The cover of Coze Journal by the Curtin Writers Club.

Title: Coze Journal Issue 4: Heart 
Author: Curtin Writers Club
Genre: Zine/fiction journal/short stories
Publisher: Curtin Writers Club
Published: 2021

Issue 4 of Coze is a beautiful little journal featuring poetry, short stories, and a variety of small, black and white illustrations. It is written by the students of Curtin University, and has a combination of works that are grotesque, creative, and moving all on the theme of heart.

While reading this magazine I appreciated how differently its writers had interpreted the theme. There are stories and poems about broken hearts, missing hearts—even removable hearts. It meant reading it was a surprising experience—I never knew what might come next. It was also great to see new writers find their voice and tone. I could almost feel the raw emotion that they plunged into their words.

Some pieces I particularly enjoyed were ‘I Don’t Believe in Soulmates’ by Catherine Hall and ‘Tin Man’ by Chris Hipwood. Hall’s piece was a unique, sci-fi take on the concept of soulmates. I found it quite impressive that Hall was able to capture a whole world view into a few short pages in such a captivating way.

Hipwood on the other hand, gives us a tongue-in-cheek interpretation on the Tin Man’s missing heart. This short creative piece injected a much-needed bit of humour into this issue—and I really enjoyed the Wizard of Oz reference.

We also cannot forget the poetry featured throughout the journal. Not only did the poems feel like a breather between stories, they were beautiful and arguably essential for an issue dedicated to themes of the heart. I found they allowed me to take pause, digest the story I’d just read, and give the poetry time to sink in. If you enjoy creative prose and zines with simple, but effective, illustrations, it may be worth checking out this issue of Coze. This is a great journal for readers who are relatively new to reading zines and fiction, as the pieces are not absurd in style and form, but still have engaging and unusual content.

Underground Team

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