Sink Hollow (Utah State University)

Reviewed by Rachel Bongart

Sink Hollow Literary Journal gets its name from Utah’s sinkholes in Logan Canyon, where the temperatures surrounding the sinkholes are 70 degrees in midsummer and the bottom of the sinkholes are around -69 degrees. Sink Hollow’s creators wanted to name their journal after this paradox, because the journal calls for provocative, resonant and polished literary works that explore the complex and paradoxical nature of the human condition. As faculty advisor Robb Kunz said, “Anyone looking to submit should know that our magazine was built on complexity and a deeply held sense that humanity matters”

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 5.32.38 PMSink Hollow is an exclusively undergraduate literary magazine established at Utah State University and run by the students and faculty there. The journal currently has five volumes, all published online and available to read free-of-charge. They publish bi-annually, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. Sink Hollow accepts simultaneous submissions from students as long the works fall under different genres. They publish nonfiction, art, poetry and fiction (7,500-word max for short stories and 750-word max for flash fiction). In an interview with Robb Kunz, he mentioned that many undergraduate students publish their work for the first time in Sink Hollow. There is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on their website that goes over how to submit, FNASR and internet rights, payment and other questions that make it easy for first-time submitters to navigate submission guidelines.

Sink Hollow has an online presence on Twitter and Facebook, between 200-300 followers on each social media platform. While they’re still a smaller magazine, Sink Hollow is young and growing fast. Robb Kunz said, “We plan to visit conferences and become more visible. We also hope to foster relationships with other magazines and their staff”.

In their fourth volume, Sink Hollow published a work called “Note to Self” by Alyla Robles, which I think accurately captures the complexity the journal yearns for. The story revolves around depression, suicide, family, class and ethnic identity. This complexity is also illustrated in the cover art, titled “Whispers”, which depicts a statuesque, faceless female figure much like Roman marble statues. The figure is given texture and dimension through layering paint colors. The image is at once at the forefront of the painting while also blending into the background, giving the impression of both individuality and oneness. In general, Volume IV encapsulates works that give voice to the everchanging, tumultuous and individual nature of human lives.

If you’re looking for a home for your next story, poem or art piece, consider Sink Hollow Undergraduate Literary Journal, which is actively looking for works that sink and stay. Although they are closed for Spring submissions, they will be looking for new works during Fall 2018. For more information, visit Sink Hollow’s website here.