It's been a while since we've cited a Lit Pick of the Quarter. For those of you who don't already know, a spot was reserved in our Editors' Notes over the years, highlighting a particular prose piece we'd come across in a recent issue of a literary magazine. A piece we thought was so good, we couldn't hold back mention of it. Call it a plug if you will, but an unbiased plug at that.

Since we do a lot of literary magazine reading, we're inclined to make judgments, pick favorites, buy some new subscriptions, cancel others. In looking over the prose material we're read the last half-dozen years, aside from the usual suspects that have continued to impress us, one magazine stood out as being especially engaging: Third Coast, from Western Michigan University.

We took a look at the magazine's masthead page in six issues over the last six years, to see if we could spot the source that selected and published such wonderful material. Many university-based literary magazines rotate editorial staff, and Third Coast is no exception; we saw different names in almost every issue, presumably graduate students. There was a faculty advisor, though, that remained constant, Steve Feffer, and it is only our guess that perhaps this man had something to do with it.

Nonetheless, here is a sampling of prose that we adored in Third Coast over the last six years:

"Anna Elena's Tongue"
— nonfiction by Stephen G. Bloom (Fall 2006)
— fiction by Halina Duraj (Spring 2008)
"Plastic Parts"
— fiction by Casey Lefante (Spring 2008)
"Joining the Club"
— nonfiction by Heather Kirn (Spring 2008)
"Sea of Love"
— nonfiction by Allyson Miller (Fall 2008)
"Somewhere Warm"
— fiction by Bobbie Jo Campbell (Spring 2009)
"Ready, Aim"
— fiction by Brandon Boyer-White (Spring 2012)
"Upper Middle Class Houses"
— fiction by Claire Burgess (Spring 2012)

This issue rounds out ten complete years of The Summerset Review, passionately released without fail every quarter. Our Fall 2012 issue will celebrate this in our usual humble and understated way, namely, publishing more great and wonderful literary work chosen completely from incoming unsolicited submissions. There will be no celebrity party with media coverage, though our staff may tip a quiet glass of wine, proud of this accomplishment and vowing to put through another ten years. We are keeping the fanfare and all of our energy strictly focused on the written page. Stay tuned, enjoy the summer, and we hope this issue inspires.

Theme graphics this issue - "47th and Broadway"
Copyright © The Summerset Review, Inc. 2012.