Micro Reviews [Artifice No. 3] by J. A. Tyler

Posted By jatyler - 3rd August 2011

I don’t often read a single issue of a print journal and then hop online to purchase the entire backlist and bookmark the site for future subscriptions, but I did exactly this after reading only one issue of Artifice. The third issue was gifted to me by the stellar B. L. Pawelek (read his ‘Ten Everywhere’ series here on the MB blog), and once I opened the book, I couldn’t stop reading. Here is tri-tasting of what it offers:

First of all, the production quality is superb. Absolutely stunning. A beautiful matte cover with a letter-press type inlay, smoothly blue and wonderfully fitted to the hand.

Second, the issue opens with a tiny sized font running ticker-style across the bottom of the opening page, a wicked cool offering from Matt Bell that is both an excellent exercise in found-prose / prose-collage and an inventive design running the length of the entire issue.

Third, the issue is chock-full of goodness with a series of hilarious status update poems from Joshua Ware, a perfect impression of Barack Obama from Michael Czyzniejewski, some fabulous short pieces by Brian Oliu, a bit of Michael Bible’s Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City, Stephen Charles Lester’s brilliant poetic translation of a chess match, and take a look at this excerpt from xTx’s ‘Biography’:

On the first New Gift Day of the third month during the year of The Invasion of the Epiphany was the birth of the man we call [      ]. Poor share croppers, his parents, eating oil for food, writhing gold for threads, making blankets for the back of horses; harsh winters. [      ] grew up knowing the taste of oil and salt and hard work from the backs of hands; ribcage collapsed. Easy life, not, and his mother held him seldom; brute idiot father. The strength inside [      ] built.

I want to quote from every piece, but a contributors listing for Artifice No. 3 will have to suffice: Matt Bell, Michael Bible, David Blomenberg, Jason Bredle, Michael Czyzniejewski, Lindsey Drager, Kathleen M. Heideman, Donora Hillard, Dustin M. Hoffman, Anne Cecelia Holmes, Addam Jest, Lily Ladewig, Stephen Charles Lester, Kristine Ong Muslim, Brian Oliu, Daniela Olszewska, Davis Schneiderman, Anne Shaw, Janey Smith, Joshua Ware, Angela Woodward, & xTx.

Get a copy of Artifice No. 3 here.

J. A. Tyler is the author of A Shiny, Unused Heart and A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed. He is also blog editor for Monkeybicycle and founding editor of Mud Luscious Press. Go here for more about / from him.