A Little Light Industrial Safety

We’ve told you that Malvern Books will be chock-full of delightful poetry and fiction, but have we mentioned that we’ll also be offering an outstanding selection of literary journals for your perusal? It’s true! We will! This week we’ll introduce you to a few of our favorites, starting with Forklift, Ohio.


The journal’s full name is Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety, and I think you’ll agree that this is a winning trifecta of concerns. Produced “approximately 1.618 times per year” by three good friends, the Cincinnati-based journal’s stated aim is to “fetishize the aesthetics of early industrialized society in a distinctly post-industrial fashion.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I can tell you that each journal is handmade in limited quantities out of an assortment of odd materials. Some issues are furry, some are spotty, and some are riddled with bullet holes. Issue #18 comes dog-eared for your convenience, while Issue #24 can only be opened with a corkscrew.

If you manage to get inside your copy, you’ll find poetry, prose, and visual art, along with the promised recipes, safety tips (Forklift, Ohio is proud of its “thirteen-year record as an accident-free workplace”), and assorted silliness. The best bits of silliness come directly from the pages of old magazines: Issue #12 includes an advertisement for carcass splitters and “Nine Rules for Avoiding Constipation” (Rule No. 6 advises readers to “avoid cathartics”). But in case this all sounds a bit nincompoopy for you, let me assure you that the poetry in Forklift, Ohio is very good indeed. Esteemed poet Dean Young is a big fan of the journal and hands out copies to his pals—but if you’re not one of Mr. Young’s pals, you can always get your mitts on a Forklift at Malvern Books.