Issue 2 of The Collagist is out. I admit I went straight to Angi Becker Steven's story "Even If You Were Here." You have got to read this story. Angi is a tremendously gifted writer, and her stories are not read so much as experienced. I had such an emotional reaction to this story and know it will stay with me for a long time. Congratulations, Angi.
I look forward to returning to The Collagist and reading the rest of what this stellar publication has to offer. Matt Bell's also running a Flash fiction contest judged by none other than Kim Chinquee. Go check it all out.
In more exciting news, PANK has a whole new and divine look. It looks so good it'll surely change all interviewees' response to that "PANK AND XXX meet at a bar" multiple choice question! They've a new issue out, too, with equally hot writers and their work.
Last night, I finished reading Stefanie Freele's short story collection FEEDING STRAYS. It's a collection told in fantastic ways about everyday people hungering for sustenance and nourishment. Fifty stories of such delightful range, imagination, and strangeness they left me itching to return to more fantastic, slipstream elements in my own work.
Stefanie Freele has an especial talent for titles, first lines, personification, inventive premises, and unflinching honesty. There's a sense reading her unique work that this brave writer will take us anywhere that the story needs to go in order to deliver its emotional truths.
Freele's characters and their reactions to their situations are always surprising and refuse to be limited to the realistic or "the rules." Her work centers on re-seeing the mundane and everyday in extraordinary ways so that we are not blind to how her characters, and indeed all of us, suffer.
Congratulations, Stefanie! You can buy your autographed copy here. Enjoy.