Scarab is a really nice niche product; poetry and prose read by the creators, as if they were in the same room with you. Each issue provides a number of pieces, including interviews. The app itself is free and each new issue is purchased via downloadable content and then played through the core app. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the artists, so by subscribing to this journal, we can fuel their future efforts.

Releasing a periodical literary journal via downloadable content on the iPhone was a great idea, in and of itself, because it allows such a personal and intimate experience. For each piece, the listener is provided with an audio reading, directly from the voice of the artist, as well as a photo, to put a face to the words. What really set this title apart, for me, is the quality of the work offered. The work of fiction in the first installment, by Michael Gutierrez is excellent, as is the poem by, and interview of, David Rivard. What really sold me on Scarab, though, was this beautiful piece by MRB Chelko:

-Night Rain-

Awake, I want to score the walls-
slash my quick life into them.


I want to fall in shadow sticks across
the wall,
slice breath-holes in the room,
not sit
as this woman sits
in the dumb shelter of her body

as if the night will
spit its worm silk in her mouth.

I think this is a phenomenal project and I urge anyone that is mildly interested to pick up this app. It’s brilliantly conceived and well executed.

Update: The second issue is now available, via in-app purchase, and I am happy to say that it provides the same level of quality as the first issue; an excellent selection of voices in poetry.

Rating: ★★★★★ icon


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