The lovely Claire Hennessy, Laura Jane Cassidy and Eimear Ryan have created a new literary journal this year (which is really very cool of them). The first issue of Banshee can be bought here, they are on twitter @bansheelit, and you can have a peek at their webiste here (although their submissions won’t open for another while now).
I loved reading this journal. There were some beautiful pieces. For anyone else who’s come across it, I’ve put together a list of some I particularly enjoyed:
Feamainn – Ali Brennan: I think this was my overall favourite. It’s atmospheric and eerie and each word fits perfectly, but the best part is the twist at the end. It appears to be going one way, but after the last paragraph, the story has completely flipped – I wanted to read it again from the start.
All poems by Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson: Poetry is great. However, I am someone who thinks the words in poems are pretty, but who finds prose much easier to actually understand. I rejoiced in how accessible these poems were. Simple lines revealed really clever ideas. I enjoyed them thoroughly.
Hair – Sinéad Gleeson: I haven’t come across too many non-fiction essays before. As the first piece of writing in the book, Hair set a lovely precedent. It has a perfect structure: personal experience, reference to historical events, and literary quotes woven seamlessly together. The author’s own observations take hair – something that is so normal, so everyday – and show us how firmly it is linked to society and culture. (And self-expression, and stereotyping, and…)
Small Nuclear Family – Mel Pryor: I think there may be a metaphor in here that I missed, but I liked how “pieces of myself” didn’t just refer to physical body parts (favourite line: “a scattering of frowns inside the tumble drier.”) The descriptions got increasingly interesting and fun to imagine as the poem went on.
Girls – Annie Wiles: I’m not quite sure how to describe what I liked about this one. But I liked it a lot.
This is only a handful. Flicking through the pages to double-check the authors’ names, I found so many more that had me dithering over whether to include them. If you are looking for something to read – even if you’ve never gotten a literary journal before! Give one a try – I would seriously recommend Banshee.