Flag + Void poetry
Rabid Oak fiction, nonfiction, poetry
Some of my favorite literary magazines are those that introduce and connect me to artists and writers I was unfamiliar with prior to reading. While it’s definitely nice to read work by favorites, I am always open to finding something new. The latest issue of Driftwood Press accomplishes this twofold. First, it introduced me to a cover artist I was unfamiliar with. Second, it connected me to writers, each piece accompanied by an interview with its creator.
Fiction Southeast has a tagline that reads, “An online journal dedicated to short fiction.” The dedication is readily apparent with one look at their site; there are loads of stories stacked as far down as you can scroll. Short fiction almost literally as far as the eye can see! The more recent fiction pieces have a lot to offer in terms of subject matter and character.
An online journal devoted to brevity and where genre isn’t important. The work that appears in concīs shows up first on the homepage and then is later compiled into a seasonal issue. One thing is for certain: concīs proves that length matters not when it comes to quality and the Spring 2017 seasonal issue bears this out.
With no offense to anyone, it is refreshing to review a multi-genre collection coming from outside a university. That doesn’t make the contributors any better or worse from either source, but it does provide an added perspective. As a group, the contributors to Mudfish 19, are not aspiring student writers; they are practiced artists providing us with practiced skills that encourage thoughtful reading and reflection. The independence of a private press also gives us a much larger selection of authors, painters, and photographers than we can hope for in any one issue of a university press.
Foundry online poetry journal is true to its name in that it views poems as “manufactured objects—the intangible cast into forms.” But unlike the foundries of yore, Foundry magazine is a great deal more flexible in its production, supporting an array of poetic forms and styles. In fact, in searching for a singular descriptor for the type of poetry readers can expect to find here, it was not possible. The editors encourage poems that “feel as much as they think,” and that’s probably the best descriptor I could imagine to draw readers in.
Published out of Southeast Missouri State University Press, Big Muddy showcases works and authors “related to the Mississippi River basin and its bordering ten-state area.” While that might at first seem limited, there is no sense of that limitation in reading this publication. On the contrary, the genre styles, subject matter, and author backgrounds are so broad, “big” is even an understatement. More like its river’s namesake, this Big Muddy meanders, rages, roils, and gently laps through the gamut of literary creative expression.
In their "about us" section, elsewhere says it cares "only about the line/no line. We want short prose works (flash fiction, prose poetry, nonfiction) that cross, blur, and/or mutilate genre.” And, true to their word, that's exactly what the work in the latest issue achieves. Filled with evocative language and eerie imagery, the pieces here straddle the lines between prose poetry and flash fiction, sometimes almost seamlessly.
There’s that famous line in Forrest Gump that many people (even people who haven’t seen the film) will know: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” That’s honestly what went on in my mind while reading through the latest issue of Literary Juice. The most current issue has four poems, one fiction piece, and one super-micro story comprised of only 25 words (which is a neat concept unto itself) under a heading labeled “Pulp.”