Arts/Literature

New Amethyst Arsenic just released

Poetry, fiction, music reviews, art and photography from one of the country’s fine young independent online art and literature journals.

We’ve pointed you in the past toward Amethyst Arsenic, one of our favorite online literary and arts journals, and the Winter 2014 iteration is now posted.

This edition features fiction from Victor Infante, art by Jill Christian, a few music reviews (Nathan Payne, Found Audio, PowerSlut) and poetry from Maggie Blake, Ned Dougherty, Lo Galluccio, Jason Gordon, Amanda Nowakowski, Chad Parenteau, Caitlin Scarano, Theadora Siranian, Dante Di Stefano and Meg Tuite, to name a few. I haven’t worked my way through the whole issue yet, but I was instantly taken by Suad Ali’s “Shamal Season,” which captures a moment in the existence of a poor servant in the employ of a sheikh. In doing so, it appeals to the senses in artfully illustrating the gulf between those at the top and the bottom of the food chain.

Imagine being so grateful for so little. The poem immediately recalled a 2008 post by our colleague Gavin Chait, where he explored the painful process of emigrating from his home in South Africa. The most poignant moment in that tale concerned the plight of his housekeeper and the struggle to confront what his leaving might mean for her and her family.

Sadly, these stories are all too universal in a world where 85 people own more than than half the planet’s wealth. Statistics are dry and hard to empathize with, but here Ali makes the rich-poor gap a palpable thing, and does so by deftly focusing not on the squalor, but on a moment of comparative pleasure and happiness.

Temple of Glass: Chihuly Garden & Glass, Seattle Center

Temple of Glass: Chihuly Garden & Glass, Seattle Center

And now, the shameless self-promotion. I have in the past been fortunate enough to have my poetry featured in AA. But as we know, I have retired from poetry. Now I’m a photographer, and darned if they aren’t featuring three of my favorite recent shots. I don’t know how often the same artist appears in a publication for both his/her writing and visual art, but it can’t happen all that often. I’m terribly thankful to Editor and Publisher Samantha Milowsky for providing me the forum. She’s a multi-talented woman, to say the least, and I’m honored to again appear in such a well-regarded journal.

The three shots were all taken here in my new home in Seattle. In fact, all three center on one complex – Seattle Center, where you’ll find the Space Needle, the EMP Museum and Chihuly Garden and Glass. I hope you’ll pop over and have a look at my photography, and then please take a few minutes to explore the writing.

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