Another in my ongoing reviews of literary journals and genre magazines.
Staffed by faculty and students from Western Washington University, Sweet Tree Review is an online publication that has produced four new issues a year since 2015.
What They Say About Themselves: “A sweet tree does not have a single definition. A sweet tree is everything you need it to be and nothing you expect it to be.
A sweet tree is the inceptive – your earliest memory, the stain of blackberry juice, the cat you lost in fourth grade, your latest road trip postcard, the B minus on your thesis, the old lady that laughed at you kissing your boyfriend, the bus you waited for in the rain when you misread the schedule.
A sweet tree is the aftermath – the fireweed, the clink of soapy glasses after a funeral, the lights without the sirens, the 3:34 am phone call, the bustle of the hospital after the monitor stops, the thrum of helicopter blades over rubble, the exhale of a rescue dog.
Confront us. Endear us. Scare us. Sadden us. Show us things we don’t understand; things we didn’t know we wanted to understand.”
Issue Reviewed: Volume 6, Issue 1 (Winter 2021)
Genre: Literary realism
One Story I’ll Remember Not to Forget: “White Noise,” by Adam Gianforcaro. Gene and Mario buy their first home in a college town, but their quiet world is soon disrupted by a fateful phone call. The story of their three decades in the home is told with appreciation for the couple’s compassion and includes both small and large moments that were truly genuine.
Exploding Helicopters: One Explosion. Aside from some noisy neighbors, not much happens on Gene and Mario’s street.
Profanometer: Dammit. The two f-bombs came at an appropriate time of the story.