THE BURNING SAND, A New Glasgow-Based Journal of Art and Literature

The Burning Sand Vol. 2 

by Caspar Wilson

The Burning Sand is a new bi-annual periodical specialising in the arts scene of Glasgow. Edited by Sarah Lowndes and designed by Sophie Dyer and Maeve Redmond, it showcases prose and poetry alongside illustration and photography from artists and writers either living in the city or with a substantial connection to it. This second issue was launched in Berlin last week at the Volksbüehne theatre as part of The Glasgow Weekend, a programme of exhibitions curated by Lowndes and BQ, Berlin, and funded by Creative Scotland. The Glasgow opening last Friday was hosted at the Poetry Club, part of Studio Warehouse.

This issue’s standout piece is Scott Caruth’s ‘The Semiotics of the Stone’, a personal account of his time as a human rights activist in Hebron, illustrated with his own photographs. It is short, personal, and powerful and sets a good standard for citizen reportage.  The rest of the content is non-political and primarily expressive in nature. Sam Bellacosa’s ‘Purple Rain Kind of Blue Mood Indigo’ is a story concerning music producer Modem and a morning in her New York railroad apartment. It is an impressive attempt to capture issues of fame and identity in transfer from the internet to reality – “curiosity and lucrative potential engendered physical engagement, internet refracted, refocused, in real-life and real-time”.

The selected artworks are well presented and benefit from the journal’s relatively high production values with many pieces printed edge-to-edge. Others such as two entries from Tom Varley’s Small Works with Long Titles work very well in journal form. The Burning Sand is still very much in its early days and they are still experimenting with the kinds of content they want to include, though what is certain is that the Glasgow scene is much richer for having such an expertly considered and produced journal working in it.

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is a review journal publishing short and long reviews, review essays and interviews, as well as translations, fiction, poetry, and visual art. We are interested in all forms of cultural practice and seek to incorporate more marginal, peripheral or neglected forms into our debates and discussions. We aim to foster discussion of work from small and specialised publishers and practitioners, and to maintain a focus on issues in and about translation. The review has a determinedly international approach, but is also a proud resident of Glasgow.

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