Pennsylvania Literary Journal (ISSN#: 2151-3066; Library of Congress Catalog Number: PN80.P46) is a printed peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical essays, book-reviews, short stories, interviews, photographs, art, and poetry. PLJ is available through the EBSCO Academic Complete and ProQuest databases in full-text. It is also on sale as single issues on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and most other online bookstores. It is cataloged in the MLA International Bibliography, the MLA Directory of Periodicals, Genamics JournalSeek, and Duotrope’s Digest. PLJ has published works by and interviews with New York Times bestselling writers like Larry Niven and Cinda Williams Chima. Dr. R. Joseph Rodríguez received the 2015 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship’s Article Award for his article, “There Are Many Rooms” which appeared in Volume VI, Issue 1 of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal (El Paso Inc).
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New and Old Historical Perspectives on Literature: Volume 2, Issue 1 ($30 – Click to Purchase): This is the third issue of an academic, literary, peer-reviewed journal. It is the first one available for purchase through Amazon CreateSpace and most major distribution channels. It includes original scholarly essays, poetry, a short story, an interview with a well-known Indian poet, Jayanta Mahapatra, photographs, and book reviews. The Summer 2010 Special Issue: New and Old Historical Perspectives on Literature (Paper $30, ISBN# 978-1-450-58358-9, Library of Congress Control Number: 2011922231, July 9, 2010) uses ideas originated by Stephen Greenblatt in the 1980s. Despite H. Aram Veeser’s 1989 anthology, The New Historicism, and numerous other publications in this field, one is left puzzled about why any historical examination of literature is “new.” We tackle the question of if historicism needs to be further updated. The journal is listed on the MLA Periodicals Directory and is a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. An article about this journal was published in D-Lib Magazine’s November/December 2009 issue. The critical essay and book review writers include established professors from America, England, India, China and other countries across the world. Featuring: Dr. Joan Ferretti Varnum (NYU), Dr. Robert Hauptman (Editor, Journal of Information Ethics), Dr. Eugenia Russell (University of London), Dr. Hugh Fox (Founder of the International Organization of Independent Publishers), Dr. Frank Casale, Dr. Carol Mejia LaPerle, Dr. Stephen Barnes, Dr. Karley Adney, Dr. Robert McParland, Dr. Sirpa Salenius, Dr. Yihsuan Tso, Dr. Louis Gallo, and Dr. Joe Mills.
British Literature: Volume 2, Issue 2 ($30 – Click to Purchase): is a special issue that focuses on examining oppression, rebellion and the structural features in British fiction. Dr. Kelley Wezner writes about the affect of Machiavellian thought on Jonathan Swift. Dr. Mark Zunac discusses human rights and the colonial condition in Mary Robinson. Dr. Victoria Williams researches Dickens’s use of the fairytale-like details and structure in Our Mutual Friend. Dr. Ignacio Ramos Gay talks about Victorian theatrical audience censorship attempting to exclude French theatrical productions from the British stage. Lastly, Dr. Michael Cornelius discusses the suppression of homosexuality from the pages of historical British fiction. Library of Congress Control Number: 2011922233.
Editing Technique: Volume 3, Issue 1 ($10 – Click to Purchase): What are the components of great editing? Are there differences in editorial practices between the United States, Canada, and Australia? What kind of preparation should those hoping to become editors later in their careers obtain? What are the rewards and challenges of working as an editor or as a director of a press or poetry association? In this issue on Editing Technique of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal, interviews were conducted with four outstanding editors of critical and creative magazines to answer these questions. Interviewed Editors: Janet Brennan Croft, Editor of Mythlore; Professor Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Editor of Paterson Literary Review; Dr. Gillian Dooley, Editor of the Transnational Literature Journal; and Dr. Dina Ripsman Eylon, Editor of Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal. ISBN: 978-1-461-16497-5. Publication date: May 8, 2011.
