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Upper New Review(er)s

The Upper New Review(er) Team is growing!

We have been absolutely amazed with how quickly The Upper New Review Team is growing.  We started taking applications for Reviewers in late February, and the team has already grown to over two dozen folks!

Where Are The Members Of The Review Team?

We’re excited that many of the reviewers live right here in the Upper New River Basin, but we’ve also been impressed by the response we’ve received from across the United States!  We’ve got reviewers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina (outside of the Upper New River Basin), Ohio, and Tennessee.

Why Do They Want To Review?

We have kept the application process short and sweet.  As part of this process, we’ve asked every potential member of the Upper New Review Team the following question: “Why are you interested in the Upper New Review?”

We’ve been quite pleased with the range of heartfelt responses to the question from both veteran reviewers and novices looking to get their start in the process.  (For now, we’ve decided to let our review team remain anonymous.)

Here are some highlights from their responses:

“I am fortunate to live on the north fork of the New River in Ashe County.  I enjoy seeing artwork of the New and learning new things about our river.  I feel that this is a much needed publication and would look forward to being a part of this.”

“I am a saunterer and a forager and a mycophile. I have a wild curiosity about most everything that crosses my senses….I enjoy reading and analyzing other people’s works. I also enjoy peeping into the perspectives of those who see the world I love differently from me. I also like the hybrid and eclectic nature of this endeavor.

“I love all kinds of literature and I have been especially loving working on ecofeminism within my literature and looking at nature in literature. I also have been looking to be more sustainable in everyday life and I feel that this journal would be a perfect fit for me to continue to expand my work in the literary world and be more sustainable myself.

“I am interested in the Upper New Review’s unique and focused perspective, particularly in its mission of embodying reciprocal reasoning. A magazine that sets out to understand human relationships not just between two humans, but also the environment they interact in, is something I find deeply fascinating and would like to be involved in the process of creating.”“In both what I write and read, I love experimentation and exploration, especially structurally. It’s incredible how many different kinds of submissions the Upper New Review accepts. I would be thrilled to be a part of curating a selection of fresh and engaging work that both expresses the human experience and pushes the boundaries of how writing, art, sound, and movement can engage with one another to create something beautiful and interesting. I also appreciate your emphasis on sustainability and being stewards of the earth, both in the content you encourage and in practices as an organization.”

I also appreciate your emphasis on sustainability and being stewards of the earth, both in the content you encourage and in practices as an organization.”

An Upper New Reviewer

“Though I am not a resident of the Upper New River Basin, I like the Upper New Review’s mission and vision. I also think it is unique and interesting that a person can pitch their concept. I have submitted to plenty of publications, but I have never seen where someone can do that. Furthermore, I like that the option to “pay it forward” exists to help those in need. That is an option I have not seen presented by many other publications. I have seen where fees can be waived for certain demographics, but a pay it forward option is much rarer. I also think the foundations and prompts section of the site is well put together. Additionally, I just love the amount of dedication to the Upper New River Basin. Going through the website prompted me to do further reading on my own about the area.

Reviewers From Connecticut

“The Upper New Review was recommended to me by my senior advisor at my university, as the Review’s mission embodies the visions I have for my own creative work. This Review seems to have a nuanced understanding of the interconnectedness between communities, discourse, nature, and human experiences. I read Anne Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” during the pandemic and have since been curious about exploring the work of writers from various southern river basins that hold unique takes on the grand nonchalance of the natural world and the people who live within.”

Here’s more about the book, which we’ve added to our personal reading list:

“Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a 1974 nonfiction narrative book by American author Annie Dillard. Told from a first-person point of view, the book details Dillard’s explorations near her home, and various contemplations on nature and life. The title refers to Tinker Creek, which is outside Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Dillard began Pilgrim in the spring of 1973, using her personal journals as inspiration. Separated into four sections that signify each of the seasons, the narrative takes place over the period of one year.”

From the Wikipedia entry for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

“I care a lot about environmental/place-based literature and am interested in the expansive conversation that Upper New Review is looking to facilitate. I’m drawn to traditional literary forms: poetry…fiction, and nonfiction, as well as more experimental/emerging modes of digital expression.”

A Reviewer From New York

“I loved reading such a wide array of work at The Pinch and would love to again at Upper New Review.  Upper New Review believes in the interconnectivity of everything… The watershed, to the creatures who live near it, the boundaries of state lines that are entirely imaginary, to who bears responsibility to who should steward the earth. Ecological literacy is so crucial – I am from Mississippi and am moved by the work Upper New Review is rooted in. Nothing is more important to me than community and place, both of which Upper New Review has stakes in.

