Thursday, April 17, 2008


Let's talk some more about literary magazines, or "lit mags" as I call them for short. When I was in Atlanta recently, I saw a magazine in the automobile of John Holman, the man responsible for bringing me to Georgia State University for a reading. It was the newest issue of MISSISSIPPI REVIEW, and contained a story by Mr. Holman. A quick glance at the table of contents revealed some other contributors of personal interest to the "blog": Tao Lin (he and I were once interviewed in the same edition of "Word Riot," plus he is my "myspace" friend!); Kim Chinquee (whose work I have long admired; once we happened to end up in the same issue of Smokelong Quarterly - she's also a "myspace" friend!); K. Kvashay-Boyle (an excellent writer whose connection to the "blog" has been noted in a previous "post"). But here's the part that made me the happiest, with all due respect to those other fine authors: James Whorton, Jr., has a story in the issue! It's always a welcome occasion, coming across new work by the modest Whorton, who never blows his own horn. Like him, his fiction tends to be quiet and modest, the better to galvanize you with its sparks of genius and deep undercurrents of ... well, I was going to say humanity ... I'm horrible at describing why writers are good! Just trust me. I am not the sum of my mangled figures of speech! Whorton is one of the best, that's all I'm saying. Of course, I didn't have time to read any of the stories in the car. So when I got back home, I went to pick up my own copy of Mississippi Review, but the clerk (none other than Dent May) explained some trouble with the distributor, which went over my head. I am sure the issue will soon be available locally (we're in Mississippi! We should have ready access to the Mississippi Review). In the meantime, I ordered a copy straight from the MR "web" site (where you can be introduced to Kim Chinquee's new book as well, or read an archived short story by McNeil or a piece by Theresa). Can't wait to get the issue. I am sure it will be tops. And now, I present Square Books' Dent May, the aforementioned clerk, singing an original song of his own composition: