Review: Neon Literary Journal, edited by Krishan Coupland
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Neon Literary Journal
Edited by Krishan Coupland
FourVolts Productions, 2007
Booklet, 50 pages
Neon #14 is available in print or to download at http://www.neonmagazine.co.uk.
British literary magazine Neon describes itself as "a journal of brilliant things", and issue #14 belies its small size with an enigmatic and striking picture of a shingle beach on the cover. Throughout this fifty-page literary journal are monochrome images that set off, illustrate, or provide backgrounds to the poetry and prose. This is a serious work of art created by people who take art seriously.
Since the journal is short, the contents tend to be short, too, which means Neon can easily be consumed in a series of quick reads. This makes it ideal for the West's rush-rush-rush societies. But what about those contents? Are they worth the effort?
If you're not going to read GUD (although why wouldn't you?) give Neon a try instead. Or even better--try both.
From the beginning of Rupert Merkin's Second Coming--"Hyde Park is mined"--to the end of Jarod Rosello's This is What the Robots Do--"...robots are sleeping in people's beds"--Neon offers variety, intrigue, and solid writing.
Brits might be disappointed that so much of the content of this British journal is by writers from or connected with the US, but I have to say, from my experiences with NFG (Canadian), GUD (American), and ASIM (Australian), that's pretty much the way the wind blows. The US has a huge English-speaking population, and some days it feels like they all want to write.
To stand out in that crowd, non-US content has to be extra-sparkly. Perhaps like Grant McLeman's poem Fall In:
he was the name,
who gives no reply,
in the parade ground,
the empty echo
across the square.
Definitely one for the nightstand.
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