NDQ 86.3/4 by the Numbers

When every issue of NDQ is sent to the publishers, I do some basic numbers work just to try to summarize the issue a bit. It’s probably best if you don’t check my maths too carefully, but based on my casual reckoning, NDQ 86.3/4 will feature 5 essays, 6 stories, 14 photographs, and 132 poems. I posted the table of contents last week (and over the next couple of months we’ll continue to post some content from the issue here. What we’d really like you to do, however, is to subscribe!

Since we know something about our contributors, it is possible to crunch the numbers and try to get a different view of our next issue. (For some context on this kind of thing is useful, I’ve written a little essay here). A quick (and undoubtedly fuzzy) survey of first names (and bios) has produced  contributors are 57% men and 43% women, but the contributions themselves are split 51% by men and 49% by women.

In terms of regional distribution of our authors 14% of our contributors were from New York, around 10% are international, and Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and California are represented by around 5% each. 4 contributors are from North Dakota and Texas. Over all, we have 31 different states and provinces represented. 

To put those numbers in context, I started to look back at the submissions that we have received over the last year or so. Our data isn’t perfect, because in some cases our editors keep their submittable inbox clean and periodically delete reviewed content that’s either been published or rejected. That being said, we still have almost 2000 submissions to consider (around 1100 fiction submissions, 400 poetry submissions, and 200 non fiction submissions). 

These submissions reveal that far more submissions come from men than women. For fiction the spit is 68% to 27% (and some that I could not determine), for poetry it is almost identical: 67% to 28%, and non fiction is 58% to 37%. To be clear, I recognize that gender (and more specifically, the gender of names) is not the only or even necessarily the best metric to understand our submitters, but the gender imbalance was a bit striking.

As far are regional numbers go, New York and California represent the most common place of origin in the U.S. for all three genres (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry). The second most common place of origin for poetry, however, is outside North America; this is the third most common place of origin for non-fiction. Fiction contributions are far less likely to come from outside of North America. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are a common homes for many contributors in in non-fiction and fiction. For poetry, we appear to be a popular destination for poets in Alabama. We attract a substantial number of fiction submissions from Illinois and non-fiction submissions from Virginia. North Dakota poets are better represented than fiction or non-fiction authors. Otherwise, our submissions come from across the U.S. and Canada.  

It goes without saying that these numbers do not reflect the diverse identities of our submitters and contributors and gender and place of residence may not even be the most important ways to understand who our authors really are. Race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and a range of other identities based on backgrounds, experiences, and human complexity makes us who we are. At its best, the poems, stories, and essays in NDQ reflect this complex diversity, and we recognize that our submitters, contributors, subscribers, and editors do as well. Looking at the numbers, however, is a useful tip of the iceberg.    

Issue 86.3/4 Table of Contents

Many readers of this blog know … or at least suspect … that I have a side hustle as editor of the century-old literary magazine, North Dakota Quarterly. It’s not a great hustle, by the way, in that it doesn’t pay me anything, but it’s increasingly become something that I enjoy almost as much as writing this blog.

This week issue NDQ 86.3/4 went off to our publishing partners at the University of Nebraska Press. We’re pretty proud of this issue and excited to get it into the hands of our readers. 

Look for this issue to appear in mid to late November. As a bit of a tease, find the table of contents below, and, if it looks cool to you, consider sharing this on social media or at least telling your friends, partners, colleagues, and random strangers. It goes without saying that NDQ relies on our outstanding contributors, subscribers, and, of course, editors, to thrive.

If you write, please consider submitting to NDQ, if you read, consider subscribing or downloading volume 85 for free.  If you just want to know what’s up, then check out our blog with lots of cool content here.

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Table of Contents

Poetry Editor’s Note
Paul Worley

Seeking Beatrice
Ryan Stander

Therese and Isabelle
Rock Isle at Low Tide
Patrick Meighan

Flower of Stone
Elina Petrova

Wild Cat
Night Candles
Scott T. Hutchison

I Was Walking
Waking to Winter
Becky Kennedy

The rain
Marcus Amaker

Matthew J. Spireng

John Talbird

Mark Parsons

Hometown Visitor
Remembering My Children
David R. Solheim

American Bounty
The wolves have done their worst
John Sibley Williams

How We’ll Walk
Kevin Rabas

Waking in the city
Ira Rosenstein

The Anna Nicole Smith Poem
When Plato Shows Me the Sun
Danielle Nicole Byington

Harper and Marisol
Megan Howell

After the National People’s Congress Approved the Constitution Amendments, Which Removes Presidential Term Limits and Allows Xi to Rule China Forever
Kuo Zhang

