When we first began to accept flash fiction for Tahoma Literary Review, both Joe and I had in mind the day that we’d be able to welcome a dedicated Flash Fiction Editor to our team. We’re delighted that we’ve found the right person to step into the role, and it’s our pleasure to introduce you to Stephanie Barbé Hammer. While we close to submissions for issue 2 at midnight, today, September 30, we hope you’ll rev your Flash Fiction engines in preparation to submit work to Stephanie beginning October 6. -KD
Greetings, friends in the writing world. My name is Stephanie Barbé Hammer and I love very short fiction. I cut my teeth on Grimm’s Fairy Tales as a kid and fell in love with Kafka’s Parables in college. A once-upon-a-time scholar in comparative literature, I’ve written about 18th Century satire and I continue to be drawn to short, ironic work that bites you in the proverbial ass and then dashes away: Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal for one, George Saunders’ Flooding the Zone for another. Modern and postmodern writing from Europe thrills me—the tiny, strange novels of Amelie Nothomb and the miniature epics of Fernando Pessoa leap to mind. On this continent, I dig the gem-like mythologies of Sandra Cisneros, Lydia Davis and Nalo Hopkinson. And where would we be without the short stories of Aimee Bender? In narrative snoozeville, that’s where.
Flash fiction delivers a fast, curious ride that continues to rattle you long after you’ve wandered away from the turnstile. I desire literary flash that does just that by means of realism, magical realism, surrealism, humor, irony, poignancy, and—above all—a gorgeous use of words.
My time in the academy has shown me first-hand how often cultural workers are underpaid or, indeed, not paid at all. The fact that The Tahoma Literary Review actively addresses the art-for-money question and pays contributors makes me do a Pina Bausch-inspired dance of joy.
Next reading period, send us your most wonderful, beautiful, and brilliant short narrative.