In Defense of Young Artists

By Carly Fowler

Everyone has to start somewhere, yet there is a certain disdain for young creators. We turn our noses up at the first attempts made by anyone still in their twenties or younger. Reviews often read, “Amateurish,” or “Juvenile,” without ever explaining what makes the content deserving of such harsh criticism other than that the artist is of a young age. Of course, by taking this stance we are forgetting the young artists that have solidified the literary canon, such as S.E Hinton who wrote The Outsiders when she was just eighteen, and Mary Shelley who crafted Frankenstein when she was nineteen. We are likely to let potential classics go unnoticed if we continue to disregard work created by a younger generation. Continue reading “In Defense of Young Artists”

Prelude to Bruise

Cover of Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones

By Whisper Blanchard

“If I ever strangled sparrows/it was only because I dreamed/of better songs.”

Consider this line as an introduction into the work of Saeed Jones, a young poet who has recently published his debut collection, Prelude to Bruise, which was picked up by Coffee House Press and put on shelves in September of 2014. I’ve chosen this quote to show you what you will undoubtedly encounter upon reading: underlying desperation and frustration that spawns from the issues often present in these poems, such as an ambiguity with race, sexual orientation, and the exploration of the individual through such mediums. Brace yourself for the confusing comfort of vivid imagery offset by violence (or heightened by violence), a technique that defines Jones’ unique voice as a poet. Continue reading “Prelude to Bruise”

On Writing, On Observing, On Anxiety

By Riley Dixon

In attempting quite fervently to ‘idle,’ I learned that I am almost incapable of remaining in a completely idle state. There is a buzzing inside and out that I cannot seem to shake unless I am totally at peace. I seem to have falsely convinced myself that a moment at rest is a moment wasted. There is not a single part of me that enjoys a passive existence—and so I write. Continue reading “On Writing, On Observing, On Anxiety”