Pushcart Nominations for The Atlas Review!

Our nominations for the 2014 year of Pushcart Nominations are…

John Jodzio, for his story published in issue 3, “Winnipeg”

Wendy Lotterman, for her poem published in issue 3, “These Paris Airfares Won’t Last

Soleil Ho, for her essay published in issue 3, “Race Recorder: August 5, 2013 to October 15, 2013

May-Lan Tan, for her story published in issue 4, “Julia K.”

John Gallaher, for his poem published in issue 4, “They Put TVs in Restaurants to Make Us Feel Bad

Amy Lawless, for her poem published in issue 4, “little cunt”

logoBorderLiteCheck back in later in the week for exclusive features of some of these pieces! Congratulations to all our nominees and best of luck to them in the anthology wilds.

Preorder Issue 4!

Atlas_Review_Issue3_v7_SpreadsIssue 4 is now available for preorder! Preorder means we will ship you an issue for $10 with no shipping costs whatsoever, regardless of where you live (so long as you have a postal address). The list of contributors is might and mightier. Consider these love connections:



Poems by…

Samuel Ace
Amber Atiya
Josh Bettinger
Melissa Broder
Libby Burton
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
Katie Fowley
John Gallaher
Sharif El Gammal-Ortiz
P.J. Horoszko
Cecily Iddings
Purdey Lord Kreiden
Amy Lawless
Paul Legault
Keegan Lester
Jake Levine
Jesse Lichtenstein
Andrew McAlpine
Amanda Montei
Alexis Pope
Vincent Poturica
Emily Present
Sarah V. Schweig
Rachel Springer Dunbar
Lucia Stacey
Bridget Talone
Elizabeth Clark Wessel

Stories by…

Mary Cafferty Lavallee
Lindsay Hunter
T Kira Madden
Anna Marschalk-Burns
Ashley K. Nelson
May-Lan Tan
Zach VandeZande

An essay by Rachel Wilkinson

An interview with Maggie Nelson conducted by Molly Rose Quinn

Visual Arts by…

Jasmine Golestaneh
Gaelen Harlacher
Michelle Macinsky
Peter Oravetz
Lauren Renner

What are you waiting for! And don’t forget to subscribe: one-year subscriptions and two-year subscriptions are available as well!

A Conversation with Sean H. Doyle


If you’ve ever had the luck of meeting Sean H. Doyle, you’ll realize quickly there are still complete human beings in this world, and that Sean is one of them. His essays offer up a darker matrix of his humanity, but a humanity nonetheless, and one that is so importantly his own. “This Clouded Heart,” featured in Issue 3 of The Atlas Reviewdraws unsettling connections between our public and private selves, which, for a drug addict, are quite profound. The personal history of such constant physical and psychological abuse is, for Sean, redeemable only in the messy chunks of telling it. This is a writing that writhes under our skins unadorned, glistening only from the dirty punk rock oils of his roots. But it is a story not without its beauty. We exist with this story on a shore, looming through binoculars at the terror of waters we’ve managed to escape by some hairs. But this isn’t a story about survival so much as the difficult addled details of addiction, sex, and grief. This isn’t about safety but the precipice of harm always about to happen. And yet, it is exactly this violent dichotomy that drives Sean, and drives the essay. As second-person narration is wont, the beauty locates itself just beyond the immediate, making Sean the pilot, copilot, and passenger on-board a plane always moving. Read the excerpt, and you’ll know what I mean. Buy the issue and continue to read the story, and you’ll really get it.


Natalie Eilbert: Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot of what it means to write the personal, especially where family is involved. It’s nearly crippling to consider the level of exposure involved depending on the subject matter. “This Clouded Heart” is a deeply personal essay, one that punctures and gouges the “I” and its history. When you set out to write this story, did you have any reservations when it came to the details? Were there aspects to the story you felt you could never include?

