Hispanic Heritage Month in Aquifer

This fall, The Florida Review and Aquifer: TFR Online celebrate Latinx / Latina / Latino writers. Starting September 15, and running through October 15, we will be featuring numerous Latinx authors in Aquifer, and later this fall we will include a special section in 42.2 of the print Florida Review as well.

Starting with issue 40.2, we have focused a special section of each fall print Florida Review on an issue of social relevance. After the Pulse tragedy in 2016, many literary magazines and other media outlets focused attention on the issue, and we felt that we needed to offer a closer-to-home perspective to that national dialog. We featured six pieces of writing dedicated to the impact of the event.

After that special feature, we had the opportunity to interview distinguished author Ana Castillo about her book Black Dove, a memoir partly about her son being incarcerated for theft. Between Castillo’s work, a plenitude of submissions from prisoners and former prisoners across the country, and submissions by family and friends of prisoners, a themed section for Fall 2017 (41.2) emerged. The number of people being incarcerated in the US is an important social issue, and we were able to highlight it in seven writers’ moving literary responses.

This year, in Aquifer‘s second year, we decided to connect online and print themes and to continue to raise awareness of social issues. At The Florida Review and Aquifer, we are acutely aware of the VIDA count, which documents discrimination against women in the publishing world and sometimes also focuses on writers of color. At The Florida Review and Aquifer, we are dedicated to being part of the solution to gender and racial inequity.

Nicole Oquendo, special Latinx feature editor, notes, “As editors, we have a responsibility to make time to highlight a diverse range of voices.” As our former creative nonfiction editor, Nicole agreed to come back and help put together this celebration of Latinx authors, especially early and mid-career writers who deserve more recognition.

“There is so much exciting new work going on, and Latinx writers are adding to both the Florida and the national literary scene,” comments editor-in-chief Lisa Roney.

This is the fiftieth anniversary of Hispanic Heritage Month, and we are thrilled that this will be our first Aquifer special feature. Between the Aquifer feature this month and the authors included in 42.2 later this fall, we will have the privilege of sharing the work of more than forty Latinx / Latina/ Latino writers and several artists.

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New Website Live!

Welcome to the new Florida Review website, also home to the brand new Aquifer: The Florida Review OnlineWith Aquifer, we introduce weekly literary features (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and graphic narrative), as well as interviews, book reviews, and digital stories. These will be available free online, and later this year we will open up submissions to these new online categories. We hope to welcome more readers to the Florida Review family and create an even stronger sense of community around the great work we publish and the authors and artists we feature.

This moment has been a long time in the making, and we have many steps to go before the website is perfect. In addition, we have many more possible features in the works that we hope to add over the next year to make Aquifer: The Florida Review Online a fully multi-media arts and letters site. We are truly a work in progress, and we hope you will both forgive us and inform us (at flreview@ucf.edu) if you notice any problems.

In the meantime, we hope you will begin to enjoy the fabulous work that we will be adding on a weekly basis. We start off our literary features with two love poems by Major and Didi Jackson–to both celebrate the season of love and to focus us all on the nature of hopes and dreams. In addition, we have an online interview with Julie Marie Wade, whose poem “Katabasis” is featured in our current issue (40.2) of The Florida Review in print. Last but not least, we start off with two book reviews, Dana Roeser’s on Elizabeth Powell’s Willie Loman’s Restless Daughter and James Scruton on Kim Addonizio’s Mortal Flesh and Bukowski in a Sundress. Enjoy!

We have more terrific work coming! Check back regularly!

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