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Versal - 2006

  • Issue Number: Issue 4
  • Published Date: 2006

Versal is an attractive, large-format magazine, denser than its one-hundred pages would initially suggest and ornamented with full color art both inside and out. Most of the prose in the issue is very short, each story generally only a couple of pages long. Chad Simpson’s “Hunger,” for example, is one of the strongest stories in the issue despite taking less than a single page to convey a terrifying tale of a woman obsessed with eating after a move to a new house. Strong undercurrents of menace lurk between sentences, and the final line packs a surprisingly large punch, considering the story’s lean three-hundred-word body. Another highlight, Rob McClure Smith’s “One Thing Leads to Another,” reads like an extended joke, as an old man berates a younger passenger at length, wittily explaining why something as simple as telling another man the time could lead to unwanted consequences for both their lives. On the poetry side, Randall Horton’s “Letters to and from Brothers Quintus and Henderson McIntosh” and Joel H. Vega’s “Dante’s Recuerdo” vary greatly in style and subject even as they come together in their deep considerations of compassion and pride. Published in Amsterdam, Versal contains a wide variety of writers from not only the Netherlands but also from North America, Europe, and other corners of the world. Rather than espousing any particular aesthetic ideal or political philosophy, Versal takes the high road by including a collage of styles that represents the diversity of both its writers and the literary scenes from which they hail.

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Review Posted on July 31, 2006

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