Ninth Letter became one of my favorite magazines the very day of its birth back in 2004. They're one of a couple of new magazines that are way out on the edge in terms of design, and the aesthetic results are consistently extraordinary. They're also one of only a few magazines that truly means it when they say that their tastes are formally eclectic: you'll find hardcore realism sitting snug in the love seat with razor-edge experiments. I immediately started submitting to them, was lucky to hit with "Fontanel" in Volume 1, Number 4, and now have a new piece called "Nipparpoq" out in the latest issue: Volume 3, Number 2. Not just me there, either: Rachel Cantor, Oscar Hijuelos, Joe Meno and the sublime (and often very funny) Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti landed fiction, Michael Martone and David Evanier have nonfiction, and Louise Erdrich, Candace Black and Chris Dombrowski have poetry, all just for you.

January 25, 2007, 12:14 p.m.Categories: Art, Litmags, Short Stories

Under the abalone.

The trip that my family and I took to Xian back in our first year in China gave me all kinds of good juju. The latest bit of it to find a home is called "Under the Abalone," which can be read in its entirety here in Issue 2 of Salt Flats Annual. It's a great issue, focusing on place, with fiction by Girija Tropp, and nonfiction by Jim Ruland, Jai Clare, Pia Ehrhardt, Carol Novack, and longtime hero of mine Melanie Rae Thon.

January 16, 2007, 12:10 p.m.Categories: China, History, Litmags, Nonfiction, Travel