Lopezians – poet J.A. Harris and visual artists Ginny Neece and Lane Langford – are among the writers and artists featured the latest issue of SHARK REEF Literary Magazine. The magazine’s Winter 2014 edition is online now at sharkreef.org.
Founded in 2001 as a venue for Lopez Island writers, SHARK REEF, now in its second decade, welcomes submissions from writers and artists living wherever the internet reaches.
Editor and co-founder Lorna Reese partners with a different co-editor for prose for each issue. For the past three, she has worked with Jeremiah O’Hagan, a former teacher and now a staff reporter for a small-town weekly newspaper in Washington state. O’Hagan holds an master's in fine arts in creative writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts.
In O’Hagan’s introduction to the Winter issue, he writes about the basic tenet of storytelling: “If the bones are believable, you can take readers anywhere… The everyday is ripe with stories that stretch our imagination and intellect.” The prose pieces in the issue feature a bus ride, a girl in church, a waiting room, shoplifting, a teenager who’s weary of her parents and more.
About the poetry in the issue, O’Hagan says, “Poetry is much the same; the day-to-day is a cacophony of small wonders.” The eleven poems in this issue, selected by poetry co-editors Tom Aslin and Gary Thompson, take us to someone spreading jam; a man who carries letters; a circle of sandwiches and half-smoked cigars; someone sitting at a computer. “We enter the poems to realize that reality is a labyrinth,” O’Hagan says. “We need a guide to help us through. We need a host of guides.”
Aslin and Thompson have served as poetry co-editors for the past two issues. Aslin studied with the late Richard Hugo, and has published a chapbook as well as a full-length collection, “A Moon Over Wings,” which was a finalist for a Washington State Book Award in poetry. Thompson taught in the creative writing program at California State University for over 25 years and has four collections of poetry, including his most recent book, “To the Archaeologist Who Finds Us.” Both Aslin and Thompson hold masters of fine arts degrees from the University of Montana.
“We’re in our fourteenth year and it’s still exciting to see what turns up in SHARK REEF’s e-mailbox,” says Reese. “The quality of submissions is outstanding and we look forward, always, to enjoying the adventure of dipping into the work of creative people – writers and visual artists -- from around the globe. We appreciate the support of our readers, too, and hope people will keep turning to SHARK REEF for good writing and visual art.”
Originally published by the Lopez Writers Guild, SHARK REEF has, for several years, been published by Lopez Island author and publisher, Iris Graville. Readers can subscribe to SHARK REEF at no cost at sharkreef.org. Updates about the publication also are posted on the magazine’s Facebook page (Shark Reef Literary Magazine).