would appeal to an adult readership. Readers can subscribe to “Nimrod” or view samples of the work at Also, readers can order audio cassettes of excerpts of the work in the publication, though I am not sure who this would target since audio cassettes are outdated.

The work in “Nimrod” appealed to me and seemed like work that would fit in Prism Review. It was all such thought-provoking work featuring such interesting ideas that reading the publication felt like delving into a great novel. And the work is from a variety of writers from all over the world, which leads to the inclusion many ideas from other countries. This publication is a fine example for what a literary journal could strive to be.


Temporary Home

This blogsite is our temporary home while our website undergoes an extreme makeover of epic proportions (shifted septums, pacemakers, calf implants, dialysis, a fancy wig, contacts -- the works).

This was our old home, and while it is a bit dated, it's a good source of info regarding recent issues and the history of Prism Review.

Updates will follow regarding our new home. ETA summer 2009.