Arcadia is an annual produced by students at the University of Central Oklahoma. The inaugural issue features fiction, poetry, drama, an essay, and several black and white photographs. A brief bio page precedes each writer’s piece. This issue includes work by writers from around the country widely published, for the most part, in a variety of literary journals and by a number of independent presses.
I liked very much Rilla Askew’s essay, “Crime and Innocence,” an affecting account of racial prejudice as experienced from her personal experience (related to her godson). And who could resist Andre Coburn’s “Katie Couric,” which begins “When Montgomery’s wife walked out on him, without warning, no note, nothing, she went from a real person to a semi-abstraction.” That semi-abstraction makes me trust Coburn and makes me eager to read on. Similarly, playwright Christopher Linforth’s description of one of his characters as an “off, off, off Broadway actress” signals a kind of feeling for character that inspires engagement with his work.
Poetry tends toward the narrative and familiar, personal stories recounted in verse. Photographs by Amanda Siegfried and Max Barksdale are stark and arresting, well produced, and consistent with the journal’s overall aesthetic: familiar, but able to inspire curiosity and invite new consideration.