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cream city reviewis a volunteer based, non-profit literary magazine devoted to publishing memorable and energetic pieces that push the boundaries of “literature.” Continually seeking to explore the relationship between form and content, the magazine features fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, comics, reviews of contemporary literature and criticism, as well as author interviews and artwork.

Published biannually, cream city review attracts readers and submissions from around the world. Approximately 4,000 submissions are received each year from both unpublished and established writers. The journal reflects this mix—often publishing poet laureates beside artists who are up and coming.


The name cream city review pays tribute to the publication’s home in Milwaukee. Known as “The Cream City,” Milwaukee is the birthplace of the yellow-colored brick, made exclusively from clay native to the area. The first “cream” brick was made in 1835. The bricks proved more durable and aesthetically pleasing than the traditional red bricks produced by East Coast kilns and quickly became Milwaukee’s most characteristic building material. Popular throughout the 19th century, Cream City bricks were used widely for ornamental architecture throughout the United States and Europe.

cream city review was started in 1975 by Mary Zane Allen. After working at The Wisconsin Review, she desired a similar literary journal for the creative writing department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Allen worked with the student union to establish both the magazine and a reading series. Later, the magazine began operating with the support of UWM’s English Department.

Over the years, cream city reviewhas evolved from an 8″ X 11″, 50 page, Xeroxed zine to the 175-225 page perfect-bound book format that it is today. The shift to glossy, multicolored covers began in the fall of 1989, after Laurie Buman became art editor. These covers have become one of the magazine’s trademarks.

At a time when many literary magazines have been forced to fold for lack of funds, cream city review has survived. This is thanks in large part to grants from The Bradley Foundation and The Wisconsin Arts Board, support from the UWM (specifically, the English Department), Letters and Science Constituent Alumni Association. Additionally, cream city review is immensely grateful for its succession of dedicated volunteers and a loyal following of readers and subscribers.

Kate Braverman, Charles Bukowski, Robert Olen Butler, Maxine Chernoff, Amy Clampitt, Billy Collins, Oliver de la Paz, Tess Gallagher, Diane Glancy, Joy Harjo, Bob Hicok, Allison Joseph, Caroline Knox, Ted Kooser, Audre Lorde, J.D. McClatchy, Simon Ortiz, Linda Pastan, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Adrienne Rich, Alberto Ríos, Catie Rosemurgy, Denise Sweet, James Tate, Mark Turcotte, Gordon Weaver, Aimee Bender, and Ben Percy.

Ching-In Chen

Managing Editor
Shanae Aurora Martinez

Fiction Editor
Mollie Boutell

Poetry Editors
Kara van de Graaf
C. McAllister Willams

Creative Nonfiction Editor
Kate Nesheim

Web Content Editor
Elisa Karbin

Matt Morris-Cook

David Hudson

Assistant Editors
Cherri Conley
Elisa Karbin
Liz Modder
Stacy Stingle
Charlie Trimberger
Melissa Olson
Justus Poehls
Roswitha T. Both

Copy Editor
Amy DeJarlais

cream city review Board
Brenda Cardenas (Chair)
Liam Callanan
George Makana Clark
Susan Firer
Mauricio Kilwein Guevara
John Koethe
Marilyn Taylor
Carolyn Kott Washburn


cream city review
Department of English
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201info@creamcityreview.orgFor submission guidelines, submission questions, and reading periods, please click here.
For general information or for orders, please email us at info@creamcityreview.org.