Nothing is more important to me than community and place, both of which Upper New Review has stakes in.

An Upper New Reviewer

A Reviewer From Tennessee

“Since moving to Nashville two years ago, I have become increasingly engrossed in Southern culture. Mostly via music (being in Nashville), but I also crave diving deeper into Southern literature. As Upper New Review hails from North Carolina, I am most interested in learning more about your place-based writing. I am also especially interested in your vision of critical thinking and ecological literacy (I work at a creative reuse center). I deeply appreciate the work you have put into your ‘Foundations’ and how they are rooted within Critical Theories. Within your created space, I believe I have things to offer and things to learn.”

Reviewers From California

“I’m very intrigued by the focus on systems. My personal, political commitments are—as much as possible—to engage in critical self-awareness around the ways in which consumption and capitalism inflect my language, thinking, and life, even while maintaining a healthy recognition that few of us can entirely escape the practical world we must live and work in. The notion of multiple systems also reminds me a little of Foucault’s concept of discursive formations. In general, I am always compelled by writing and thinking that seeks the complex and multi-layered, and which reveals to readers the ways in which their own lives are shaped by unconscious assumptions and ideologies embedded within the fabric of society.

“Reviewing for a literary magazine is the next step in my journey in the literary world…I want to witness the creativity of poets and authors around the nation just like I witness and nurture the creativity of my students in Southern California every day.  An added plus of this particular journal is the focus on sustainability. As an avid hiker and camper, I highly value nature. So, a journal that wishes to care for our world is a journal I wish to support.”

A journal that wishes to care for our world is a journal I wish to support.

An Upper New Reviewer

“As cliche as it may sound, I really believe that words hold enormous potential to make a difference in people’s lives; whether it is action campaigns, policy, or even just a letter from someone you haven’t seen in a while, it all starts with something being written down. I really appreciate the Upper New Review’s transparency in where it wants to go, and how the steps in getting there may change along the way. Having been an environmental studies major, I also really love the emphasis on ecological wellbeing and how that interacts with human populations.

A Reviewer From New Jersey

“For myself, reviewing allows me to understand how other people process and create art, which in turn allows me to develop my own artistic process. More than that though, is not only being able to understand others and their art as well, but to provide constructive feedback in a way that can enhance their work as well.

As someone who is inspired to implement where I grew up in my own writing, I have always felt drawn to community-oriented works. I also find that the more specific and localized a work of art regarding a certain place is, the more nuance you can glean from it. So when researching the mission of the Upper New Review, I found myself very interested. While I did grow up in the North, I have always loved narratives set in the south and Appalachian areas (“belonging: a culture of place” by bell hooks being a favorite of mine). I have also found areas like that to be woefully ignored and underused in artistic settings as well. In addition, I also like the breadth of work that can also be submitted to Upper New Review as well, from art and writing, to data and performance art. I have always loved all kinds of art, and have never liked being boxed into one category, so to see that the Upper New Review wants a wide variety of work submitted makes me excited to get involved as well.”

A Reviewer From New Mexico

“Working for a literary magazine is one of the more engaging and interesting environments I can imagine. The atmosphere of collaborating with other writers, editors, and artists, coupled with the joy of being responsible for and putting out publications, giving both new and veteran writers a chance to show the world their hard work. The remote aspect is also appealing, given that I currently reside in New Mexico.”

A Reviewer From Colorado

“I really think the future of publishing lies in small, regionally-focused publications (and presses!) and so I’m interested in reaching out to the people doing that work. Getting involved at the ground level with a new literary magazine also sounds like a great learning experience.”

A Reviewer From Idaho

“I think that magazines with a focus are always interesting, and I think it is so valuable to have a publication that focuses on its local community and environment, and which collects various points of view on a common theme. I also think UNR is especially exciting because it has such a wide scope as far as medium, including things like performance and audio.

Want to Review? We Are Still Expanding!

We’re always looking for more reviewers to join the Upper New Review Team.  As you can see, you can live anywhere in North America, (or anywhere in the world, really).

If you’re interested in reviewing—especially reviewing Interactive Media, Recording Arts, Research Narratives, and Data Visualizations—please do fill out the application form at your earliest convenience.

By The Upper New Review

The Upper New Review is an environmental literary arts magazine based in the Upper New River basin, which intersects the states of North Carolina and Virginia in the United States of America in present-day North America. We are seeking out place-based creative works from all over the globe.