Misunderstandings Magazine

Wow, people really seem to be all over the map with their feelings on this litzine (see BP 38 for reviews of issues 1 and 7). Folks made nervous by previous editions’ apparently unconventional layout and pagination will be relieved to find that this is an easy-to-navigate collection, complete with page numbers in numerical order. A mixed-bag of styles and genres, mainly focusing on poetry, this zine produces some gems. Andrew Faulkner pens an ode to skinny jeans and their movement-mutating potential. Jacob McArthur Mooney’s poem “Malton Public” describes a tense lunch hour in a library full of teenagers colliding with the world. Anne Baldo writes an eerie underwater narrative that lingers close to death. The excerpt from Leigh Nash’s “No Means”–the sole piece of prose included here–is tense and high-strung, articulating a professor’s drunken, coercive sexual encounter with his student, that leaves us right in the height of anxiety. I want more! This collection is interspersed with various visuals, (illustrations from Michael deForge and Kathryn Jankowski are the most interesting), able to stand up well in their own right next to the poems they bookend. The rest of the pictures just get lost in the shuffle–the main weak point I can find with this zine. Otherwise, this is a packed collection of thematically diverse, well-written work, and it comes cheap. Issue #8 might win over those earlier skeptics. (Sarah Pinder)

litzine, editors Jim Johnstone and Ian Williams, volume 8, $3, [email protected]; misunderstandingsmagazine.com