Tag Archives: Santino Prinzi

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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Hometown by Carrie Etter
Reviewed by Santino Prinzi

hometownHometown (V.Press, 2016) is the debut fiction pamphlet from the poet, lecturer, and critic Carrie Etter, whose most recent collection, Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014), was shortlisted for the 2014 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry by The Poetry Society.

The collection explores the lives of characters living in the American Midwest and is divided into two sections, with the second section detailing “the aftermath of a white man’s accidental killing of a black man in central Illinois” in a series of flashes. For this reviewer, the perfect flash is a complete story in itself, can be read quickly, but remains in the mind of the reader long after an initial reading, the type of flash you read and have to step away from the text so you can recover; if you’re looking for a collection of flashes that do exactly this then look no further.
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