Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.
Issue No. 1  Winter 2017


​J. Bradley -- BOGO
Nathan Elias -- Family Business
Rachael Inciarte -- The Accidental Drowning of Leo Merwin
Maia Nikitina -- Yurka's Apples
Cat Reece -- Storm God
Michael Thomas -- Blanco


Jami Huntsinger -- For My Mother
Katrina K. Crespin  -- La Joven de La Cristiada


John Casquarelli -- Untitled
Fabrice Poussin -- Connection

Spotlight on 
                      New Mexico Poetry

Michelle Brooks -- Two Poems
Debbi Brody -- The Owl
Greg Candela  --  In the Apple Mountains
John Casquarelli 
      & Inna Dulchevsky   -- Three Poems
Iris Gersh -- Two poems 
Kathaman Kathaman -- Compel to Colors
John Macker -- Birds
David Meischen -- Two Poems
Ryan Murphy -- American Prayer for Marshall, Arkansas
Gregory Opstad -- Two Poems
Karen Petersen -- Two Poems
Hayley Peterson -- Girls
Barbara Rockman -- Two Poems
Joseph Somoza -- Two Poems
Heather Wood -- The University
Michelle Wing -- Advice from a Five-Year-Old

Notes from the Editors:​

In August 2016, the Manzano Mountain Review was a kernel in my mind.  I had been fiction editor for another journal, Sliver of Stone, based in Florida, but I was now living and teaching in New Mexico and the landscape was affecting my thinking and aesthetic.

The writing I yearned to read was born of dust and blood and grit and carried on the wind. I wanted to read about New Mexico, the west, movement, space, solitude. I wanted to curate a journal featuring writing with a certain terroir.
The campus where Kristian and I teach (The University of New Mexico - Valencia) hadn't had a literary publication sinceValley Visions, which was edited by Professor Greg Candela. 

No longer. Welcome to Issue No. 1 of the Manzano Mountain Review  (MMR) . Kristian and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. 

In the spirit of continuity and connection, we invited Greg--now retired-- to contribute a poem to Issue No. 1. He obliged with the aptly titled "To the Apple Mountains."  In addition, this issue features the work of writers from all over North America, with a spotlight on New Mexico poets. Each issue, we will highlight a different aspect of the New Mexico literary world. If you have any thoughts as to our focus for Issue no. 2,  send us a note at "Contact Us." 

The kernel of MMR has grown into something. It's a small something, and time will tell if we have what it takes to keep it growing. Kernels like this need constant nourishment and protection, as they tend to wither on the vine. And though the graveyard of literary journals is vast, we are happy with what we've done here, and we'll continue as long as the going is good. 

Thanks to all who submitted, supported us, and spread the word. Thanks to the writers and photographers who grace our first issue. This would be impossible without your tremendous contributions. And thanks to you, reader, for reading. 

- Justin Bendell


As a writer who loves adventure as much as I also love being in a place I consider home, I spend a lot of time thinking about time, space, and place and the combined idea of being ‘in place’ and really knowing where I am. I actively seek this connectivity.
One thing I have learned from contemplating this is how to recognize unexpected wonders.
There is something about New Mexico that I will never outgrow. I grew up in NM, and attended an MFA program in Massachusetts (a place I also love very much). I spent those years contemplating New Mexico from outside New Mexico and found that there is inexhaustible beauty in the landscape, the buoyant colors, and the serene secrets that seem to be a prism to an unseen river of art. I know, in my own heart, creation of art is connection to place, but really it is so much deeper. The best part is that this connection to place is also ‘placeless’, traversable and limitless, and always astonishing.
Manzano Mountain Review began as a tiny idea connected to a student reading series on UNM-Valencia campus and then became a vehicle of art. Our students are still writing, and now publishing in our folded print ‘zine, Little Wolf. There is now a tiny, but blooming creative writing community on our campus. Students taking ownership of story and place. Manzano Mountain Review takes this connectivity beyond our campus.
The whole reality of Manzano Mountain Review is a little collection of wonders.
In our first issue, we have over twenty incredibly talented writers and artists from many cities, styles, and backgrounds, across North America. All the poets (and several other writers and artists) we have featured in this issue share a unique connection to New Mexico.
Thank you to the many incredible individuals who have entrusted us with their art. Justin and I are so honored to share this with you.

- Kristian Macaron