There is a lot of very inventive work in this issue that deserves attention, and I promise not to ignore or overlook it, but bear with me if I must begin with the understated – Aaron Giovannone’s perfect little prose poem:
The normal despair is there, even if I’ve forgotten it, embryonic, like the kiwi seed in my teeth. It was nice when the sun calmed our small talk and the quiet became reciprocal. Sunday’s clichés could renew themselves again, needing only that tensionlessness to bloom. The birth pangs of an apple I would split and peel in the midafternoon.
It’s the balance between our normal despair and the more particular and pronounced emotions that entice or torment us that helps Event stand out among literary journals. A quietly observed travelogue by Rachel Knudson, and gentle poems by Deirdre Dwyer and Anna Wärje appear alongside Darry Berger’s edgy story, “Death of a Dictator (My Iggly Education),” the rough and tumble energy of Brook Houglum’s poem, “Suite: Lemon,” and JonPaul Fiorentino’s “Elizabeth Conway: A Montreal Suite,” a sort of stream of consciousness construction which begins and halts here and there, to bring us back down to earth, or should I say Montreal: “Montreal is an idiot / in October as the slumlords / slur in the ruddy Plateau.”
For a slender little journal, Event manages to cover a lot of territory – poems by 15 poets, 5 stories, which vary as widely in approach, if not in structure, as the poetry, an essay, and reviews of poetry and fiction. With one exception, all of the writers are Canadian (the journal is produced at Douglas College in British Columbia), many widely published by Canadian presses. It’s enough to make you want to move north.