Reviews of the Ephemeral

Posts Tagged ‘Mudluscious’

Saboteur Awards 2012

In Blogzines, Magazine, online magazine, Saboteur Awards on February 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Vote here!

This year we’re going to do things differently, and leave the choice of winner down to you, the reader. In this post we feature all of the literary magazines we’ve reviewed on Sabotage since 30th April 2011. Voting will close on 30th April 2012 at midnight, with results revealed on 1st May 2012 to celebrate Sabotage‘s 2nd Birthday.

The Saboteur Awards exist to celebrate literary magazines be they online or in print. To read all about our 2011 winners go here. There are no monetary prizes, however, the winning magazine editor(s) will be interviewed for a feature on Sabotage Reviews, they will receive a logo to put on their website, and bask in the knowledge that they are appreciated.

We encourage you to read the reviews and read the magazines before you vote. Who knows, you may discover your new favourite publication that way! The magazines in the running this year are (in no particular order):

Fantastique Unfettered
New Linear Perspectives
Ilk
Night and Day
Five Dials
Mythic Delirium
Curbside Quotidian
Mudluscious
Used Furniture Review
Paper Darts
Brittle Star
Anon
Armchair/Shotgun

Voting is now open!

Click here to cast your vote!

Voters are encouraged to leave comments explaining their choice.

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Mudluscious #16

In online magazine on July 12, 2011 at 9:46 am

-Reviewed by Caroline Crew

Content over style.

Exactly how worn out is the idiom style over substance? Probably entirely. However it is a balance we have to work with and online literary magazines really seem to bring out this tension. None more so than Mud Luscious Press’ quarterly offering, Mudluscious. While MLP’s site is all colourful minimalism and swagger, the magazine is the bleakest of designs. No colour, no illustrations, and available only as a PDF download—a fact that really seems at odds with the potential that digital platforms offer literary magazines. Especially perplexing is this resistance to really embrace the opportunities of the online existence when Mudluscious is embracing some truly challenging writing.

We open with the marvellous Parker Tettleton’s short prose-poem ‘What I Want & How I Live’, the meta-narrative of which seems to set the stage for what follows. Something I’ve noticed with Tettleton’s prose-poetry it the extent to which he really achieves the blurring of lines that a true achievement in this genre requires.  In this piece the expanse covered—from the actuality of the writer at the page to the universality of the male and female ‘thrust and ache’ as Louise Glück describes it- melds together the exactness expected of prose with the metaphoric leaps granted to poetry.

This genre crossing that is one of basic hallmarks of contemporary writing that rejects the mainstream. I hesitate at the descriptor ‘experimental’, as more often than not this is just shorthand for the myriad of more alternative approaches to creative writing. However, ‘experiment’ seems the most apt way to describe Jonas Williams’ intriguing piece ‘Ranch-Ready Crop-Tops’. There is an inherent tension in this fiction between the two sections ‘Vocabulary’ and ‘Applied Vocabulary’ that is in tune with the consumerist tension of our capitalist society—the product set against yet within the human, mass-production against organic. By absorbing as well as creating a jargon of industrial food production Williams does a great job of pulling the reader to the centre of the piece with a compelling verfremdungseffekt, making the familiar landscape of a grocery store entirely alien.

However, do not flee from Mudluscious if you think ‘experimental’ writing is not your thing. There is true lyricism to behold here. Molly Prentiss’ ‘How the West Was Lost’ is drenched in sensual landscape and disarmingly poignant advice:

 

And triangles are the strongest shape, but not emotionally. Here:

you must have an odd number of tattoos but an even number of lovers.

 

There are many, many other highlights—remarkable for such a small collection, that to discuss them all here would steal the joy of discovery.  It is a delight to read a magazine that not only has no filler, but that is also aware of its consumption as a whole. The care and attention with which such a collection has been put together and arranged is marred only by the decision to shove the pieces together. The writing explodes in the mind but has no room on the page; instead the works muscle in on each other. Still, this stylistic limitation cannot truly impact the explosive content.