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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: 26 July 2020
Commentary: 790 words
By Clare MacQueen, Publisher

Intro: Issue 4


Welcome to MacQ’s mid-Summer 2020 issue!

I’m writing this intro in a hurry, because I’m also insanely busy with paring down and packing—must finish before the 31st of July!—in order to downsize from an 800-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment to a sweet and cozy, garden studio about 75% smaller.*

Even so, I’ve managed concurrently this month to put together what I believe is another extraordinary issue of MacQueen’s Quinterly. With lots of indirect help, of course, from the writers and artists who sent us such irresistible works for MacQ-4.

For instance, I’m pleased as Punch to feature the Winner and three Finalists of MacQ’s Quink Writing Challenge in this issue. Five semi-finalists are also included. I got such a kick outta reading the entries for this contest (a few of which triggered belly laughs for me), and I hope you, too, enjoy these nine quinky selections.

Other highlights of MacQ-4 follow...

Fiction and Hybrids

In addition to seven “Quink” fictions (one of them a haibun story—how cool is that?!), you’ll also find herein 14 flash and micro-fictions, plus two more haibun stories. Here’s a small sampling:

Egress [micro-fiction] by Heather Bourbeau

Song of Sweat (A Substation In Whitley County, Kentucky) [haibun story] by Jonathan Humphrey

Evening in the Diner [flash fiction] by Lynn Pattison

Writer Boy [micro-fiction] by Daryl Scroggins

Find more good reading via our main Fiction menu and Fiction: Hybrids.


Our ekphrastic line-up includes an eclectic mix of six fine works by five poets (Robert L. Dean, Jr.; Paul David Mena; LeeAnn Pickrell; Charles D. Tarlton; and Rina Terry), one of whom receives the Editor’s Choice Award for this issue.

Also, be sure to treat yourself to these gorgeous pairings:

Caught while escaping: haiga with photograph by George Digalakis and poem by Gary S. Rosin

Empty chair, bare tree: haiga with photograph by Lucas Dumrauf and poem by Gary S. Rosin

More of a Good Thing: Visual Arts (plus an essay)

Poet and professional visual artist Tiffany Shaw-Diaz is Featured Artist for MacQ-4, which includes three of her cherita poems and three of her photographs, as well as two of her recent watercolors.

A detail from MaRco Elliott’s surreal painting In the Garden City of Earthly Delights illustrates this remarkable essay by MacQ contributing editor Jack Cooper: Naming the Phenomenon.

Poetry and Poetic Hybrids


This issue of MacQ offers a smaller-than-usual section of lineated poetry, with only 15 works, but still covers a range of forms, from structured to free verse, and from micro to fairly long. For example:

[Fresh Graffiti] (9 words; three lines) with photograph, both by Paul David Mena

Weltanschauung (557 words; 100+ lines) by Charles D. Tarlton


And we have 10 prose poems, a long-time favorite form of mine. Nearly 30 years ago, I fell in love with the genre after being introduced to works by Jorge Luis Borges, Henri Michaux, Francis Ponge, and Gertrude Stein (among others) by feminist poet, performance artist, and fiction writer Lynn Luria-Sukenick (1937–1995), may she rest in peace.

In 1991–1992, just as my dream of founding KYSO Flash Press began to germinate, I worked hard through three of Professor Luria-Sukenick’s demanding, graduate-level writing courses in fiction and prose poetry at San Diego State University. To this day, I appreciate her enduring influence on my writing and editorial sensibilities.

And I think she would have liked this sampling of prose poems from MacQ-4:

Conquistadores by Laine Cunningham

Inside/outside by Mary Grimm

Marsh by Charles D. Tarlton


As for poetic hybrids, we have three haibun stories (as mentioned above under the category of hybrid fiction); ten haibun (prose poems plus haiku); and four tanka prose (prose poems plus tanka) in MacQ-4. Of course, I like each and every one of those 17 pieces, yet the following three especially resonate for me:

A Song for Tara [tanka prose] by Claire Everett

five-and-dime theology [haibun] by Mark Meyer

Prayer [haibun] by Andrew Riutta

And for My Kelley

A taiga by yours truly, in commemoration: Nine Years

A World of Thanks!

As always, my heartfelt gratitude to all of our lovely contributors and readers.

I deeply appreciate your ongoing support of our little journal and your visits here. Please continue to drop by often, and bring your friends. Here’s hoping you all find much to savor at the MacQ smorgasbord...


* Note: The downsizing and long-distance move are positive in the longer term. In the short term, paring down and packing are not among my favorite activities (whew!), but unpacking and settling into the studio will be more fun. I do look forward to that. And even more, to living near dear friends I’ve been missing and new friends recently made.

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