I immediately noticed that this small journal devotes a surprising amount of space to fiction and essays: 9 pieces total followed by 17 pages of reviews.
One creation that I first thought was a curious short story turned out to be, upon further study, an historical article (complete with endnotes) about a surveyor in Missouri. I had no knowledge, indeed no interest, in the process of surveying before reading this article, but this piece by Lynn Morrow helps me understand the importance of the work of mapping the frontier.
Kevin Koch weaves together historical fact, personal experience, and natural observation into a lyrical essay about rivers. Roy Bentley’s poem, “The Visiting Writer,” presents five vignettes that link writers, dead and living, together in an interesting way.
The more I read the poems in the journal, the more they all seemed to be linked together, with their references to Lincoln, strange swamp creatures (animal and human), and history.
Big Muddy also includes Carol Wheeler’s black and white photographs of flowers and butterflies. The editors of this journal pack in a surprising amount, a wide variety of genres and art forms, a vast expanse of subject matter, and yet a surprisingly cohesive reading experience.