‘Just Read’ readathon: lit mags, post 1

In June and July I’m participating in the Just Read readathon, helping to raise funds for the excellent Indigenous Literacy Foundation. For the readathon, I am only reading literary magazines. I finished my first one last night, issue 7 of The Canary Press. One of the things I like about lit mags is the mix of voices and styles and perspectives bouncing off each other — and the mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, art, etc. Although The Canary Press stick mainly to fiction (in this issue, there is a script and lots of triffic art work), they still achieve that mix: its spread of writers is international, and they happily publish the living and the dead (in the issue, the dead are Elizabeth Jolley, one of Australia’s best writers of any era, and Moacyr Scliar, who was a Brazilian writer and physician – I’d never heard of him before, which is another thing I like about lit mags, at least when the writing turns out to be good). I’m not going to review this issue here, but I will say that the whole thing unsettled me, which is what I like most about lit mags. My favourite piece — on a first read, anyway — was Lally Katz’s disturbing (to me) script, ‘The Apocalypse Bear – Part 1’.

My next lit mag for the readathon is … I’m not sure yet ….

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