This nineteenth issue of Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine (Fall/Winter 2023) contains seven works of short fiction available to read online. In “Ana,” Gregory Jeffers spins a tale of mystery involving Russian aristocracy and small-town American values. Elizabeth Hansen tells of a couple’s struggles with their backyard and with each other in “Yardwork.” There are seven non-fiction pieces (essay, memoir, and creative non-fiction). “Desire” sets forth taut emotions and traces the path of a rocky relationship using the creative typography of Victoria Wiswell. Paul Rabinowitz relates an encounter in a Brooklyn cafe that has more to do with creativity than wine in “Clockwork.” The issue contains twenty-six poems, including Milagros Vilaplana’s “At Battersea Park” which paints a restful lyrical outdoor scene, while KB Ballentine’s lyric depicts nature as untamed. Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr opens the magazine with a poem about the confrontation between traditional religious values and LGBTQ individuals. SBLAAM includes artwork, with four images in this issue, including one of crafted jewelry, a picture of a mixed-media sculpture, and two outdoor photographs. SBLAAM has also just announced a writing contest for those 50 and older.
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