Nearly every literary journal and genre magazine recommends reading a sample issue before submitting work to it. That’s one of the motivations for my ongoing series of reviews — to demonstrate I’ve done my homework.
Event Poetry & Prose is a literary journal founded in 1971. Published by Douglas College in British Columbia, the journal comes out three issues a year.
What They Say About Themselves: “For 50 years, EVENT has published the very best in contemporary new poetry and prose. We are one of Western Canada’s longest-running literary magazines, and welcome submissions written in English from around the world. Each issue of EVENT includes high quality fiction, poetry, non-fiction and book reviews, and we feature emerging and established writers side-by-side in our pages. We also print commissioned illustrations alongside the writing, and each cover features the work of a BC photographer.”
Issue Reviewed: Volume 46, Issue 1 (Spring/Summer 2017). This was the complimentary issue offered when I signed up for the journal’s newsletter.
Genre: Literary realism
One Story I’ll Remember Not to Forget: “My Holocaust Survivor,” by Méira Cook. Daniel is a disaffected high school student interviewing an elderly Holocaust survivor in a senior center for a school project. Resentful at the assignment and disgusted by the ill-mannered man he interviews, Daniel eventually discovers a unique bond with the survivor. Stories on this subject can be predictable and maudlin, but this story was neither. I appreciated this fresh take.
Exploding Helicopters: One Explosion. The stories featured a great deal of dialogue and introspection, but very little conflict.
Profanometer: Dammit. After two-plus years of reviewing literary journals, I’m coming to believe that writers routinely throw in an f-bomb or two as a perfunctory demonstration of their stories’ adult content. I know that’s cynical, but then again I am kind of a fucking jerk.