Reviews of Versal, now and then

Versal is the best literary journal in English coming out of Europe.
— Penelope Fletcher, founder, The Red Wheelbarrow, Paris

Versal is the handsome boy who helps you move into your apartment–
not just across town, but across the planet.

Travis Kurowski, Literary MagNet columnist for Poets & Writers

Versal 11

The voice of the journal is distinct; the politics of space and sound and art united in a movement. I haven’t seen such cohesion and inventiveness in recent literature yet.
— Mary Florio, NewPages

I couldn’t see myself in much of Versal. Is that what I want out of lit mags? Maybe it is. Or maybe I want to see people better than myself.
— Lita A. Kurth, The Review Review

Versal 10

 Versal 10 is a stunning powerhouse of contemporary writing and art—one that reflects the commitment of its editors, writers, and readers, and shows us how much there is to celebrate, how much there is to notice, how much to believe. — Callista Buchen, The Review Review

Not for those with a low tolerance for strangeness.
— Robyn Campbell,

Versal 9

 The ingenious and energetic poetry, prose, and art of Versal 9 make definitive interpretations irrelevant and shallow compared to the deeper evocations they produce. Enjoy these gems, sink your teeth into them, and allow them to have their way with you.
— Beckie Elgin, The Review Review

Versal 8

 Listed among the "top indie innovators" in Poets & Writers Magazine, November/December 2010

Indeed, Versal is more than its texts, more than its content altogether. It feels less like a journal and more like a tribute to the work of its writers and artists. 
— Tarpaulin Sky Press blog

Versal's art is one of my favorite parts of the magazine. It ties the work together without interfering with the language or feel of any of the pieces. 
— Jess Huckins, The Review Review

Produced in Amsterdam, universal in terms of themes, distinctly European in terms of innovation and overall quality, borderless in its aspirations, and utterly accessible to US readers, thanks to its publication in English, this issue of Versal is provocative, inventive, perplexing, and stimulating. 
— Sima Rabinowitz,

Versal 7

It is difficult to categorize this writing because it works deliberately to defy categorization. In the poetry, this is done primarily through inventive and original syntactical arrangements, and in the prose by a combination of quirky voices and images that border on the fantastical, decidedly foreign, surreal, or intimate in a way that can feel voyeuristic. 

— Sima Rabinowitz,

Listed among the "twenty-two lit mags that do more for your work" in Poets & Writers Magazine, May/June 2009

Versal 6

While the magazine features the work of writers of vastly different backgrounds who have lived virtually all over the world, their work has much in common, a kind of edgy novelty. By and large, this is work that strives and succeeds in being original, provocative, unusual, and attention-grabbing.
— Sima Rabinowitz,

Versal 5

Versal’s latest volume, its fifth, maintains the consistently attractive design that made the previous annuals so pleasurable. Here, on page after page, work is presented so as to hit the eye directly, barely encumbered by titles and authors, which live on the outskirts of the frame, allowing us to experience the whole according to whim, so that leafing through the issue is like dining à la carte.
— Gregory Napp, Luna Park Review

Rather than espousing any particular aesthetic ideal or political philosophy, Versal takes the high road by including a collage of styles that represents the diversity of both its writers and the literary scenes from which they hail. 
— Matt Bell,

Versal 4

Issue four of Versal reveals the editor's preferences for introspective writing that features distinctive voice. Several stories are written in first person and avoid traditional plots. This is a publication that rewards experimentation. Some pieces that I felt separated themselves from the rest were: Aleida Rodríguez's playful poem "Doppelgänger," Dean Serravalle's pleasingly frenetic prose piece "In the Diner," Lauro Palomba's humorous "Diagnosis," and Helen Degen Cohen's poem "Response I—the Bus".
— John Young, Flash Fiction Flash Newsletter


Versal 3

Versal 3 packs a punch, but does so with a velvet glove of beautiful and lyrical poetry...This is a first class magazine and comes highly recommended... Versal is a pleasure to hold and leaf through, and deserves a place on any bookcase.
— Kara Kellar Bell,

Also recommended in her Best of the Small Press.

Featured in the Sept/Oct 2005 edition of Poets & Writers Magazine.

I read Versal on the metro: Nick Thran's contribution, "Canada," starts with the line "Some places are frustratingly picturesque" and I laugh outloud, something seriously frowned upon in the picturesque Paris metro. Installing myself at a table in a café, I discover that the Versal excerpt of (rob) mclennan's stone, book one is excellent. As if creating a motto for...the magazine...mclennan writes "i am a serious border crosser." I order a beer and consider adopting the line as a summer motto...
— Lisa Pasold, Word: Toronto's Literary Calendar

Versal is what a literary magazine should be. 
— Russell Edson

Versal has become an integral part of the international cultural scene in the Netherlands...This journal is packed with an eclectic range of writing and art. This reviewer enjoyed the Versal trip. 

— Kim Chandler, The Hague/Amsterdam Times

Versal 2

The full page paintings, photographs and illustrations in VERSAL make it one of the more attractive magazines. As far as the writing goes, one of the best works in Issue Two is Larry Sawyer’s poem ‘The Miracle of Apples'...Anna Arov’s poem ‘You Are In The Country’ is also a standout...‘Ditsy Chicky’s Social Climax,’ a piece of non-fiction is certainly amusing. VERSAL is a magazine with high production values, and the page layouts give individual works room to breathe.

— Kara Kellar Bell,

Read Nadine McNeil's review here...

The quickest way to explain or describe it is to say that were you to simultaneously be riding a fast train, eating a really good piece of cake, drinking a really good beverage, talking with someone unutterably interesting and seeing magnificent things flash by really quickly outside your window, and if all of that was happening as you least expected it: that's what Versal feels like.
— Weston Cutter,

Versal...draws on international submissions to present fresh and provocative verse to its readers in a clear and cool format. The use of art in Versal accents rather than detracts from the text presented and, overall, the effect is modern rather than stuffy, the poems selected also belaying that point. 
— Sam Coleman, Editor, Expats Magazine

Named Lit Mag of the Season (Spring, 2004) on top British literary review site