While the wheels of popular culture churn onward in a cynical race to the bottom, America’s literary journals continue to showcase stirring, innovative, utterly necessary work in the realms of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, essays and impossible-to-categorize hybrid forms. So multifarious and numerous are these excellent journals, many of them affiliated with universities, you could spend whole days and nights reading the thoughtful output of the world’s best writers. The gross volume of brilliance can be overwhelming. If we had to choose among the dozens and dozens of worthy publications, we’d select the Indiana Review, now in its 38th year. The current issue features haunting stories by Jessica Walker and Neel Patel, poetry from sam sax, and searching essays on race from LaTanya McQueen and Eve Ewing. IR is smart, adventurous and inquisitive — and somehow more meaningful now than ever.