Popshot: an illustrated magazine of new writing (4 stars)

Popshot: an illustrated magazine of new writing

Issue #9 contains pieces by Michael Hitchins and Fabian Acker

With crisp presentation, simple text layouts, full-page illustrations and plenty of white space, Popshot – an illustrated magazine of new writing - makes simplicity a virtue, letting the selected works speak for themselves. It’s an effective approach; the friendly font and unassuming design make it easy to think ‘just one more story’, then keep on reading.

This issue’s theme of ‘imagination’ yields some excellent results: Fabian Acker uses a common fantasy – the ability to fly – as a startling central event in ‘The Twain’, a short story of friendship that’s both down-to-earth and richly metaphorical, while ‘The White Room’ by Michael Hitchins reflects on the danger of living too much in one’s own imagination, and has a killer ending. Maria Apichella’s closing poem, ‘Fire’, which connects imagination with prayer, is particularly well placed, offering a powerful and evocative final image.

On the downside, too much of the writing dwells on creativity and creative processes, leaving one yearning for less self-involvement and more investigation of the world beyond these writers’ interior lives. It is an editorial oversight, but not one of quality; the standard of writing is uniformly high, and on this evidence Popshot looks for the best and finds it.

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