New Submissions Deadline for NōD 28!

Hello friends! We hope you’re having a safe and restful holiday season. We come bearing a gift of good news: our submissions period for NōD 28 is reopening until the end of January! Check out our submission guidelines, then send us your best poetry, prose, visual art, and everything in between. Happy creating!

NōD 27 Launch is this Saturday!!

We’re beyond thrilled that our 27th issue is launching this Saturday, July 3rd! The event is online on Zoom, and we’d love for you to be there – you can RSVP via this google form. We also encourage you to connect with us on Instagram – I will confess that our updates are more regular there, haha. We’re incredibly proud of all the wonderful poetry, prose, and visual art in this new issue, and we can’t wait for it to be out in the world!

David A. Romero’s “My Name Is Romero”: A Review

Too often poetry can seem an inaccessible medium for the casual reader. Within the layers of poetry, a person unfamiliar with the style could feel alienated, even belittled by the writer. My Name Is Romero avoids this trap, providing an accessible experience with conversational, fast-paced, and intimate lines reminiscent of spoken word poetry. If not for the ink on the page, a reader could forget they are reading poetry and not listening to a friend speak of their experiences as a Mexican-American. The movement of the poetry tears down barriers between the colloquial and the literary. Speaking in a deeply authentic mode, the poems work best as an immersion into history and family.

My Name Is Romero opens with self-exploration and progresses into a dance between culture and language, the self and history. Poems flank each other: one spitting and unflinching in anger and emotion surrounding systemic racism, the other about burritos. This juxtaposition heightens both poems to incredible intensity. The most memorable poems employ longer lines, allow prolonged metaphor, and weave English and Spanish together for sonic and thematic effect. The largest criticism is not the content, as the over arching story is both vibrant and engaging, but of some stylistic features. Where the poems excel are in their unhurried examination of personal identity through metaphor, especially interweaving imagery of cultural foods while setting the dueling languages of English and Spanish free to play. However, the book leaves these poignant methods to address Donald Trump, racism, and other complex topics head-on, which minimizes the poetic attributes of those specific pieces. Conversely, this potentially contributes to the book’s accessibility for new readers, as these poems are light in poetic device and so are more immediately understood. The experience is well suited to a casual reader, or a person seeking to educate themselves on the complexities of identity in the United States. This holds especially true with the conversational tone held throughout, as this book serves to engage and befriend the reader, while educating on broad historical and personal topics.

There is much to enjoy in My Name Is Romero. The broader story spits vibrant anger as it exposes systemic, historical, and interpersonal racism. Yet, it speaks of love, hardship, all with a spark of humour. The final poems strike an emotional chord, a conclusion to a story between friends. The intimacy and readability of Romero’s book remains a valuable expansion of Latinx art and history.

Review by Kat Heger

David A. Romero’s “My Name is Romero” is available from FlowerSong Press.

NōD 26 Launch Date Announced!

We are thrilled to be able to say that NōD Magazine’s 26th issue will be launched on January 9th, 2021. Given the very much ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the launch event for this issue will be taking place online. More details will be available shortly, and you can follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay fully up to date. We couldn’t be more excited to share the amazing contents of this issue with you – save the date, and we’re looking forward!

An Update Re: Issue 26

Hey all! We just wanted to give you an update as far as the status of our upcoming 26th issue, within the context of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that this update is incredibly belated at this point, and we apologize sincerely – like everyone else, we have been collectively and individually beset by all manner of chaos during these times, but we still wish that we had been far more prompt in addressing the status of the journal. We want to assure you that NōD 26 is still going ahead, and that we are incredibly excited for you to see all the wonderful things the issue contains. This being said, due to a variety of logistical issues arising from the pandemic (and, notably, the subsequent closure of the University of Calgary campus), the launch of NōD 26 will be delayed until the fall. We will be making a concrete decision closer to that time (fully in line with all health rules and precautions) as to whether a physical launch is feasible, or whether we will need to take alternate measures. We will be sending emails to all contributors advising them of these changes in the very near future. We thank you very sincerely for your patience and understanding, and we hope that you’re as excited as we are to see this wonderful new issue of NōD out in the world. We’re wishing you the best for health and safety!

– The NōD Editorial Team

Andrew Brenza’s “Automatic Souls”: a review

In the afterword to Automatic Souls, Andrew Brenza describes the structure of his work as imparting “the delusion of meaning” on the reader. Consisting of enthralling typographic glyphs paired on the page with sparse, impactful text, the experience of reading/viewing this work is defined precisely by that nebulous thing we call “meaning”. To what extent are the images and text related to one another? Should one allow the text to create any kind of linear, narrative effect on the experience? This work is highly interpretable, and it is in that fact that one can find its efficacy.

Automatic Souls begins with a kind of formality and elegance: defined, circumscribed images with text placed neatly below. Some of the book’s greatest moments (in my view) come from these situations – sparse, emotionally resonant textual lines (“the fact of body / not enough light”) are paired (?) with images which both defy and illuminate meaning. As the work progresses, the clear relationship between image and text is revealed to be, if not artificial, then at the very least highly malleable – by the end of the final section, images of typographic humanoids fly chaotically across the pages, with the text fitting in wherever it can find some room. As such, the meaning breaks down, finds its limit, and is exposed (as Brenza says) as “delusion”.

Creating work which plays with the ambiguous nature of knowledge and meaning can certainly be a difficult needle to thread. Too often one descends into pointless nihilism, or obscurity for its own sake. This is not the case with Brenza’s Automatic Souls – not only is there an earnest vitality to this work’s exploration of meaning, but there is a visceral beauty as well. It is a highly noteworthy book, and for all of those who enjoy true experimentation, it comes highly recommended.

– Ethan Vilu

Andrew Brenza’s “Automatic Souls” is available in an edition of 99 from Timglaset Editions.