Iowa Review 51/2


The Iowa Reivew is one of the major American literary magazines.

I bought a year-long subscription, and this is the first subscription that I’ve gotten in print. It comes as a book.

For Volume 51 Issue 2, which came out in Spring 2022 (I know, I know, this review is written late) a lot of the stories are unique. It’s much slimmer than the Summer 2022 issue.

Experimental typesetting is prominently featured in many stories. There’s one story about a tornado, “Inclemency” by Steffan Triplett, and the words are as pointed as a tornado. Compared to traditional novels, which stick to uniform blocks and don’t experiment with unorthodox word placement as much, it’s great to see authors who play with the space. I think novels that include illustrations and word tricksy are fun, and I’d love to see more of that in the market. But alas, I suppose you only find this playfulness in literary shorts.

I absolutely love the palindromes written by Colin Kostelecky. They are impressive on a technical level. “Ode to a Harbor Wind” is gorgeous.

“Rot” by Kirsten Veil Aguilar is a funny story about feeling disconnected in our communities and neighborhoods.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5

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