Reno, by Memphis author Nat Akin, has been published by Florida Review Publications as the fourth in a new series of chapbooks. The chapbook project was started by former editor Jocelyn Bartkevicius in honor of previous editor Jeanne Leiby, who had gone on from UCF to become the first female editor of the prestigious Southern Review at Louisiana State University, but died tragically in a car accident in 2011. The chapbook series features novella-length fiction or nonfiction or graphic narrative, the latter a genre that Jeanne pioneered in publishing; these longer forms tend to have a difficult time finding homes in traditional literary magazines such as The Florida Review.
Nat Akin's story was selected by last year's judge, Patricia Grace King, for its "lush and lyrical" prose style and the way it raises "important questions of heritage and homeland." Set in a small Florida beach town, the story is "pure pleasure--from this vivid setting to the deftly drawn characters." This year's chapbook was shepherded through the publication process by new Florida Review editor Lisa Roney and chapbook editor and UCF MFA alumna Susan Fallows. Cover art was created by MFA alumna Genevieve Anna Tyrrell.
You can order a copy of the new chapbook directly from the Florida Review website.