My first major was fine art. Then I was a graphic design major until I found out I had no skill for drawing on my computer and discovered I liked writing more. Now, as a creative writing major, I've found a way to bring my interest in various artistic media together!  In this recurring post, I’m selecting some of the best literary journal covers over the past few years and posting them here with some of the editors’ comments, and my reasons for choosing them.

Welcome to the first!

I started interning here at HFR a couple weeks ago, almost immediately after the spring semester ended. I'm no stranger to the Piper Center (HFR's headquarters), but that interval between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of summer was different.  It was empty.  It was quiet, and I had the entire back room (where all the literary journals are) to myself. I don’t remember what I was supposed to be doing, but whatever it was led me to the shelf marked “New Literary Journals.”

I perused.

I know a person isn’t supposed to pick a book by it’s cover. It’s one of those morals that’s embedded into a person’s head since childhood, and is applied to everything from food to girls to…books. But a nice cover goes a long way. There was one particular cover that caught my eye as I looked over the journals on my first day. It’s from Ninth Letter Vol.8 Num. 2, and it’s awesome.

It’s hard to say what caught my attention first, the Dwight hair, the crooked smile, or the glitter. Okay, it was the glitter.

Last semester (like every semester) was a tough one.  By the time it was over I felt overstretched, cracked, and thin, that I thought I might break.  Couple that with my zero dollar income, and the rising stack of bills, and my twitches and nervous ticks begin to make sense. I was beat when I came across this journal.  As I pulled it out of the bookshelf I did a double take, then laughed and laughed and laughed.  It wasn't what I expected.  So, I am giving this the "Made My Day" award.

Jodee Stanley of Ninth Letter told me that this cover was chosen to contrast some of the dark and tense themes inside (there are some amazing stories and poems in here, and yes, they are dark). It works.

It is also interesting to note that this photo is not Photoshopped. It was the product of a photography class. All that glitter is real, and apparently it was everywhere. I bet that guy is still finding glitter on himself, but he should know it was worth it.