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Two More Journals of Note

Two journals have recently crossed my radar screen for the first time...

Journal of Ordinary Thought (motto: "Every person is a philosopher.") is a periodical produced by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, which runs writing workshops for adults in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. As I mentioned earlier, what first grabbed my attention was Tony Fitzpatrick's wonderful cover art, but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire issue. The writing is both accomplished and refreshingly informal; these writers aren't writing for ambition or agenda, but simply to express themselves. The focus of this issue (Fall 2004; excerpts here) is the media and its effect on everyday people; there's plenty of nostalgic reflections on TV and radio of the past, as well as pointed essays on how things aren't but should be. I was particularly struck by the following passage from Rosa Cardoso's "Gangs", particularly the final sentence:

I want to tell parents that they should have more communication with their children. They should be energetic but careful. They should help their kids now and not wait for the future. It's better to scold now than to cry later.

Overall, JOT is a very thought-provoking and worthy venture. I'm seriously considering donating to the organization.

Lunch Hour Stories publishes a single short story in each issue, in a very attractive booklet/chapbook format. The publisher was kind enough to send me two free copies: Audrey Glassman Vernick's "The Grass Next Door" is a funny story about a hapless word puzzle writer and goat herder at Sturbridge Village (a living history museum in Massachusetts), his city expatriate live-in girlfriend, and the too-perfect married couple next door; and Sudha Narasimhachar's "Ajji, The Valiant" reflects on an elderly woman in India. LHS is quite affordable (16 issues per year for just $22) and is definitely worth looking into.

July 2, 2006 in Books | Permalink

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