Interviews with Brooklyn Film Festival Winners: Pennsylvania Literary Journal: Volume III, Issue 2 ($40 – Click to Purchase, ISBN#: 978-1-937536-02-2, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-183-1, Summer 2011, 6X9”, 222pp): The Brooklyn Film Festival invites regional, national and international submissions. I conducted interview the directors, producers, script writers and other creative people, who won awards at the BFF in various categories. This issue should be very helpful for those who hope to build a filmmaking career. Antonio Piazza talks about transitioning from being a working Italian writer to creating a short film that has been shown in nearly 100 film festivals. Stephan Wassmann relates the dangers and adventures of filming bomb metal scrappers during war-time on the Mexican border. Ivaylo Getov describes how one can turn their senior NYU Tisch film school project into an award-winning venture. Massimiliano Verdesca covers special effects on a low-budget and techniques to use when working with actors. Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas chat about the frustrations of youth and the film industry in Canada. Damian Harper touches on the causes and ways to prevent gang-violence in Brooklyn and elsewhere. Joel Fendelman talks about theology and filming locations. Marina Mello boasts about filming in Brazil.
Creative Work: Pennsylvania Literary Journal: Volume III: Issue 3 ($10 – Click to Purchase, ISBN: 978-1-937536-22-0, Fall 2011, 6X9″, 68pp): This Fall 2011 issue of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal includes poetry, short stories, book reviews and a non-fiction story from academics and published creative writers. Among other works, the issue includes a short story by the editor, Anna Faktorovich, “Vampire Daichi.”
New Formalism of/ on the Contemporary: Volume IV, Issue 1, Spring 2012 ($10 – Click to Purchase, ISBN: 978-1937536244, Spring 2012, 6X9″, 144pp) New Formalism is no more a rebaptized deconstruction than it is a reanimated New Criticism. But in a sense one can trace the beginnings of the New Formalism to the work of the only deconstructionist to take on New Historicism directly even as it was just beginning its ascent—J. Hillis Miller. At the end of his 1986 MLA Presidential Address, “The Triumph of Theory,” Miller warns that the material base—that ground of irrefutable referentiality that historicism assumed as a platform on which it could situate its tools of critique—is not beyond questioning. In other words, form subsists even at the pith of matter; one cannot posit or predicate a material base without being aware that this positing is au fond, or at least en passant, formal.
Guest Editor for New Formalism: Nicholas Birns is co-editor of A Companion to Australian Literature Since 1900 (Camden House, 2007), which was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book of the Year for 2008 and of Vargas Llosa and Latin American Politics (Palgrave, 2010).His book Theory After Theory: An Intellectual History of Literary Theory From 1950 to the Early 21st Century appeared from Broadview in 2010. He teaches at the New School in New York.
Volume IV, Issue 2: Interviews with BFF Winners, Part II ($10 – Click to Purchase, ISBN: 978-1-937536-35-0, Hardback ISBN: 978-1-68114-159-6, 6X9″, 116pp): In this issue of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal, one of the main sections is a new set of interviews with the winners of the Brooklyn Film Festival, and the second main section is two rebellious, anti-monarchical works from the 19th century by British authors. The Brooklyn Film Festival interviews with producer-directors focus on three films, none of which were made in New York. Dara Kell talks about making Dear Mandela, a film that focuses on the shanty town housing struggles in South Africa. Daniel Long discusses Pigeon Kicker, which looks inward at the psychology of a psychopathic youth. And Tina Gharavi explains her Indian film, I Am Nasrine, about the struggles of a woman in a chauvinist world. The rebellious stories are passionate, political statements that should be of interest to students of British political fiction and rhetoric. George Cruikshank, the infamous cartoonist and satirist presents his 1820 long, illustrated poem, The Queen’s Matrimonial Ladder, which bitingly relates the various indescretions of the English Queen. In a later, 1838, unpublished essay, Jeremy Bentham makes the highly controversial at the time claim that like America, Canada should also be emancipated by the British Empire in Canada. Emancipate Your Colonies!
* Nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize
Interviews with Best-Selling Young Adult Writers: Volume IV, Issue 3 ($10, 6X9”, 112pp, Fall 2012, ISBN-13: 978-1-937536-38-1, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-156-5, Click to Purchase): This special issue of PLJ includes interviews with Cinda Williams Chima, James Dashner and Carrie Ryan, all New York Times best-selling young adult fiction writers. They are interviewed by Catherine W. Griffin, who has a Master’s of Science in Journalism from Columbia University. They share their experiences with writing in a popular genre, and give specific advice for both new and professional writers. Those who love reading their books should appreciate this close inside look into their minds and lives. You will also find Thomas Carlyle’s 1840 2nd edition of Chartism and a couple of critical reviews of new academic books.
Reviews of Popular Fiction: Volume V, Issue 1 ($10, 6X9″, Spring 2013, ISBN: 978-1-937536-46-6, 66pp Click to Purchase): This issue includes eight highly critical and mostly negative reviews of popular fiction (Twilight, Wallander, Percy Jackson, The Last Boyfriend, “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs, The Troubled Man: A Kurt Wallander Novel, The Flower and the Flame, and The Draco Tavern). Readers who have been disappointed with popular fiction before should read these. The issue is also full of the usual academic reviews, essays, fiction and poetry you’ll always find in PLJ. PLJ is focusing more on popular fiction recently to reflect the interests of the majority of the modern audience.
Interview with Larry Niven: Volume V, Issue 2 ($10, 6X9″, Summer 2013, ISBN: 978-1-937536-49-7, 68pp, Click to Purchase): This special issue of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal: Interview with Larry Niven features an interview with the best-selling science fiction author, Larry Niven, in which he discusses the writing craft, the life of a professional writer, and his unique science fiction style. Niven’s Ringworld has won many prestigious international awards, and his newly released collection of short stories, The Draco Tavern is one of the best recent examples of structured, literary science fiction. The issue also includes a short story from the editor, Anna Faktorovich, “Coal and Rice” about a struggling Chinese rice farmer and a wealthy, corrupt Chinese businessman. In addition, the first scholarly essay in the volume is from an NPR employee, who’s finishing his PhD at Brown. Byrd McDaniel critically evaluates the modern paintings of Kehinde Wiley, a Yale MFA graduate painter whose work has been displayed at some of the top museums around the world. Wiley’s painting is also on this issue’s cover.
Volume V, Issue 3: ($10, 6X9″, Fall 2013, ISBN:978-1-937536-60-2, 160pp, Buy on Amazon or CreateSpace): of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal marks the end of its fifth volume, its fifth year and the thirteenth issue in print. The issue includes a short fiction story from the Editor, Anna Faktorovich, “Murder on a Crab Boat”, which was inspired by a Discovery Channel show, Deadliest Catch. This issue also includes a short story about a love-struck drug addict from Louis Gallo. These two are followed by a section of critical essays, including Linda Gill’s critical essay on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and the relationship between gender and religion in the work, then Will Clemens’ essay on why the TV show The Big Bang Theory has been successful, then Zachary Tavlin’s essay on the cinematic subject, and finally Natacha Guyot’s essay on the revision of Indian myths in Bollywood movies. The next section includes a few poems from four writers: James Grabill, Leonore Wilson, Sharon Lynne Joffe and Noel Sloboda. The last section is composed of two academic book reviews. The first review is by Dongho Cha, and she reviews Powers of Possibility from Oxford UP. The second review is by Laura Madeline Wiseman, who released a poetry book with Anaphora a month ago, and reviews the Hornbook from Horseless Press.
Film Theory and Modern Art, Volume VI, Issue 1: ($10, 6X9″, Spring 2014, ISBN: 978-1-937536-72-5, 136pp, Click to Purchase on: Amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble, or Kindle for $2.99): includes two interviews with the winners of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Nathan Zellner (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter) and Janicza Bravo (Gregory Go Boom). It also features an essay from one of the most respected film academics in the world, Bert Cardullo, “Modish Artifice vs. Modern Art.” There are also essays from Dr. R. Joseph Rodriguez, Dr. Keith Moser, and Aaron Lee Moore. You will also find innovative poetry from Jefferson Holdridge (the Director of the Wake Forest University Press), Louis Gallo (professor at Radford University), and Mark Jones (professor at Trinity Christian College). Finally, there is a review from the Editor, Anna Faktorovich, of a television series available in-full on Netflix, Breaking Bad. It is discussed at-length, with a focus on the elements that position it somewhere between great art and disastrous pop filmmaking, and a special look at acting methodology through a study of the supporting lead, Aaron Paul.
Interviews with Novelists: Volume VI, Issue 2: ($10, 178pp, 6X9″, Summer 2014, ISBN: 978-1-937536-84-8, Purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Kindle for only $2.99): Features interviews with best-selling and award winning novelists. Bob Van Laerhoven, winner of the 2007 Knack Hercule Poirot Prize, for his mystery novel, Baudelaire’s Revenge, talks about his horses, literary fiction, and about the boundaries of obscenity. John Michael Cummings, winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young People for his novel, The Night Freed John Brown, discusses reasons for writing young adult fiction, selling the first novel to Penguin, and other curious topics. Bestselling visionary author of The Transhumanist Wager, Zoltan Istvan, chats about the adventures he had working for National Geographic, and the philosophy behind his unique novel. The issue also includes a review of The Pizza Underground, a comedy rock band of which Mack Culkin is a minor band member. The issue is illustrated with photographs from a New York City photographer, Jeremy Freedman. The academic essays are from four widely published professors, David Comfort, Diane Todd Bucci, Robert Cardullo, and Jeffrey P. Beck, the latter is also the Dean of the Graduate College at Kean University. Fiction pieces include a short story from the Editor, Anna Faktorovich, “My Life as a Werewolf,” and stories from the Florida professor Luis Martínez-Fernández, and Tom Tolnay, the publisher of Birch Brook Press. The poets are all also very established professors, editors and writers, and include: Kika Dorsey, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, KV Wilt, and Michael Zucaro.
Nine Reviews of Poetry: Volume VI, Issue 3: ($10, 148pp, 6X9″, Fall 2014, ISBN: 978-1-681140-06-3; Purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon or Kindle): This issue includes nine reviews from the Editor, Anna Faktorovich, of recently released poetry collections, with a special look at the recurring styles and themes and cover design. The essays focus on modern and postmodern cultural artifacts. There are two essays on drama from a well-known film critic, Bert Cardullo. Michael Denison’s essay is on the connections between the postmodern novel, Gravity’s Rainbow, and the ancient Chinese game, Go. Keith Moser finds Foucauldian elements in a 2006 film, Harkis. You’ll also find four short stories and poems from six poets. The artwork in the issue is by Allen Forrest.
Interviews with Geraldine Brooks and Farmers: Volume VII, Issue 1: ($15, 166pp, 7X10″, Spring 2015, 84 photographs, ISBN: 978-1-512068-34-4, Purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Kindle for only $2.99): This issue begins with an interview with the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Geraldine Brooks, who talks about the writing craft, her novels and her life outside of fiction. This feature is followed by four interviews with farmers from the Frankfort, Kentucky region, one of whom, Michael Spencer, is on the Kentucky state Farm Bureau board and another, Richard Jones, runs the regionally well-known Happy Jack’s Pumpkin Farm. The critical essays include one from the editor, Anna Faktorovich, on the Kentucky farm cabin myth, which is best-recognized as the Lincoln cabin myth. She developed this essay as part of her research in the Kentucky Historical Society’s Special Collections, where she did a three-week fellowship this April 2015. There are also essays, short stories and poetry from Bert Cardullo (established film critic and professor), Michael O’Connor (a successful script writer), Louis Gallo (editor and professor), Jim Davis (Harvard master’s candidate), A. Joachim Glage (attorney and Hollywood writer), Scott Gordon (fiction writer and independent filmmaker), Janet Ruth Heller (president of the Michigan College English Association), and Keith Moser (professor, editor and author of multiple titles).