Far in the north of Canada, nestled close to the Arctic Circle, lies Dawson City – a creative hub which is now home to the recently launched online literary journal, One Throne Magazine.
Published quarterly (always on the first day of each season), One Throne Magazine showcases ‘the foremost in writing, spanning genres, and running the gamut from elegant prose and poetry, to plot-driven stories, to speculative fiction.’
I was surprised and delighted to be invited to do a review of the second edition of the publication, released to the world in June, and I was infinitely curious as to what it would be like… especially when I landed on the home page and was welcomed by a grid of beautiful, original artwork. Quirky, magical and mysterious, they captured my imagination immediately and all I wanted to know was – what words lay beneath?
With eight poems, three works of fiction and one piece of flash fiction, there is certainly a form of writing to suit any reader and, as already pointed out, there is an inspired piece of artwork or photography which acts as a cover page illustration for each piece of writing, so the magazine is also a showcase for talented artists as well as authors. All in all – an impressive welcome for One Throne Magazine readers.
As for the writing itself, there are of course a range of styles and stories on display, yet they work well together in forming the body of the publication. Hovering over each picture will tell readers if they are about to embark on a poetic adventure or a fictional piece of writing and I decided to begin with the poets – more specifically, with Dog Years – an evocative poem by Ryan Favata and, surprisingly, his first published piece. Here’s a taste, but you can read the rest via the link above.
‘They say it’s ten dog years per human year for the first two years,
then four dog years per human year for each year after.
This must mean for the first two years
catching a tennis ball and bringing it back feels like four days,
traversing a lake a month.’
Dog owners will surely love this poem, but it’s a piece of writing, I think, which will speak to everyone as, with most poetry, it isn’t always quite what you think it’s about at the start. As my first reading experience on OTM (One Throne Magazine), I was suitably impressed and quickly read on…
What a surprise to see that one of the next poems I came across, Desert, by Lesley-Anne Evans, was the work of a Belfast-born writer, albeit raised in Toronto.
‘Here in the welcoming undark
we unfurl to moon moisture
stretch slick over topics, tremble
with ears perked and turning
to possibility on wings…’
This is another thing which I like about OTM – their contributors are from all over – Canada, of course, but also: America, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK and Israel. Oh, and they’re seeking submissions for their upcoming Fall issue, so there’s a great opportunity!
Charles Bane Jr’s My Love is another poem which stood out for me, although I have to say (and I can be picky with poems), I hesitate to pick out favourites, and only do so because I really won’t have room to mention them all here, if I’m to keep this post a reasonable length. As current nominee for Poet Laureate of Florida, his poem is pensive – an olde world love poem, I would say – the words and the accompanying artwork mirroring beautifully the magic of the night.
‘But at twilight,
love, the flooring’s swept,
a loom removed in lowering
steps, and a hearth of sparks
The juxtaposition of work by a potential poet laureate with that of newly published authors is also refreshing, in that OTM’s door is simply open to great writing – be it from established or freshly fledged writers.
Andrew Reichard is another example of a newly published writer, and his poem, Backward, is a thought-provoking and imaginative piece on the fragility of time – of looking forward, of looking behind…
“Many Things Live Backward,”
he said, and I admit I thought him out of his
This is just a snapshot of the poetry on offer and all I can say is that I would definitely recommend checking it out…
To the fiction, then, and a flash fiction piece in Voracious, by Ilana Masad, which will certainly make you perceive your fellow commuters on the subway or underground a little differently after reading!
‘Her name begins with a V and is old-fashioned…’ – Yes, but her wandering thoughts are anything but…
The fiction is as varied in style and content as the poetry, creating an eclectic mix of writing in this second edition of One Throne Magazine, but a collection of work which sits well as just that – a complete collection. There is memoir in Notes from a Discarded Memoir by Timothy Ogene:
‘The coffin maker, cloaked in a white robe, astride a black coffin, with a whip, rode in the air, towards me, that ugly grin on his face. When he landed, he opened the coffin.’
… in which he recalls his time in ‘the blocks’ – ‘a place that I will never return to, and will never forget. There are times I wish I could forget the blocks, and times I wish I could remember more. ‘
It is the lengthiest piece of work in the publication and offers an emotive insight into the writer’s childhood. There is an altogether different glimpse into childhood in Wonderful and in Abbi Abbey Abbie Alexander, but perhaps you’d best check those out for yourselves…
This is but a very brief look at an online literary magazine which I for one will be following with interest and which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Personally, there are some publications out there which just don’t inspire enough enthusiasm in me to remember them but with One Throne Magazine, the combination of evocative, well-written poetry, fiction and artwork will certainly have me coming back for more…