Startups in the teeth of a recession are risky, and new publishing ventures especially so; hence, the premiere of the ambitious, earnest semiannual literary journal “Curbside Splendor” should be applauded. Originating online but based in Logan Square, it is a “city” magazine edited by Victor David Giron that casts a wider net, with stories ranging out into suburban and even exurban interests.
Karolina “Koko” Faber’s design creates an urban and urbane showcase for the stories and poems set beside striking, complementary photography by Garett Holden, Faber and others. It is a journal likewise proud of its writers and poets, placing brief bios in front of their works instead of relegating them to the back of the book.
Issue 1 includes winners from Curbside’s Winter 2010 short-story contest. Brandon Jennings’ first-place flash-fiction piece “Doc the Fifth” draws its power from the immediacy of its description of the Iraq War. Stories in both issues vary from generally straightforward narrative to the near surreal, like James Greer’s “Second-Hand Blue” in Issue 1, which demands and rewards close reading. Read the rest of this entry »