Review Review Review Review
by Karen Rile
Well, yes, that crazy, irresistible title does make sense. The Review Review is an online journal dedicated to reviewing literary journals. Yesterday we were delighted to learn, via Twitter, that The Review Review has published a 5-star review of Cleaver’s Issue No. 2. Review reviewer, Emily Hoffman has written a detailed analysis of the issue, titled New Online Mag Cuts Sharply Through the Din. We appreciate every thoughtful point in her essay: the praise for our writers’ work; the observation of our curatorial gestures; and the frank questions she raises (asking, for example where the heck are the dramatic monologues mentioned on our submissions page? Coming, one of these days, when we’ve garnered submissions with the right “fit” and the right high quality video. We hope it will be worth the wait!)
We love that Emily Hoffman noticed how our visual art pieces are paired with essays or other complementary text by the artist. We love that she noticed the thematic juxtapositions (such as George Dila’s “That Summer”, contrasted with Amber Lee Dodd’s “Crocodile Hands”) and the pairings of established writers (Daniel Torday) with truly new voices (Carly Greenberg.) Thanks, Emily Hoffman, for being our ideal reader.
The Review Review is no glib, commercial thumbs-up/thumbs-dow-style site; these are deep, comprehensive, critiques by a staff of professional writers and editors. Please take a look: the website itself is a terrific resource for the entire literary community. In addition to their thorough reviews, they offer editor interviews, and “Tips“, and a general essay column by staff and guest editors featuring substantial discussion of topics pertinent to the literary magazine biz– valuable for readers, writers, and editors alike. The Review Review‘s design is tasteful and low-key, with a minimum of advertising, which is literature-focused and confined to their “Classifieds” page (itself a fine resource for writers looking for submission markets).
Cleaver has succeeded at providing a meaty second issue for readers eagerly hoping their next mouse click takes them to carefully crafted narratives rather than gimmicky experimentation. — Emily Hoffman, The Review Review, July 2013