White Chimney – “The Creative Arts Journal” – hails from England. The slim, magazine-size, thirty-page journal packs a punch. The cover art, by Christophe Reme, harks back slightly to the psychedelic sixties’ art, with fantastic smoke emerging from a building, and skulls peering from a cloud; bare trees in the foreground, jagged hills in the background – an incongruous yet interesting rendering that mimics the variety in this journal. It contains two literary interviews, six drawings or photographs, seven poems, and six short stories – my personal high point. The art is first-rate – engaging and well-chosen. Margaret Murphy, a crime-fiction writer, and the poet Jacob Sam La Rose, are both interviewed capably by Caroline England and Chishimba Chisala.
The poetry ranges from haiku to free verse. Ken Head, in “Dave Ov Bolton,” writes, “I’ve known and walked these tracks for more than half a lifetime, stood watching / hares, crazy at the first sniff of spring, chasing one another round in circles.” He uses language skillfully and evocatively. Rebecca Stonehill’s short stories, “Night,” about the eerie world of a night receptionist, and “For Iris, With Love,” narrated through a war veteran, are chilling, sad, sympathetic, and hit their mark. “Dancing DNA,” by Miriam Burke, detailing a bag lady’s revenge, is entertaining. “One Hour From Home” by Christian Dabnor cuts to the bone in three paragraphs while you ask, could that happen to us? “Our Darling Jessica” by Chelsey Flood has an unusual and effective twist – and Jessica is not a baby. For a very short journal, White Chimney is worth taking the time.