Fjords Reviews

HOME | FEATURED | Volume 3, Issue 2
Volume 3, Issue 2
Fjords Review - Issue 9

Introducing new writers is one of the biggest pleasures of editing Fjords. I'm proud to introduce three essays by new writer Salpi Vartivarian. The sophistication and depth of philosophical interplay at work in her writing is impressive, clear and poignant. Using her Armenian-American heritage as a backdrop for the personal essay, Vartivarian points out similarities inherent in every family and social group with inventive phrasing and a lot energy. In her work there is room for the body and room for the mind.

My Editor's Choice is four poems by Nandini Dhar. Her poetics about the expectations and entrapments of girlhood, looking for her sister's home, an exploration of past tense through her sister's view of oral culture and a martyred political activist who grew into an Indian legend illustrate a rich cultural tapestry.

I'm excited to feature the poems of William Wright and Ryo Yamguchi alongside Brian Clifton, Cal Freeman, Karen Chase, Jenny Morse, Gray Tolhurst, John Warner Smith and V.P. Loggins. We have fiction from Englishman in France Patrick Wilson and an interview conducted by Steve Komarnyckyj with British poet Sean Street. Inara Cedrins translates Latvian Amanda Aizpuriete in five untitled poems that range from the mystical to ars poetica. We're glad to have creative non-fiction by Jan Shoemaker and a prose excerpt by Margaret Barbour Gilbert from her full length book Sugaring Off.

A rooftop piece by eighteen year old photographer Eleanor Leonne Bennett and a realist painting that looks like collage by Steve Ellis are two of our artists for the edition. After watching Sara Cwynar’s career really grow in the last year, I’m thrilled to have her make our cover so exuberant. The work she’s doing around the idea of kitsch is entertaining and lively.


Contemporary Floral Arrangement 4 (Two Monochromatic Color Schemes)
by Sara Cwynar

Coming Soon to Times Square
by Steve Ellis


About Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis is a painter and sculptor working in New York City's Lower East Side and the Catskills, NY. His representational technique uses pop culture iconography to explore various issues including contemporary consumerism, idolatry, the environment and the death of print media.

Without much balance
by Eleanor Leonne Bennett


About Eleanor Leonne Bennett

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an nineteen year old internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic,The World Photography Organisation, Nature's Best Photography, Papworth Trust, CIWEM, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, Annals of Internal Medicine and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is also globally exhibited at many prestigious locations.


Plants and Animals and Stunt Doubles
Importance of Mood to Man
Blue Legacy
Visual Language

by Nance Van Winckel


About Nance Van Winckel

Nance Van Winckel has published four books of linked stories, one of which (Quake) received the Patterson Fiction Award. A new collage novel, entitled EVER YRS, appeared this past November. I’ve also published six collections of poetry and am the recipient of two NEA literary fellowships. I teach in Vermont College of Fine Arts’s MFA in Writing Program. My fiction has appeared in AGNI, Kenyon Review, Mass. Review, The Sun, Georgia Review, and many others journals.


Latvian author Amanda Aizpuriete

Translated by Inara Cedrins


About Amanda Aizpuriete

Fjords Review, Amanda Aizpuriete Amanda Aizpuriete is a Latvian poet with nine books of poetry. She translated Ken Kesey, Franz Kafka, John Updike, Virginia Wolfe and others into Latvian, and the poetry of, among others, Anna Ahmatova, Josef Brodsky, Uve Kolbe, Georg Trakl.


About Inara Cedrins

Inara Cedrins is an artist, writer and translator from Latvian to English. Her anthology of contemporary Latvian poetry written while Latvia was under Soviet occupation was published by the University of Iowa Press, and a Baltic anthology, three books of poetry from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, was published by the University of New Orleans Press in 2013, with her prints as cover art.


Epistle to an Alewife
Epistle to a Beldam

by Cal Freeman


About Cal Freeman

Fjords Review, Cal Freeman Cal Freeman was born and raised in Detroit. His writing has appeared in many journals including Commonweal, The Journal, The Cortland Review, Berfrois, Drunken Boat, and Rattle. He is the recipient of The Howard P. Walsh Award for Literature, The Ariel Poetry Prize, and The Devine Poetry Fellowship (judged by Terrance Hayes). His first book of poems, Brother of Leaving, is forthcoming from Antonin Artaud Publications in 2015.

Apocalypse With Webbing
by Brian Clifton


About Brian Clifton

Fjords Review, Brian Clifton Brian Clifton co-edits Bear Review ( His work can be found in: The Pinch, Fifth Wednesday, and CutBank.

Walking Meditation
by Ryo Yamaguchi


About Ryo Yamaguchi

Fjords Review, Ryo Yamaguchi Ryo Yamaguchi is the author of The Refusal of Suitors, published by Noemi Press in 2015. His work has appeared in journals such as The Iowa Review, Tin House, American Letters & Commentary, and Barrow Street, among others. He lives in Chicago where he works at the University of Chicago Press. You can visit him at


by John Warner Smith


About John Warner Smith

Fjords Review, John Warner Smith John Warner Smith is a Cave Canem fellow whose first book, A Mandala of Hands, is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2014 by Aldrich Press. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Callaloo, Antioch Review, The Worcester Review, Fourteen Hills, Pembroke, Kestrel, African American Review, American Athenaeum and other literary journals. His manuscript was a finalist in the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award competition. A resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he directs a statewide organization dedicated to improving public education. He also teaches English and Creative Writing at Southern University in Baton Rouge. He earned his MFA at the University of New Orleans.

