Ploughshares

The first in a series of reviews of literary journals. More information about these reviews can be found here.

Ploughshares, founded in 1971, is published quarterly by Emerson College in Boston.

What they say about themselves: “Ploughshares was started in the Plough and Stars, an Irish pub in Cambridge, MA, named for Sean O’Casey’s influential play “The Plough and the Stars” about the liberation of Ireland. In the early 1970s, the pub hosted a handful of regulars who started their own small revolution. Their central concern was that the work of a new generation of writers–representative of a seismic shift in the culture at that time–was going unnoticed by traditional publishing. To address the problem they decided to publish a journal that would extend their discussions about contemporary literature beyond the walls of their favorite haunt.”

Issue reviewed: Spring 2019 (Vol. 45, No. 1)

Genre: Literary. Daniel Chacon’s “The Enchanted Tiki Room” is a fantasy time-travel story, but all the others are firmly rooted in reality.

One Story I Really Liked: “Some of You” by Mario Alberto Zambrano, an allegorical tale of refugees arriving in the United States.

Helicopter Rating: One Explosion. All the drama takes place in the minds of the characters.

Profanometer: Gee Willikers. If there was any adult language in the issue I read, it was used so subtly that I don’t remember; I appreciate that.

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