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FALL 2018 | Volume 1, Issue 1


I had been wondering for a while if there would come a time when I had written enough so that I could feel contented to just not do it anymore. I don’t know if I wished for it exactly, but it was a tantalizing concept of success—to just retire from letters having done my part for both the discourse, and more pressingly, my own ego. It might feel liberating, I thought, to watch the snow fall obliquely from the window of a house on an uneventful street where nobody went mad, or to go win at poker, or to birdie the 18th hole, or to God forbid even read the greatness of another, and then be able to close my eyes afterwards, without that gnawing, grating, life-shortening mixture of vigor, anxiety, and vengeance against one’s self that comes from the need to respond to all philosophical prompting; from the need to write, or to fancy one’s self a writer.

It was a stupid question. It was an even stupider ambition. We can’t. We can’t. We can’t. I write it as an incantation because it is as transfixing as it is rigidly true. We don’t punch clocks. We don’t settle questions. We don’t become accomplished. We don’t live in the past even when it’s the only thing we ever talk about, or care about for that matter. Instead, we just sort of continue on in our uncertainties, in our beseeching and borderline embarrassing need to be part of it all, and in our alternating poverties of wealth or quiet or spirit—all the while covertly proud of yourselves for subjecting ourselves to it, all the while happy that the sources of our unhappiness are so worthwhile, even if opaque. I’ve never met a real writer that wasn’t happy, at least every once in a while, and the ones that tell you differently are poseurs trying to punch that clock that we know can’t be punched.

I am happy now. Welcome to New Square. I’d call the inaugural edition a phenomenal collection of voice and pathos, but that really isn’t the point at all. You’ll like some of the pieces and you won’t like some of the others. But I hope you’ll argue about all of them, and come back in the spring to argue about the next group, and send us your own writing so we can argue about it. And if you want to send us all the money in your pocket too...well then, we’ll begrudgingly accept.


Joseph M. Reynolds




Amber—Letters to Milena (Franz Kafka)

Dave—“Sonny’s Blues” (James Baldwin)

Joe—This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Reading in the Dark (Seamus Deane), Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie), Essays (Ralph Waldo Emerson), The Quiet American (Graham Greene)

Kevin—Lone Survivor (Marcus Luttrell)

Sean—In the Language of My Captor (Shane McRae), Landscapes with Sex and Violence (Lynn Melnick), Hunger: A Memoir (Roxane Gay), Long Way Down (Jason Reynolds), Less (Andrew Sean Greer)

Tom—A Fraction of the Whole (Steve Trotz), Summer House with Swimming Pool (Herman Koch)



Cassie—Swiss Army Man

Dave—Ex Machina

Joe—Rushmore, Rounders, Brooklyn, Once, Hoop Dreams (documentary)

Kevin—Caddyshack, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Quiet Place, Miracle, Band of Brothers

Tom—Network, White Irish Drinkers, We live in Public (documentary)


Amber—Sleeping at Last (band)

Cassie—Skylight (Pinegrove)

Dave—Evil Friends (Portugal The Man)

Joe—Highway 61 Revisited (Bob Dylan), 36 Chambers (Wu-Tang), Hey Jude instrumental (The Mutato Muzika Orchestra), Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys), Where did you sleep last night? (Nirvana)

Kevin—Live at Fillmore East (The Allman Brothers Band), Greetings (Greetings), On Time (Grand Funk Railroad), Desert Skies (The Marshall Tucker Band), Odyssea (Hamm’s Odyssey)

Tom—Coloring Book (Chance the Rapper), Live at Fillmore West (Aretha Franklin)

Video Game



Editor in Chief | Joseph M. Reynolds
Managing Editor | David Kresge
Poetry Editor | Sean Frederick Forbes
Fiction Editor | Joseph M. Reynolds
Nonfiction Editor | Thomas Keith
Book Review Editor | Amber Smith
Film Review Editor | Cassandra Steele
Music Review Editor | Kevin Carr
Layout/Design | Erica Lauer
Website/Online | Cassandra Steele

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