A couple months back I got this email from a publisher wondering if anyone from THIS zine would be interested in reviewing a chapbook they’d just put out. It’s the sort of thing that happens pretty regularly at literary magazines, so I didn’t think much of it. In fact, the only reason I opened the document at all was to assess what it was about so I’d be able to send it to some other reviewer. I started reading, however, skimming really, and pretty soon I was reading with attention, and then with interest. By the time I came to the end of the first chapbook, my coffee was cold and I’d discovered a kindred storytelling spirit, which was eery enough, but then I read the author bio and was like, “Hey! I know that guy!”. Well, not ‘know’ exactly. But I know Vouched Books and Newgent is the guy behind Vouched Indianapolis, so… Go figure.
I decided to review Christopher Newgent’s collection of flash fiction and not Brian Oliu or Tyler Gobble’s poetry chapbooks (which together form The Fullness of Everything) simply because I feel more qualified reviewing fiction than poetry, and because Oliu’s and Gobble’s poetry, in my humble opinion, is worth a closer look on their own. I’d be interested to hear from other reviewers how you handle collections by two or more authors. How to honor the individual author while considering it within context of the larger work?
For those of you who are interested in such things, check it out.