A meandering and hilarious homage to a new spatula; vibrant, cacophonous word pictures from a dusty volunteer adventure in Africa; a fictional young woman’s final encounter with her dying father.
This is some of what readers will find in the spring edition of Shark Reef, the online literary magazine that publishes the writing and art of San Juan Islands residents and visitors at sharkreef.org.
There’s much more, too: a stunning self portrait in words, not paint; an anatomy lesson; cherished childhood memories of family cars; a familiar children’s memory game and a hand game played by two people, both saying much more than you think at first glance; rainbow dogs; and a love poem or two.
“Writers and artists with connections to the San Juans are fortunate to have Shark Reef as a venue for our work, and this literary journal gives readers some perspectives and sensibilities unique to island life,” says Iris Graville, a past contributor to the magazine and author of ‘‘Hands at Work: Portraits and Profiles of People Who Work with their Hands.’’
“When Lorna Reese invited me to serve as co-editor for the spring issue, I accepted eagerly as a way to support this valuable resource. What I hadn’t anticipated was just how fun and inspirational it would be to read the submissions. There are many talented, hard-working writers and artists in our midst, and it’s an honor to help bring their work to the wider world.”
The spring issue features memoir from Ann Bodle Nash and Margaret Payne, fiction from Reese and poems from Ande Finley, Renae Keep, Julia Klimek, John Sangster, Lewis Spaulding, Tom Odegard, Faith Van De Putte and Monica Woeffel.
Featured artist for the issues is Caroline Buchanan, whose graceful watercolors are well known for their clear, bright light, resonant colors and depth of layering.
The magazine was launched in 2001 by Reese, Alie Smaalders, Laurie Parker and Leta Marshall under the auspices of the Lopez Writers Guild. Reese currently works with a different co-editor on each edition. Go to sharkreef.org to find submission guidelines, current offerings and archived issues.
In the last year, nine writers whose work has appeared in Shark Reef have been interviewed by Reese for her monthly Writers Read program on KLOI Radio. Many of these programs have been archived to KLOI’s website so interested listeners can listen on their computers or download to iPods at kloi.org.
Shark Reef publishes two issues a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Submission deadlines are June 30 and December 31. The magazine considers solicited and unsolicited material, published previously or unpublished; fiction, non-fiction prose, poetry and dramatic writing. It also features artwork by visual artists in each issue as well. Anyone living in the islands or who has visited is eligible to submit.