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The BatteredSuitcase - Autumn 2009

  • Issue Number: Volume 2 Issue 2
  • Published Date: Autumn 2009
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly

This literary journal welcomes all genres: “We hope to provide a safe space for writers who’ve gone unappreciated because the industry has led them to believe they don’t fit some arbitrary format.” This latest issue is no exception, providing short stories, art, nonfiction, interviews, lyrics, poetry, a letter from the editor, a memorial – a little bit of everything.

One of the more entertaining stories I have read in months is “The House on Gray Street” by C. Rommial Butler, who describes himself as a blue collar worker and a full-time father. He manages to produce a detective-horror murder mystery that packs plenty of intrigue in a few pages, with engaging characters, gripping atmosphere, and suspenseful plot. This guy ought to write a novel. Another interesting read is “Best Friend” by Michael Dennis McDermott, about the man who wouldn’t die. I won’t say anything else except that the story could use some editorial cutting. Lastly, “Francesca’s Story” by D. E. Fredd is a humorous, ironic story about an Italian woman’s life and trials from her birth in 1918 until her death in 1987 on the tiny island of Gozo, part of Malta.

The poetry here varies greatly, some of it being quite raw. My favorite is “iLarkin” by iDrew from across the pond:

when yer mum
picks yer up from school
with pink spikey hair
zips and leather bondage trousers
and yer dad gets busted
on parents’ evening
caught smoking a spliff
in the sixth form toilets
tongues wag
fingers point
the other kids
call yer a freak

The three nonfiction pieces all concern themselves with the minor crises found in adolescence and young adulthood. “My Scars and My Lovers” by Ashlie Crabtree, is an extremely revealing piece about an operation she had which produced a distinctive scar – a constant source of fascination to the various men who roll through her life, and bed.

The writing in this lit mag is uneven, and the focus of the content seems more for the younger set. But it is likely they have accomplished their goal of providing a space for writers who otherwise would go unappreciated, and it is a good place to browse for literary works that are not necessarily mainstream.
[www.vagabondagepress.com/]

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Review Posted on October 18, 2009
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