litzine, Spring 2002, 66 pgs, $5, Qwerty c/o UNB English Department, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3.
Qwerty features a poem by Rain, a small grey felinus domesticus from Fredericton. Broken Pencil is proud to reprint “What the Cat Wrote” in its entirety: m\\w 55555555.”Ahem. Overlook the intro crammed with purple prose (“To this great sea of literature, then, we adduce our own small inlet: the quiddity of Qwerty…”) and focus instead on gems like Caroline Flood’s short story “Fishbone,” a delight of comic timing, tone and brevity. The poetry in Qwerty is about as good or as bad as you’ll find in a typical litzine, although if Ross Priddle’s handwritten poems were easier to read (make them bigger next time!) that assessment would require serious reconsideration. The best thing here is a 10-page interview with Jim Munroe (author, most recently, of Everyone in Silico). Qwerty lacks a distinct literary sensibility, it’s devoid of any graphic design savvy or typographic spark, and is too easy to set aside and never revisit again. In trying to imitate more established (read: boring) literary journals, Qwerty has succeeded only too well. (Ryan Bigge)