Promising Writing

Images

One widely read litmag from the South is a publication of Georgia State University, New South – – Georgia State University's Journal of Arts and Literature. After reading the winter 2012 issue, I'm heartened somewhat by the quality of writing coming from the creative writing mills of the U.S.'s universities.

This issue – like many of its kind – is heavy on poetry. Much of what I've read in this issue seems well crafted, with attention to rhythm, imagery, and word usage. 

The prose? Not so much. One piece I won't name hit one of my sore spots in that it's written in first person, present tense. While this is perfectly acceptable, it's often misused, as it seems to me here. This combo of tense and person is supposed to create the illusion of reader-protagonist intimacy, but when overused, it has a dreamlike, distancing feel. However, many of the other prose pieces are well written with attention to voice, character and – to some degree – story arc. If these prose pieces suffer from anything in general, it's that they're too long, given the story and its arc. 

Still, these pieces bear the marks of workshopping and advice from MFA writing coaches and teachers. As such I found the who issue readable. And there's a very nice photo essay by one Kathleen Robbins that serves as a center section to this issue. NewSouth is promising big plans in the coming months. I think this issue is a good start.

 

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