This publication has existed since 1989 and is produced by the creative writing department at Florida International University. In this latest edition, they explain that financial considerations have forced them to switch from a print format to an online format, but they are pursing funds to allow them to return to print eventually. Meanwhile, the latest edition provides the reader with fiction, poetry, non-fiction, two interviews, and some art and photography – certainly a little something for everyone.
All four of the short stories are engaging in their own right. Most unusual, perhaps, is “Broken Conversations” by Michael Gavaghen because the stories presented are actually humorous. Yes, humor! Zounds! In case you haven’t noticed, there is a paucity of humor in the literary world. Gavaghen provides us with three relatively light-hearted vignettes with a gentle sardonic approach. Another fun read is “Before the Break” by Shelagh Shapiro, about a woman who plows her car into the back of a school bus because she is distracted by an affair she discovered her boyfriend is having. She feels this is a perfectly reasonable excuse to dissuade the cop from issuing her a ticket.
The best poetry here is found in the book review by David Svenson of Michael Trammel’s Our Keen Blue House from which the reviewer quotes liberally. An excellent selection is the following one from the poem “Pit,” concerning nature reclaiming the family property:
But the land remembered, grabbing earth
we’d scorched with our all
night fire, breathing wild purple flowers,
a low cold blaze of dawn sky
rooted and growing in the ground.
Lastly, Corey Ginsberg does an excellent interview with Alison Smith, author of the bestselling memoir Name all the Animals. The author has some good advice for the creation of both fiction and non-fiction that fledgling writers would find extremely helpful in the development of their craft. All in all, this magazine’s first online production is a good start, and one hopes that they will not abandon this venture even if they find the funds to resume their print editions.