Blogger on Books (2023) – Speak Out! Issue 3

Speak Out! Issue 3 edited by Brenda Lee Browne

This would normally be a quick take but as it’s my first completed read of 2023, the third installment of the Speak Out! journal – a freely available online journal published on the Adda platform by Commonwealth Writers – takes center stage. However briefly.Quick recap, this series is a collection of stories and poems, four installments in total, from writers around the British Commonwealth. Each has a different editor and this issue‘s editor is British born Antiguan-Barbudan Brenda Lee Browne (whose book London Rocks was reviewed earlier in Blogger on Books and written up in CREATIVE SPACE – full disclosure, I was an editor on that book and our paths cross in other ways in our small island literary community; fuller disclosure, I submitted pieces to Speak Out! but was rejected which did not dim my enjoyment of pieces in Speak Out! 1, reviewed here, and Speak Out! 2, reviewed here)Now on to Speak Out! 3…It has seven pieces of which I liked “Hair/Her Emancipation” by Nadine Tomlinson, a Jamaican writer and speculative storyteller, and the affecting “Annabeth” by Rolli, a Canadian writer and cartoonist; but my favourite was “A Doctor, A Lawyer, An Engineer, A Shame to the Family” by Mubanga Kalimamukwento of Zambia. Favourite line (maybe) – “Judson wasn’t handsomer than a pork loin, but we had meat seven days a week for a year.” – from “Annabeth”.Each story has accompanying art and this was the art accompanying Mubanga’s story of the oddysey of parental expectation and disaffection. The art is by Rohini Madi of Madras. I like the geographical spread of this series of journals and my picks above from this issue alone are certainly illustrative of this; each relatable and engaging in its own way. At a time when I was struggling to focus and feel, and did not, in fact, finish a number of the entries, these three drew me in and held me there.

Back to Blogger on Books XI (2023)