Front & Centre #27
Review by Mark McCawley
For just about as long as Urban Graffiti has been publishing — first as a paper-based litzine, then as an online transgressive underground arts magazine — so has Matthew Firth; first under the title of Black Cat 115, then under the banner, Front & Centre. All the while, publishing hard-hitting new fiction by new and established writers alike. Whether based out of Hamilton, Scotland (UK), or Ottawa — the writing in F&C has always been gritty “in-your-face urban realism” whether set among downtown crackheads, suburban housewives on the prowl, and everything in between.
Like myself, Firth and F&C has long been a vocal critic of CanLit arts funding, especially for Canadian magazines and journals, with their insane Canadian content quotas which determine not only which magazines and journals receive funding, but which ones are distributed as well. Due to the nature of our magazine’s individual mandates — seldom would our magazines approach the number of Canadian contributors necessary for funding and distribution under current quotas. That said, out of necessity, we both have become international magazines while our funded Canadian counterparts have remained, if not national in scope, provincial.