By FRED PETRUCELLI
SPECIAL TO THE LOG CABIN
One of the more intriguing publications emerging from the University of Central Arkansas Department of Writing has recently been made available to the reading public.
It’s name, too, is fascinating — “The Toad Suck Review 3-D” — each issue coming with a pair of 3D glasses.
Another aspect of the publication is its size that also is distinctive, measuring 11 by 6 inches decorated on its cover with a large shark in color frolicking in the water with a frog. In fact the book is nicely constructed, well written and presented nicely packaged.
If, however, the book seems fascinatingly bizarre, so be it. It is, in the end, wonderfully entertaining and complementary to the writing skills of a bevy of wordsmiths.
Mark Spitzer is the editor in chief of the Review which, he writes, is named for the Toad Suck region of Arkansas “where we view the world and offer flashes of luminous literature, avant-guarde art and cutting edge commentary.” John Vanderslice is the associate editor and the assistant editors are Scotty Lewis and John Michaels.
Provocative, too, are the categories of observation and critique that filter through the magazine. Spitzer claims authorship for a piece dubbed “From the Toadstool.”
The stuff of the Toad Suck Review is marvelously over the top for its diverse views. It has the feel of writers who try to engage readers on a myriad of issues and have a good time doing it.
The Toad Suck Review, the Oxford American and other sterling scholarly projects- such as The Arkansas Literary Festival, The Great Bear Writing Project, the Exquisite Corpse and the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre that distinguish the area - translate into Conway being a cutting edge literary community.
For example, the Chronicle of Higher Education says of central Arkansas: “It has become a kind of academic incubator for the arts.”
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says, “the University of Central Arkansas is now in the fine arts big leagues.”
Spitzer has announced that the magazine is sponsoring a gala launch party for the debut of Toad Suck Review No. 3 on Friday evening, February 15, at Michelangelo’s rooftop in downtown Conway.
The festivities will include readings from Toad Suck writers and editors. Refreshments will be served. To order copies of Toad Suck Review, send a check for $15 per issue made out to UCA Toad Suck Review, Department of Writing Conway, AR 721035, or send a payment to email@example.com.