Tag Archives: Santino Prinzi

Flashing in March
An account of our last Evening of Flash

There was a full house at the spring Evening of Flash Fiction at St James Wine Vaults, Bath on 17th March. It's a wonderful venue with a friendly bar downstairs, and we're made to feel very welcome by owners Mandy and Neil who like to support artistic ventures in the local community.

images courtesy of Rebecca Noakes

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March Flash Fiction Event

Friday 17th March 
7.30 pm – 9.30 pm
late bar, free nibbles
St James' Wine Vaults
www.stjameswinevaults.co.uk
10 St James St
Bath
BA1 2TW

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Come and listen to six flash fiction readers – three local writers who've read before – Carrie Etter, Diane Simmons and Santino Prinzi and three new readers – Jeanette Sheppard, Kevlin Henney and Michael Loveday. As usual, a great variety of flash fiction. Each writer will read for ten minutes and we'll have a break in the middle for you to buy drinks, eat free nibbles and chat.

Book early to avoid disappointment. We're looking forward to a great evening of flash.

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Flash Fiction International
Very Short Stories from Around the World
Eds. James Thomas, Robert Shapard, Christopher Merrill
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories from Around the World (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015) pulls together flash fiction by writers from all over the globe; UK, US, Mexico, Iraq, Israel, Peru, New Zealand, Germany, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Brazil, India, and Ancient Rome are but only a handful of countries represented in this anthology. For avid readers of flash, there are many recognisable names, but there are new faces too. The stories in this anthology have also been selected from across time, demonstrating how flash wasn’t a product of the Internet as many claim it to be (though, of course, the Internet has certainly helped it flourish, but that’s a different discussion). Out of all of the flash fiction anthologies in this series from Norton, Flash Fiction International really is as flavoursome and engaging as it intends to be.
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Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine
by Diane Williams
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

fine-fine-fine-fineFine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine (CB Editions [UK], 2016 / McSweeney’s Books [US], 2016) is the newest collection of short fiction from Diane Williams, the founder and editor of the literary annual NOON. Described by Lydia Davis as ‘one of the very few contemporary prose writers who seem to be doing something independent, energetic, heartfelt’, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine is a collection of challenging, but not impenetrable, flash fictions that examines their subjects with absolute precision.

‘The Skol’, possibly the shortest story in the collection, is about Mrs Clavey who is walking out to sea. It is the perfect example of a flash in which every single word is required, and each word contributes to the greater story being told, for example: ‘She didn’t intend to drink, but she did drink—more.’ This creates the impression that Williams’ language is stripped back, however, the almost minimalist style means that Williams creates imagery that is both concise and evocative without being superfluous. The fact Mrs Clavey didn’t intend to drink more, but continues to do so, reveals much to the reader about the nature of her situation without Williams needing to say more. When Mrs Clavey swallows a tiny amount of water, we’re told ‘It tasted like a cold, salted variety of her favorite payang cougou tea’, Williams demonstrates how the specific choice of words can provide a vivid image, as well as reveal more about the type of woman Mrs Clavey is.
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The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down
by Meg Pokrass
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

the dog looks happy upsidedownThe Dog Looks Happy Upside Down (Etruscan Press, 2016) is the most recent collection of flash fiction from Meg Pokrass. All readers and writers of flash fiction should have encountered her writing at some point because she is so widely published in online and print journals, as well as appearing in many anthologies, such as A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: The 2016 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology and Flash Fiction International. Pokrass has judged many competitions too, as well as judging the new novella-in-flash award, which closes at the end of January 2017. After reading The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down it is no wonder that Pokrass is held in such high regard within the flash fiction community: her prose is masterful.
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Dots and Other Flashes of Perception
Debut flash fiction collection by Santino Prinzi
Review by Jude Higgins

dots-and-other-flashes-of-perceptionForty six stories are included in Santino Prinzi's debut collection of flash fictions published by The Nottingham Review. Many of the characters in this diverse and fascinating collection see life from the periphery, longing to connect with others and finding this hard or impossible.

Stories take place in cafes, parks, food and clothes stores, kitchens and parties and reveal the lives of (usually) young people in contemporary urban society. Prinzi's style is clean and precise – low on metaphor, simile and embellished language of any kind. This way of writing suits the subject matter and setting of the stories, which have no fluffy edges, although some are humorous and playful. Shelf Life is like that – a neatly crafted story following the path of a relationship all the way to its noir end as the protagonists wander around a bookshop morphing personalities as they select different genres of writing from the shelves.
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The Best Small Fictions 2016
Eds. Tara L. Masih & Stuart Dybek
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

The Best Small Fictions 2016The Best Small Fictions 2016 (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2016) is the second instalment in this series of anthologies that pull together the very best in small fiction. To say this is no easy task is an understatement, one with which I can only begin to empathise. Tara L. Masih, series editor, highlights in her foreword to the anthology: “out of thousands of published small fictions, my staff and consulting editors and I narrowed down the field to 100”, to which the guest editor, Stuart Dybek, whittled this selection down to 45 stories. This feat is admirable in itself, but truly rewarding for readers of this anthology.

An additional feature to this anthology are interviews offering a spotlight on a particular author and on a particular press, magazine, or journal. Both Megan Giddings, (formerly an Executive Editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, now co-fiction editor at The Offing mag and a recipient of the Kathy Fish Fellowship) and Texture Press, received five nominations and have two small fictions featured in this anthology. Not only is this an incredible achievement for both Giddings and Texture Press, but, and most importantly, when you read these pieces you see how their places are more than well-deserved.
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Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer
Edited by Robert Swartwood
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

hint-fictionHint Fiction (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010) is, as the title suggests, an anthology of fiction where each story is 25 words or fewer. There are 125 stories to be found in this anthology, divided across three broad themes: life and death; love and hate; this and that, which entails any story that fails to fit into the first two categories. The anthology boasts a series of celebrated writers, such as Joyce Carol Oates, Gay Degani, Stuart Dybek, among others. Robert Shapard, the editor of numerous flash fiction anthologies who has provided his views on the reverse of this anthology, believes that “some of these stories suggest entire novels in just a few words,” and, as became clear on reading, these stories really are microcosms of universes that become apparent once the penny drops.
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Songs Without Music by Tim Stevenson
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

songs without musicSongs Without Music (Gumbo Press, 2016) is the third fiction collection from Tim Stevenson. He is a first prize winner of the National Flash Fiction Day Micro Competition, has had his fiction published widely in magazines, anthologies, and online, and is judging this year’s Bridport Flash Fiction Prize.

The collection is presented with the by-line “flash-fictions and curiosities”, which is an accurate and all-encompassing description for Songs Without Music; we have flash, haiku, centipieces, and other forms possibly eluding definition. Not only are there different forms of fiction but different genres too, making for a collection that invigorates the imagination and provides a varied, thought-provoking reading experience.
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Jude, Ken, Meg, Tino, Diane, Carrie

Our First Evening of Flash
An account and the start of something new

When we learned that Meg Pokrass, our novella-in-flash judge, was in the UK this summer, prior to moving here permanently, we grasped the opportunity to invite her to read and meet some other flash fiction writers in the South West. The evening was a resounding success. The lovely upstairs room in St James' Wine Vaults in Bath was packed and the audience enjoyed a true feast of flash-fictions – a great mixture of styles, tastes and cultural differences.
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