Literary Reviews, Page 56

"Something Worth Fighting For," by Roman Skaskiw

At first glance, Front Porch Journal might seem a modest little affair; a one-year old electronic literary journal published under the auspices of the Texas State University MFA program. However, under the leadership of Executive Editor Tom Grimes and Managing Editor Evelyn Lauer, the journal appears superb, both in regard to form and substance. Its name is derived from a quote from Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451 referring to front porches as once dangerous places where people would sit and talk and, worse yet, have too much time to think. Along with reading, talking and reflecting are the stuff of such publications as Front Porch; a mission admirably fulfilled.

Front Porch offers a couple of fiction selections in each quarterly issue, along with a wealth of poems, reviews, interviews with literary figures; audio and video selections of readings and interviews which one can listen to and/or watch online. The journal also offers “creative nonfiction,” examples of which are mostly essays concerning various topics submitted by contributors. One thought-provoking, somewhat provocative such piece entitled “Girl of Yes, and an End to Highways,” [Issue 4] by Carol Guess is a recounting of the trials and tribulations of lesbian love within the context of a world not yet fully accepting of it. Whatever one’s view of the moral propriety of homosexual marriage might be, the work is a powerful piece of social commentary which I would recommend to any interested in exploring diverse viewpoints regarding such contentious issues.

An interview with Marjorie Perloff, an author of numerous scholarly books on modern poetry, in Issue 2 concerning the fate of print journals in the age of the internet is one I would recommend as most interesting and insightful. The poetry and book reviews offered within Front Porch are particularly well-written, erudite and incisive.

Despite the fact that Front Porch is not in a position to offer compensation to its contributors as yet, the publication manages to attract submissions from such highly-esteemed contributors within literary circles as Judy Wilson, Roddy Doyle and Zdravka Evtimova among others. I’d recommend Front Porch Journal, to all interested in literary fare, as a superb little literary gem of a publication.

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