Sean Doyle: I used to spend a lot of time worrying about how the things I write might impact other people. I realized, that for me, and for my writing, this was a hinderance. I think we all have filters we use in our day-to-day dealing with people–most folks don’t talk to the mailman about their fantasies, most folks don’t tell the kid who works the overnight shift at the 7-Eleven about their toe fungus–and those very same filters sometimes get in the way of communicating through writing. I have finally, after years and years of struggling, done the best that I can to remove those filters. So, I don’t really have reservations anymore. I lived it, I own what I’ve done, and I can write about it. I also think it’s important when people write nonfiction to remember that just because the way they perceived a thing that happened, doesn’t mean that is how the other people involved in that happening remember it.

As far as aspects of the story that I may or may not be able to include goes, I’m the kind of person who feels that the things that make us the most uncomfortable are the things we can learn the most from. If what I am writing makes me feel exposed or anxious, it’s something I definitely need to explore.

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A Conversation with Wendy Lotterman

Wendy Lotterman

Wendy Lotterman’s two poems, “These Paris Airfares Won’t Last” and “Street View” are featured in Issue 3 of The Atlas Review, which you can order here. Wendy’s poems have the kind of dense investigation of era not typically found in contemporary poetry—and whether much of typical contemporary poetry lies in its enthusiasm to sit digestively spaced on the pages of literary journals or if it’s a matter of vision and innovation, this still leaves Wendy’s work as a towering achievement of 21st-century lyricism. These are poems which challenge and embrace status quo simultaneously, namedrop with utmost purpose of identity, and let the pocks and obsessions of the personal remain in full. In our conversation, Wendy talks about negotiating information on private and visible planes in her work, her relationship between the internet and her influences, and clarifies certain references made in both featured poems. We’re happy to feature both poems online because we want the world to gain the fuller scope of Wendy’s brilliance. Enjoy!


Natalie Eilbert: Let’s talk about “These Paris Airfares Won’t Last,” which appears in the third issue of The Atlas Review. This is a fairly long poem that gets its lift from the memories and present mobility of the “I,” and does so in innovative, sprawling ways. How did you conceive of this poem? How did it evolve as you continued to add to it?

Wendy Lotterman: Trip Advisor sends me new emails every day with the subject line “These Paris airfares won’t be around for long.” It’s from an alert that I created in my junior year of college when I was in love with Sylvain, who lived in France. I was so claustrophobic at college, so I’d alternate between Skyping and searching for flights. It’s funny to still receive these emails, both because the threat is obviously emptythese Paris airfares do last, as 3 years later I’m still alerted every dayand because I never deleted the alert. There was a time when I really felt the threat of prices rising, which was symptomatic of a desire I can no longer fully relate to. But I’m reluctant to admit it’s expired, so I haven’t unsubscribed. 

The rest sort of follows from therecoveting my own outdated information. When I was a kid I had bad asthma and eczema and allergies, a trifecta of weak defenses. These things are pretty minor to begin with, and have lessened with age, but even though the data is outdated, frailty remains my brand.

The fantasy of illness is contrasted with Mahbod’s brain tumor. I wanted to cast myself in the shade of that giant. Mahbod went really public with the tumor, but also did a lot to make sure I didn’t find out, so the intimacy native to sharing information was displaced onto the act of keeping it a secret. This sort of happens when publicity becomes the default. Actually most of the poem is about publicity, I think. In start-ups there is a goal of going public at which point anyone can buy a share, but seeing that goal appropriated by a person is totally disorienting, especially inasmuch as friends & lovers are repositioned as fansas one of many. That said, self-identification as a fan could also cause the projection of fame.

Maybe I’m also jealous of Mahbod’s (comfort with) visibility. Even though everyone talks about how democratic the Internet is, that’s not how it feelsthat’s what I mean when I say “fame / is positively correlated with a star’s ability to surf safely above crowds, / braced by innumerable hands that know you.” I feel like I’m always about to regret my attempts to advance from crowd to stage, and even more so my attempts to jump back into the crowd and be safely braced. This is so exceptionally minor, but a good example: Andrew just sent out this mass-email about upcoming events, but forgot to bcc. He said don’t reply all, but a couple people did in jest. I did, too, just before we were busted for being a nuisance. My immediate reaction was just like, “shit, that wasn’t my crowd to jump in.” Or, more accurately, I felt like a fan who ran on stage.

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