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Low Rent – January 2008

Low Rent is a little magazine with a lot of heart. It put out its first issue in January and plans on publishing six times a year. Issues 1 and 2 are already out with Issue 3 in the works.

Low Rent is a little magazine with a lot of heart. It put out its first issue in January and plans on publishing six times a year. Issues 1 and 2 are already out with Issue 3 in the works.

Each issue contains two stories and features the work of two poets, coming in at roughly fifty pages. It’s a handsome and professional looking journal – and a welcome change from some of the larger, ungainly, book length journals. Indeed, its sleek and minimalist format makes it ideal for reading on the bus or subway.

As for the content, the editors at Low Rent have outdone themselves. Tracy Jo Barnwell’s “Now Showing at the Bijou Rose” is one of the best stories I’ve read this year. It’s about a trio of siblings who run their parents’ dilapidated movie theater. The theater, which shows mostly art house films, is on the financial brink and faces stiff competition from the nearby multiplex. Things go from bad to worse when an unexpected trunk arrives in the mail one day. I’d be ruining the story if I went on, but suffice to say it involves bootlegging and human trafficking.

In a similarly humorous vein, Trevor J. Houser’s “The Big Yellow House” portrays a family of siblings who put on a military-style operation to retake their grandparents’ house, which has been sold to new owners.

With titles like, “Is Not This Salad Everything You ever Wanted From A Salad?” and “This Is A Song About A Superhero Named Tony: It’s Called ‘Tony’s Theme’,” the poetry is both funny and serious.

This is an impressive debut for a journal I hope to see more of.
[www.lowrentmagazine.com]

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