At the start of this year, I made a commitment to write a review of a literary journal or genre magazine each week. With today’s post, I’m one week closer to reaching that goal.
Founded in 1971, phoebe (all lowercase, thank you very much) is both an online and print literary journal.
What they say about themselves: “phoebe prides itself on supporting up-and-coming writers, whose style, form, voice, and subject matter demonstrate a vigorous appeal to the senses, intellect, and emotions of our readers. We choose our writers because we believe their work succeeds at its goals, whether its goals are to uphold or challenge literary tradition.
We insist on openness, which means we welcome both experimental and conventional prose and poetry, and we insist on being entertained, which means the work must capture and hold our attention, whether it be the potent language of a poem or the narrative mechanics of a short story. Above all, we seek to publish quality writing.”
Issue reviewed: Volume 49, Issue 2 (Spring 2020)
Genre: Experimental realism
One Story I’ll Remember Not to Forget: “The Shape of Grief,” by Alyssa Quinn. On a visit to a doctor’s office, a woman insists on having an x-ray, which reveals she has a large metallic pillar inside her. After it is removed, she decides to keep the object. The sensual details in this story are quite memorable.
Clapperboard Rating: One Klack. The stories rely far more on perspective and insight than they do on action or dialogue.
Profanometer: Dammit. One memorable story consistently used the term bleep in place of profanity, and it worked more effectively than I would have suspected.