It’s called Odet and it’s surprisingly good for a small-town project that’s barely 2 years old. I recently attended the release party for their 2nd volume – Winter 2018 – to see what it was all about.
The journal is published annually by Safety Harbor Writers and Poets in collaboration with Chapter 2 Press, and features poetry, memoir, and fiction by Florida writers.
The contributors range from retirees to professional writers. In sum, they have contributed to Safety Harbor Connect, Destination Tampa Bay, the Gabber, Rattle, Orange Island Review, CONTXT, Brevity, The Mighty, West Marin Review, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Flagler Review, and more. Some have even written books.
They filled the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc) on a Sunday night to celebrate Odet‘s release. I went straight to the back of the room, where I purchased a copy and sat down to hear the readings.
In between readings, the editors announced that this was the first issue of Odet to be printed in color. It’s beautiful too — I am pleased to see Patricia Blauvelt’s photography in color, especially the cover photograph.
Inside, I love the stories, even though I cannot tell which are fact and which are fiction. Lyla Faircloth Ellzey writes of colorful fungi in a Florida forest, while Sydney Watson writes of a north Florida cow pasture. Immigration from Cuba to Ybor City forms the backstory for Richard DiPietra’s Un Momento. Lynn Taylor writes of growing up in a small Florida town. Safety Harbor’s Poet Laureate, Barbara Rupp Finkelstein rhymes a tale of Tocobaga family cookouts in Philippe Park. Altogether, they paint a portrait of our state in words, both vivid and diverse.