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(Garbanzo Literary Journal–and YES, they’ve published me, but I’m not listing each publication of mine here–I mention Garbanzo for two reasons: their enthusiasm in the process of finding works by authors is admirable and contagious, as well as their feedback throughout the stages of getting their selected authors published. The second reason is I feel writers beginning to publish would be spoiled to have a team like Garbanzo’s as a publisher, and it would be an important experience to pass on to others.)

-- Damon Marbut (published in volume one)

Learn more about Damon's writing at


Got my copy in the mail today, and truly this is maybe the most spectacular creation I have ever been mailed with my work in it.  This includes the galleys I just got sent for my first collection...

You folks ever need anything from me, don't hesitate to ask.

Darren C. Demaree (published in book two)

Learn more about Darren’s writing at:


Dr. Suanna Haston Davis, professor extraordinaire of the art of composition, life-long writer, voracious reader, and word hoarder....

Art. The journal is art. The writing is art. The process for publication is also art.

Usually the process is: Call, submit, wait-wait-wait, hear--rejection (form letter) or acceptance.

For Garbanzo, it was: Call, submit, enthusiastic response to the submissions, peek previews on the web for the paper, the images, the creation of the journals. Then acceptance--with paeans of praise, and/or rejection--but with the request to retain the works for later consideration. After the acceptance, a request for unique biography, crafted just for the journal (and not necessarily relevant to my actual life as I am living it, but a peek into my psyche, based on the compilation). Continued enthusiasm and updates. Finally, the finished product, an original (They should be signed and numbered!), mailed with a surprise addition and a--by now unsurprising--enthusiastic support for the creativity of the writer whose work has been produced in the journal.

-- Suanna had two poems published in Garbanzo (volume one)


For me, the first issue of Garbanzo will always coincide with the wedding of my best friend. He was married in Atlanta, Georgia and I had the honor of being his best man. The wedding party spent three days at a house in the suburbs of Atlanta and each night we gathered to enjoy Yuengling lager and pipe tobacco on the porch beneath the stars. One night, merry of heart, I told the group how happy I was to have my work accepted into the first issue of Garbanzo.

The journal (mind you, this is before I saw the copy that surpassed all of my expectations) I said, was different than other experiences I had had in publishing. The editors, Marc and Ava, provided an atmosphere of home for their contributors and gave so freely of their time in updating us on its progress. I am proud of the publications I have gained admission to, but with Garbanzo, I truly feel like part of the family. If that's not a image for a wedding I don't know what is.

Thanks again,

Jody J. Sperling (book one storyteller)


Dear Mr. and Mrs Garbanzo, I received my lovely books and must tell you what treasures they are. Love the covers, papers inside, the contents, the illustrations ... and the beans and seeds, too. Kudos! Thanks a' plenty.

    -- Susan Dale (published in book two)


How much fun is it to write for a group that has obvious energy and empathy?  Not to mention a group that mails contributors' copies on time exactly as was promised?

Garbanzo reminds us that there is pride in good work, and that some things cannot be bought but are more valuable for being earned.  And some earned things are unexpected and mysterious.  And some need soaking and cooking.

I have opened the wonderful box.  I have fondled the hefty first issue.  I will soon open it to be startled and excited and probably envious of the talents of other writers.  Sounds like more fun. 

-- Nancy Scott (published in volume one)


Review by Sean Stewart

Garbanzo is out to break some rules. I find this refreshing in the relatively staid world of literary magazines. Perhaps it’s my background in zine publishing that makes me sympathetic to those willing to buck the trends. First of all, this inaugural issue comes handsomely clothed in a silkscreened dust jacket. How many lit mags have you seen lately with a dust jacket, silkscreened or not? That’s what I thought. Garbanzo is also bound with fancy rivets and includes an attached ribbon bookmark (a thoughtful and handy feature). On the inside there are a few fold-out pages, and even some handwritten poems that nicely break up the otherwise printed text. So, this is a nice-looking publication, a labor of love. I can’t help wondering how long the editors will be able to maintain this level of quality for their limited run print editions (they also publish a digital version), but I will suspend my doubts for now.

Another way in which Garbanzo sets itself apart from the rabble is with a sharp focus on the writing, not the writers. It accomplishes this in a couple of ways. First, titles and bylines appear at the end of each piece, so unless you peek ahead you don’t know who wrote it (there is also a table of contents, but it’s buried in the back of the journal). Second, the bios are unconventional to say the least, and while they may tell you something about the writers, it won’t be the usual stuff, e.g. no previous publications or awards.

The content of this first issue is divided into sections: arrival, soak, rinse, departure, and coda. Parts of it read like a dreamlike sequence, where it almost seems as if the writers are all continuing a single story by one narrator. I noticed that many of the pieces (poetry, fiction, and nonfiction alike) were written in first person singular. I’m not sure if that was a conscious choice on the part of the editors, but it contributed to the commonality between pieces that I felt as I read. I confess that the issue started out a little slow for me, but I warmed up to it quickly. Some of the earlier pieces were a little too out there for my taste. However, there is an eclectic mix to satisfy a range of readers, from traditional realist fiction to less classifiable chunks of prose.

In “Iowa,” we read Danielle Kral’s gripping tale of an odd marriage gone awry and the devastating effects on the two daughters who sprang from it. Greg Miraglia’s “Searching” gives us the words of a despondent narrator at sea: “I am sailing and searching the seas. The wind wails and the waves rock up and down, back and forth. I am looking for land, but each bunch of dirt brings disappointment. I like land.” Steven Ray Smith’s cryptic poem “Into the Loblollies” also caught my attention:

When you said a good word about me

I was famous on the drive northward.

But once into the loblollies,

spent fuel and groggy,

my evolution from failure regressed

Alana Eisenbarth’s haunting “The Sound of Resilience” is one of the fold-out poems: “Angel of the silo / a grey plea in winter / finite beauty // clutching axe and spade.”

There are other fine pieces of writing in Garbanzo. Many of them are short, only a couple of pages or so, making it simple to pick up the journal and read through just a few at a time. The print is a bit small (minor gripe), but that did afford the editors the chance to pack an overflowing cornucopia of literary goodness into a still compact publication. I’ll be looking out for a second issue.