Of the occasional litmags I receive, The Bluestone Review proves to be the most unusual – and the most interesting.
But an aside: I had been asked by writing friend Addie Davis to submit something to them, and not knowing much about the magazine, I submitted three pieces of poetry I'd written a couple of years ago, and three prose sketches that subsequently resulted in short stories. They accepted two poetry pieces.
The Bluestone Review is published once a year and bills itself as "a community arts collective published by Bluefield College." And this West Virginia publication lives up to that billing. The writing throughout (including, I suppose, my poetry) is of the decent, journeyman sort, but its subject matter is what's most intriguing.
Time after time, I find in this the 17th edition of The Bluestone Review subjects ranging from family life to the Afghan war and back to introspective topics. But invariably these works transform to statements about the natural world. The implication here is that the human experience – despite our technology and our metaphysical tendency to divorce ourselves from nature – seems always to return to native earth.
This sort of editorial posture makes of Bluestone what litmags were meant to be, I think, instead of showpieces for academic literary technique and style and dumping grounds for the "in" academic writers.
Kudos to editors Marland Funk and Jackie Puglisi and faculty advisor Rob Merritt for bringing the world of litmags back to earth.