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Journal of Ordinary Thought - Fall 2003/Winter 2004

  • Subtitle: Cause I Wanted To
  • Published Date: Fall 2003/Winter 2004

This slim quarterly, published by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance in Chicago, is one of the more fascinating literary magazines out there. Hardly intending to be ironic, the work within is, by ‘writerly’ standards, ordinary: there’s hardly a trace of the purple prose or tightrope walking eccentricities to be had in the more well-heeled literary rags. The poems, reflections and stories within are incredibly ordinary—most of the writing focuses on quotidian life, on the little miseries and injustices and small miraculous moments of life. At the (admittedly large) risk of going completely gooey, the magazine is devastating because the work is simply, over and over, real: people hate their jobs and write accordingly; someone had a horrible experience in youth and simply relates it. I’m as ready as the next guy to trade ten Grisham books for one by Lydia Davis, but there’s a shocking beauty and simplicity in the direct, inspired writing within. [Journal of Ordinary Thought, Neighborhood Writing Alliance, 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. E-mail: .] - WC

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Review Posted on May 31, 2004

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