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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: 12 Oct 2020
Commentary: 838 words
By Clare MacQueen, Publisher

Intro: Issue 5


Welcome to MacQ, Autumn 2020! Thanks so much for dropping by to explore this quintessential issue, numero cinco, the one which illustrates that MacQueen’s Quinterly has lived up to the promise within the name: by delivering five issues within the first year. Hooray! To say that I’m gleefully proud of that accomplishment—perhaps to the point of cock-a-hoopity—just might be an understatement (tee hee).

But seriously, what a challenging year this has been, on numerous fronts, from the personal to the universal. We certainly do live in interesting times, yes? Never a dull moment as the saying goes. Still, speaking for myself: Every morning that I wake up is a good one. And every day that I can continue to help create beauty in this world is a blessing.

Speaking of which, I’m honored and pleased to present in MacQ-5 two of Roy Beckemeyer’s wonderful poems, including The Color of Blessings (which is among MacQ’s nominations for the Pushcart, Volume 46) and Barbara Hamby Embraces the Swedish Word Mångata.

I’m also delighted to announce the results of MacQ’s latest contest, the RESQ Writing Challenge, aka the “Qualmish.” Unlike our previous challenges whose results included a mixture of genres, this one features fiction. Oddly enough, poetic works were in the minority of entries this time and, in the final rounds of consideration, got edged out by the stories. But as it turns out, a preponderance of poems arrived via general submissions instead.

In any case, I believe MacQ-5 delivers an interesting range of genres over-all, with 74 written works (3 nonfictions, 19 fictions, 27 poems, 13 prose poems, and 12 hybrids), and 27 artworks. Plus, MacQ welcomes 26 “new to us” contributors, or about 45% of the total of 57 folks whose works appear here in Issue 5.

A few highlights follow...


Especially in these times of unrelenting angst and outrage, I believe that humor is more important than ever. Which is why my literary antennae are always on the lookout for writing that makes me smile, snicker, or even shriek with laughter. Of course, that’s not to say that I turn away works that make me cry—not at all! I simply need some comic relief now and then. Like this trio, for instance:

Beepbop [micro-fiction] by Christopher Candice

Preface to Canto IV of The Three Virgins of Rosenberg, Texas [tanka tale] by Bob Lucky

A Prayer for Abe Lincoln [CNF] by Hannah Lund

And virtual hugs of appreciation to the two finalists of the Qualmish Challenge for making me laugh out loud:

The Anniversary Surprise [micro-fiction] by Roberta Beary

The God-Fearing Man [flash fiction] by John Shea

Not to be Missed: Editor’s Choice Award

This phenomenal poem by Scott Ferry evokes a range of sympathetic and cathartic emotions for me, all in a good way (as I hope it will for others): Bubbles the fish no longer swims

New-to-me Poetic Form!

I’m excited to share here my recent introduction, courtesy of Chuck Brickley, to the “hay(na)ku.” Hey what? was my initial reaction, too. But the pronunciation is actually “ai-na-koo” for this six-word tercet, a tiny poem which can be chained together just as haiku, cherita, and tanka can be linked in sequences. I do have a fondness for sequences, and was charmed by Brickley’s poem the way two, a chain of hay(na)ku with a clever twist.

A Virtual Feast of Visual Arts

Nature artist and retired educator Joann Carrabbio is Featured Artist for MacQ-5, which includes eight of her lovely artworks: six watercolors and two oil paintings.

Be sure to check out paintings by Carrabbio’s husband as well, resistance artist MaRco Elliott: Pochade à Neptune (Sketch of Neptune) and three images from his in-progress series Dark Days 2020, along with his commentary “The Artist as Canary in the Coal Mine.”

And More Delicious Art: Ekphrasis

Our ekphrastic line-up includes an eclectic mix of fantastic works by seven artists and four of my favorite masters of ekphrasis, including Robert L. Dean, Jr. (CNF and lineated poem), Lorette C. Luzajic (prose poems and micro-fiction), Robbi Nester (lineated poems), and Charles D. Tarlton (tanka prose).

Plus, another delightfully talented author whose work I recently discovered and am eager to share with you: Stephen D. Gibson and two of his micro-fictions,

Creation (after a photograph by Manuel Acevedo), and

Da Ponte (a tribute to Mozart’s librettist).

Best Microfiction and the Pushcart

And I’ll wrap up this abbreviated tour with links to our nominations for two coveted awards:

Best Microfiction 2021

2022 Pushcart Anthology XLVI (Vol. 46)

Bows of Gratitude!

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

I deeply appreciate your ongoing support of this little journal and your visits here. Please continue to drop by often, and ask your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. (Feel free to share links to MacQ and her big sister KYSO Flash on social media, too.) Here’s hoping you all find much to savor at the MacQ smorgasbord...

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