Graduation Day Spirits
by Karen Chase


About Karen Chase

Karen Chase lives in Western Massachusetts. She is the author of two collections of poems, Kazimierz Square and BEAR as well as Jamali-Kamali, a book-length homoerotic poem which takes place in Mughal India. Her award-winning book, Land of Stone, tells the story of her work with a silent young man in a psychiatric hospital where she was the hospital poet. Polio Boulevard, a memoir, is just out from SUNY University Press. The Larooco Log: FDR on the Houseboat is forthcoming in 2016.

by Jenny Morse

Math and Imagination
by V.P. Loggins


About V.P. Loggins

Fjords Review, V.P. Loggins V.P. Loggins was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Illinois, V. P. Loggins is the author of The Fourth Paradise (Main Street Rag 2010) and Heaven Changes (Pudding House Chapbook Series 2007). He has also published one critical book on Shakespeare, The Life of Our Design, and is co-author of another, Shakespeare’s Deliberate Art. Winner of the Barriss and Iola Mills Award for Poetry and The R. W. Babcock Shakespeare Award from Purdue University, his poems and articles have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The Baltimore Review, Cæsura, Crannog (Ireland), The Dalhousie Review (Canada), English Journal, The Formalist, The Healing Muse, Memoir, Modern Age, Poet Lore, Poetry Ireland Review (forthcoming), Slipstream, The Southern Review and Third Wednesday, among other journals. He was a finalist for the Word Works Washington Prize, the Cider Press Review Poetry Book and Editor’s Prizes (Honorable Mention), the May Swenson Award, and a semi-finalist for the Philip Levine Prize. In 2011 Talking Drums, an art exhibition and installation by sculptor and ceramicist Andrew Cooke, based on The Fourth Paradise, appeared in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. His work has been featured in A Universe of Dreams, poetry and music performed internationally by Neal Conan of National Public Radio and Ensemble Galilei. He has taught at several institutions, most recently the United States Naval Academy.

by Gray Tolhurst


About Gray Tolhurst

Fjords Review, Gray Tolhurst Gray Tolhurst is an artist/writer based in San Francisco. He is co-founder of Harmonium Press with Rickey Lee Bauman and publishes a biannual magazine. His artwork can be seen at

The Hell-Flower Does Not Exist

by William Wright


About William Wright

William Wright is author of four full-length collections of poetry, including Tree Heresies (Mercer University Press, forthcoming in spring 2015) and Night Field Anecdote (Louisiana Literature Press). Wright is Series Editor and volume co-editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, a multivolume series. Assistant editor for Shenandoah, Wright recently finished editing Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry (with Daniel Cross Turner, forthcoming in 2016 from the University of South Carolina Press). Most recently, his work can be found in Five Points, Shenandoah, Kenyon Review, Greensboro Review, and Crab Orchard Review.

A Child Is To Be Seen Not Heard
I Try To Find My Sister's Home
What My Sister Tombur Thinks About Oral Culture
Of Ghost Uncles and Storms

by Nandini Dhar


About Nandini Dhar

Fjords Review, Nandini Dhar Nandini Dhar is the author of the chapbook Lullabies Are Barbed Wire Nations (Two of Cups Press, 2014). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Potomac Review, PANK, Los Angeles Review, Whiskey Island, Bitter Oleander, Cream City Review and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of the journal Elsewhere. Nandini hails from Kolkata, India, and divides her time between her hometown and Miami, Florida, where she works as an Assistant Professor of English at Florida International University.


by Patrick Wilson


About Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson is an English writer who currently lives near Paris. He’s published a dozen books of translations and poetry, and recently branched out into music and filmpoems (notably Afterwords, set to music by Mauro Coceano). My poetry is also published in French, Italian, Bulgarian and Georgian. Latest collections Gifted (Corrupt Press, Paris, 2014) and Nel Santuario (English-Italian, Samuele Editore, Pordenone, Italy, 2013), which was awarded the Menzione Speciale della Giuria in the XV Concorso Guido Gozzano in September 2014.


Excerpt from Sugaring Off
by Margaret Barbour Gilbert


About Margaret Barbour Gilbert

Fjords Review, Margaret Barbour Gilbert Margaret Barbour Gilbert ‘s Sugaring Off is about a young girl’s adventures in New York after she leaves Alabama with a man who collected Grandma Moses paintings. All the poems are named for paintings by Grandma Moses. Selections from Sugaring Off were chosen by C.K. Williams for Third Place in the Mudfish Poetry Prize, and have appeared in Hotel Amerika, Vol. 9, Fall 2010, Vol. 10, Spring 2012, and Vol. 13, Spring 2015. "Church Goers" from Sugaring Off is published online by Akashic Books at their website. "Turkey in the Straw" currently appears in Mudfish 18.


Still Right Here
by Jan Shoemaker


About Jan Shoemaker

Fjords Review, Jan Shoemaker Jan Shoemaker's essays have appeared in many magazines and journals including River Teeth, The Sun, and Sufi Journal. She lives in Michigan with her thoughtful husband who pours her wine and wayward dogs who hog the bed. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter (@janshoemaker2).


Linguistic Mystic
Questing for a Niche (at the Edge of the World)

by Salpi Vartivarian


About Salpi Vartivarian

Fjords Review, Salpi Vartivarian Salpi Vartivarian is currently working on a “real-time” memoir which chronicles her experiences from post-college (UC Berkeley, Philosophy) until present. She has heretofore had a squib published in FORTH Magazine. Her favorite book at the moment is Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. Salpi is a body artist, a closet Buddhist, and a dabbler in Continental philosophy. Salpi is trying earnestly to be a writer and an upstanding citizen at once—to this end, she has enrolled in modeling school. You can follow her at


Interview with Sean Street
by Interviewed by Steve Komarnyckyj