I was asked to review Issue 5 of The Rag, and was happy to do so. After I reviewed Issue 5 on Amazon and Goodreads, I was subsequently sent back issues to review. Following, are the full text of the reviews:

Issue #5:
therag5Issue 5 of The Rag is delectable. This is the first issue of The Rag that I have had the pleasure of reading, but I can assure you it will not be the last. The Rag is quirky without being pigeon holed to one genre or another. It combines forms and styles, but still presents a cohesive whole. Each piece fits together to make the issue what it is. I could not see Issue 5 without any one of the poems, short stories, or pieces of artwork. Meredith Robinson illustrates the issue with aplomb. The contributors to this issue come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and this surely enriches the range of the work represented here. I recommend Issue 5 of The Rag for the discerning reader, and look forward to what’s to come.

Issue #4:

therag4If I had to describe Issue 4 of The Rag in one word, it would be “evocative.” From the absurd and surreal to the hyperrealistic and even scientific, these stories, poems, and pieces of artwork demand an immediate and visceral response. At the same time, these pieces leave the reader with the lingering feeling that all is not as it first appears. Whether it’s Patrick Milton’s use of poetic devices such as repetition and alliteration to tell a raw unfiltered story, or Elise Kaplan’s vivid description to tell a story where “nothing really happens,” with imagery that suggests otherwise, or any of the other pieces in this issue, this is a body of work worth reading.

Issue #3:

therag3The stories, poems, and artwork in this issue have a fierce, tragic beauty. They remind the reader of the fragility of human beings and shatter the image of the idyllic 2 1/2 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, picket-fence family. These are not heartwarming pieces, they are pieces that may make you uncomfortable, that may make you cringe; but they are worth reading because they are well-written, challenge assumptions, and have a hard-hitting immediacy.