A Drone Is Nothing Like the Sun
Jeanette Beebe

“Who Am I That I Am Not on Trial or in Prison?”
Ace Boggess

Dorothy at Fifty
Joel Allegretti

From Recent History
David Dephy

Nine Months After the Burning of Club Boccaccio
McAllen, Texas (1979)
Marlene Galván

Comfort Food
Victoria Bañales

Amalia Dillin

Today at the thrift store
Bush League in Youth Soccer
Kevin J. McDaniel

Jorgia Wants a Chapter
Storey Clayton

The Other Sister
Harry Newman

This Goes On
The Bowerbird
Angie Mason

Picture-Happy Mind
Peter Specker

Robin Gow

Dead Deer
Mattias Carosella

Not a Love Song
Donna Pucciani

Midnight Navidad
Lorraine Caputo

Heat Waves in the Ice Age
Wind Power
Robert S. King

Heat Wave with Sunflowers
Michael Rogner

Somnabulant Nation
Five and Infinite
Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Scientific Methods
James Sallis

To Call Your Own
The Cancer, Mija, is a Revenge on the Body
Spanish Lessons/ My Tongue Does Not Form the Shape of My Mother’s Tongue
Christine Amezquita

Courageous Living
Ella Alkiewicz

Baby Teeth
M. M. Adjarian

Stress Test
Gaby Bedetti

Corbett Buchly

Jodie Mortag

Cycle Unbroken
Anna Whiteside

A Week of Zen
Wendy Wisner

Child Who Won’t Sleep
Where There Is No Darkness
The Voice of Blood
Catherine Carter

A Poem to the Killing Virgin
Aaron Wallace

There is no beyond
This poem is not
Here is the watery grave
Peter Grandbois

Espejo de agua/ Mirror of Water
Palpitante semilla/ Pulsating Seed
Xánath Caraza (translated by Sandra Kingery)

When the Water Recedes
Bonnie Larson Staiger

Byron elégeti Shelley tetemét a tengerparton/Byron Burns Shelley’s Corpse on the Shore
Gábor Lanckor (translated by Gabor G Gyukics)

Collection: Yala (Land)
For my people
Nuestras Abuelas
Nii (Hermano Luna)
Sue Haglund

Nate Preus

choose not
Ignacio Carvajal

Divide the Days
John Leonard

Gale Acuff

Felix Culpa
Virginia Wiles

Saving Eros from the Middleman
Miriam O’Neal

The Last Freight Train
Lori Horvitz

Dangerous Currency
Loose Tooth
Sara Dovre Wudali

On Moving Out of My First Apartment
Michael Homolka

Brandon Krieg

The Car Wash
Gilian Neiditch

Matthew Sisson

The Museum of Egyptian History
Don Raymond

Swallow, Do Not Chew
George Ryan

Copper Jazva
Elaine Reardon

Semillas de esperanza/ Seeds of Hope
Flores para el corazón/ Flowers for the Heart
Xun Betan (translated by Sean Sell)

The knots we knit
C. R. Resetarits

Threads from the Heart Sky
Michelle Donahue

Playing with Cages
Clelia O. Rodríguez

The Photographer
Sofiul Azam

Self-Portrait as ICE as Teenager
Little Dream
Nicholas Reiner

Lullaby For Bones
Saint Pocahontas
Trickster Story
Jenny L. Davis

Ensnared In Heaven’s Nets
Kathleen Gunton

Jane Blanchard

We, the Many
Marie-Andree Auclair

Vivian Wagner

Magician’s Assistant
David B. Prather

Brief Elegy for William Harrold
Kenneth Pobo

Obituary: Salvatore Cacosa
John J. Trause

A short poem for my wife, my mother, and my unborn daughter
Special Education, ACT prep, and Hephaestus
Writing with the Devil
John McDonough

For my daughter
Tradition and the Individual Talent
Olivia Lawrance

Red Schwinn
Nicholas Mohlmann

Wearing Sadness
Kip Zegers

After Chemo
Norita Dittberner-Jax

Ordinary Language Philosophy
David Hargreaves

critical invitation
Carl “Papa” Palmer

Sonnet for a day like today
Sonnet at that time of year
William Joel

A Tax Thicket: 26 U.S.C. §§
Thomas E. Simmons

End Notes
Rob Kenagy