This weekend I received a letter in the post informing me that Free Lunch is closing shop. The news really disappointed me for two reasons. One, I was hoping to have some poems published. Two, I reviewed an issue of Free Lunch for Small Press Review and really enjoyed the publication. Some literary/poetry publications are dense with inaccessible poetry and my work doesn’t seem to fit. But Free Lunch felt like a good fit. Here’s an abridged version of the review I submitted to Small Press Review:
Free Lunch presents an engaging 20th Anniversary issue. Unlike many poetry magazines that contain a smattering of good poems and a couple great poems, the Spring 2009 issue of Free Lunch collects stellar work by Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn and many others. It is my habit as a reader to dog-ear pages in books or magazines that elicit some sort of physical response; like smacking a book on my knee and saying “yeah” to the amusement of fellow bus riders. Lyn Lifshin writes, “I love the sense/ of her contentment/ feel it moving/ inside me the/ way when a/ poem works…” in her poem “Writing a poem is like why and when a cat purs.” In “Advice from a Pro,” X. J. Kennedy writes, “I vowed to make my work intensley sober.” There are many great poems by poets Roger Aplon, Denise Duhamel, and others. And, in short, my copy of the 20th Anniversary of Free Lunch has almost every page dog-eared with praise.